to Mr. Fish.
Lisbon , January 3, 1874. (Received February 14.)
Sir: Yesterday, the Cortes of the kingdom of Portugal was opened by the King in person. The usual ceremonies were observed, the only variation that I noticed being the attendance of her majesty the Queen Consort, who occupied a seat on the throne with the King.
A translation of the King’s speech is herewith transmitted. It will be seen from this speech, that, for the first time in many years, the expenses of the government do riot exceed the receipts into the treasury, and that there is, consequently, no deficit to be provided for by additional legislation.
The King congratulates the Cortes on the general prosperity of the kingdom, the improvement in the condition of the national finances, and the increase of the material wealth of the people, produced by the railways that have been completed, or are in course of construction. These are, of course, subjects of congratulation; but, in my opinion, the fact that the nation has not been disturbed by the political convulsions of their nearest neighbors, and that the great mass of the people are loyal to the existing dynasty, and indisposed to revolution, furnishes the best evidence that there is no cause for complaint, or at least none that cannot be removed by the action of the representatives of the people.
The political status of Portugal has not been affected by the events that have transpired in Spain; sympathy with the Carlist movement is confined to the small and comparatively uninfluential body of ultra mon-tanes who still profess allegiance to the deposed Miguelite dynasty.[Page 806]
The great body of the people, of all classes, naturally deprecate the success of Don Carlos in Spain or the restoration of the elder Bourbon dynasty in France, as either event would be a signal for agitation in behalf of the deposed dynasty in Portugal.
With respect, &c.,
- Evidently a misprint for 1868.—C. H. L.↩