Mr. Cushing to Mr. Fish.
Madrid , February 11, 1875. (Received March 12.)
Sir: I annex hereto copy and translation of a circular of which the professed object is to check, if possible, the tendency to military pronunciamientos, which constitutes one of the chronic evils of Spain.
Inasmuch as the acclamation of Don Alfonso was in its inception an act of military pronunciamiento, many persons criticise the circular as being illogical on the part of his government.
As regards theory or doctrine there is nothing new in the measure; every previous government in Spain has applied to defeated political [Page 1102] generals the same discipline of exile or of enforced quarters in the Canaries, the Balearic Islands, or the Filipinas.
In execution of this circular three officers of the army, who were present at a political demonstration accompanying the departure of Mr. Ruiz Zorrilla from Madrid, as spoken of in my No. 256, namely, Generals Lagunero and Izquierdo and Colonel Camona, have been ordered into quarters at the Canaries or to leave Spain.
Measures of this character have this much of extenuation in Spain, that defeated or minority parties appear to be intellectually or morally incapable of legal opposition to the government of the time being, but recur at once to conspiracy and to mutinous insurrection as the means of regaining power. Mr. Castelar well said, in one of his best speeches, that in the crisis of every party question here, it is reduced to the inquiry, which has the cannons at its disposition $ The patient electoral efforts of party minorities, which one sees in the United States, and the courteous and tolerant appeal to public opinion on the part of opposition parties in Great Britain, are traits of constitutional government quite unknown and almost incomprehensible in Spain.
I have, &c.,