to Mr. Fish.
Athens , May 3, 1874. (Received May 25.)
Sir: I have the honor to report that the Bulgaris ministry tendered its resignation on the 27th of April at 12 o’clock meridian.
Parliament had adjourned on the 8th of April for the Easter holidays, and the cabinet decided to retire from office a few hours before it reassembled. The cause alleged was the want of a working majority in the chamber.
The house met the same day at 2 p.m., but it adjourned upon being informed by its president, Mr. Zaïmis, that the ministers had withdrawn.
Upon the following day, Mr. Zaïmis was invited to the palace to give his opinion upon the relative strength and position of parties in Parliament. He was also asked to point out to the King the gentleman possessing the best chance of support as the head of a new ministry. Mr. Zaïmis named Mr. Coumoundouros. Thereupon, His Majesty requested the latter to form a cabinet. Mr. Coumoundouros demanded twenty-four hours for consultation with his friends, which was granted. As the result, it is reported, on the 29th ultimo, Mr. Coumoundouros agreed to undertake the government upon the following conditions, which he submitted in writing:
- Entire liberty of action in administration; that is to say, the power to change every public officer in Greece holding his appointment from the Crown, without the interference or remonstrance of the King.
- Reform in the foreign policy; particularly the establishment of more friendly relations with Russia.
- The full recognition of the fact that ministers are the only counselors of the Crown.
It is rumored that the King, after a brief delay, necessary for the examination of the propositions of Mr. Coumoundouros, declined to bind [Page 578] himself to accede to all these demands without recourse. He could not, for instance, it is said, regard with indifference the removal of men of approved integrity and honor, or the appointment of manifestly improper persons to office. In such an event he must reserve to himself the right to speak.
Mr. Zaïmis endeavored to persuade Mr. Coumoundouros to accept without exacting so much. But the latter refused to act, unless the terms already referred to were accepted, without alteration, by the sovereign.
It is said by some persons that the conditions imposed by Mr. Coumoundouros originated with Mr. Lombardos, whose hostility to the King is well known.
The “Palingenessia,” one of the organs of Mr. Coumoundouros, in its issue of yesterday, regrets that the King did not receive with favor the memorandum of Mr. Coumoundouros. It says, moreover, that it is now clear that the country is divided into two distinct parties—the one constitutional and parliamentary, of which Mr. Coumoundouros is the head, the other composed of the court and those attached to it.
After the rejection of the Coumoundouros programme the King invited to the palace Mr. Deligeorges, at 11 o’clock yesterday morning. Having explained the position of affairs, His Majesty requested Mr. Deligeorges to form a new ministry. The latter asked time to consult his party, and at 4 p.m. his Mends assembled at his house in great numbers and gave him full liberty to follow the dictates of his individual judgment. Up to the present moment Mr. Deligeorges has not returned a definite answer to the King.
The situation is a most unfortunate one; for the country has been without a ministry for the last six days, the longest duration of a ministerial crisis since the accession of His Majesty, King George.
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I have, &c.,