No. 11.
Mr. Delaplaine to Mr. Fish.


Sir: The sittings of the two Delegations at Pesth are terminated, a perfect accord in the decisions of both assemblies being finally attained.

The military-budget estimates formed the most sternly-opposed and persistently-maintained subject of debates, but they were finally adopted with comparatively few deductions. During the discussion, a statistical parallel between the military budgets of France, Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary was submitted, which I believe may offer some interest.

The total expenses of the state in 1874, in France, amount to 1,091,700,000 florins; in Russia, to 956,200,000 florins; in Germany, to 864,300,000 florins; in Austria-Hungary, 635,131,000 florins.

Of these ciphers the war-budget absorbs in France 276,000,000 florins; in Russia, 303,000,000 florins; in Germany, 195,000,000 florins, and in Austria-Hungary, 98,000,000 florins. That exacts for France 25 per cent. of the total budget; for Russia, 31 per cent.; for Germany, 22.6 per cent.; for Austria-Hungary, comprising the expenses necessitated by the territorial armies (landwehr) of the two halves of the empire, 18.2 per cent. of the total budget. The maintenance of each soldier reaches on the average in France, 478 florins; in Russia, 412 florins; in Germany, 442 florins; and Austria-Hungary, 346 florins. The effective force of the army in time of peace in France is 460,000 men; in Russia, 663,000 men; in Germany, 438,000 men; and in Austria-Hungary, 247,000 men. The number of generals in active service in France, 325; in [Page 14] Russia, 336; in Germany, 296; and in Austria-Hungary, 208. The number of officers of troops in active service in France amount to 25,103; in Russia, 25,652; in Germany, 18,887; and in Austria-Hungary, 13,644. As to the artillery for field-service, the French army disposes of 726 cannon; the Russian army, 2,768; the German army, 2,472; and the Austro-Hungarian army, 616 cannon. This would give to Austria-Hungary the unfavorable proportion of 25/6 cannon for each thousand men. Regarding the number of horses destined for the service of the army, France maintains 99,300; Russia, 88,200; Germany, 96,800; and Austria-Hungary, 46,000. Moreover, the average cost of a horse in France is 352 florins; in Russia, 210 florins; in Germany, 330 florins; and in Austria-Hungary, 220 florins.

In the Austrian Assembly the minister of foreign affairs, Count Andrássy, briefly addressed to the Assemblies the thanks of the Emperor for the patriotic zeal and self denial which the delegates had manifested during the present severe financial crisis, by which the state also was acutely enfeebled in its resources, by voting the sums which were required to maintain the military force of the monarchy.

The chairman, Dr. Rechbauer, noting gratefully the expressions of satisfaction evinced by His Majesty, and reviewing the past labors of the Delegation, remarked that it was possible that although there had been effected a diminution of several millions under the appropriation of the former year, still, in view of the aggravation of the financial condition of the country, this result might not realize the general anticipation. Nevertheless, the force of circumstances was superior to the most ready and willing disposition, and he might affirm, without hesitation, that all the decisions taken had emanated from an ardent, patriotic zeal, and that they resulted from sincere effort for advancing the prosperity and greatness of the empire. He knew that some might seek to base that prosperity and grandeur on the more illustrious warlike feats of arms, and others on a greater solicitude for the peaceful development of commerce, industry, and agriculture. However, a greater diminution of expenses was, in his opinion, impracticable at the present time and under the present circumstances, and it might perhaps be a consolation to know that all populations of Europe were also groaning under the intolerable weight of armaments. The only remedy for its existing, if not its actual cessation, must be found in spreading simultaneously in all classes of the people the conviction that the preponderance of an organized state does not rest upon bayonets, and those who would thus seek to maintain stability by abandoning the ways of progress and exhausting the industrial and agricultural resources of the people would find the organization of short duration. Consequently an amelioration can be realized only by keeping this true principle in view. Moreover, this amelioration should not be an isolated one, but universal, and it was his opinion that the amelioration would be realized at no distant period.

Before the Hungarian Delegation Count Andrássy made a similar address, adding his personal thanks for the confidence which had been accorded to the common ministers, and to himself in particular.

The chairman, Szlavy, observed in reply that if the Delegations had considered the essential interest of the monarchy, it was because they were penetrated with conviction of the absolute necessity of maintaining intact the basis on which that monarchy reposed. He felt satisfaction in testifying to the progress accomplished by the common government, which had restrained itself as far as possible within the limits the budget allowed.

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The chairman farther expressed satisfaction that, in the question of the East, the policy of the government was in perfect accord with the views of the Delegation; that it was eminently pacific, and had been followed by a vote of confidence entered upon their minutes; that he was, moreover, happy to declare that since the commencement the Austrian Delegation had been in perfect accord in principle, as evidence of which there existed no difference to regulate; that the Delegation might with assurance await the judgment of public opinion as to having done its duty, both as required by the obligations imposed by the pragmatic sanction and by the institutions created thereunder, as moreover claimed by their native country, whose glory and prosperity were so dear to their hearts. A further proof had been obtained that the actual form of dual government preserved the interests of the two halves of the empire when both sides were animated by a conciliatory and sympathetic disposition. In conclusion, the chairman referred to their august sovereign “as one whom they knew how to love and respect, not only as constitutional monarch, but as supreme chief of the army, guardian of the peace and safety of the empire.”

His address was followed by enthusiastic and prolonged cheers. It will, in conclusion, be proper to herewith present a summary of the net demands allowed by the Delegations for the year 1877, with a comparison of the estimate of the general government, as well as with the allowance of last year.


  • First. Ministry for foreign affairs.—Claimed, 3,141,680 florins; allowed, 3,141,680 florins. Allowance of previous year, 3,556,160 florins.
  • Secondly. Standing army.—Claimed, 86,836,234 florins; allowed, 88,240,704 florins. Allowance of previous year, 87,228,974 florins.
  • Thirdly. Navy.—Claimed, 8,643,254 florins; allowed, 8,048,410 florins. Allowance of previous year, 8,642,290 florins.
  • Fourthly. Ministry of finance.—Claimed, 1,851,609 florins; allowed, 1,851,515 florins. Allowance of previous year, 1,852,639 florins.
  • Fifthly. Bureau of accounts.—Claimed, 128,070 florins; allowed, 126,714 florins. Allowance previous year, 127,534 florins.


  • First. Ministry for foreign affairs.—Claimed, 38,800 florins; allowed, 38,800 florins. Allowance for previous year, 72,800 florins.
  • Secondly. Standing army.—Claimed, 12,279,931 florins; allowed, 10,585,006 florins. Allowance previous year, 13,093,300 florins.
  • Thirdly. Navy.—Claimed, 1,327,780 florins; allowed, 1,287,780 florins. Allowance previous year, 1,296,984 florins.
  • Fourthly. Ministry of finance.—Claimed, 1,050 florins; allowed, 1,050 florins. Allowance previous year, 1,050 florins.

Total in ordinary and extraordinary.—Claimed, 114,248,408 florins; allowed, 111,321,659 florins. Allowance previous year, 115,871,731 florins.

All the national and provincial parliamentary bodies being now closed, several of the officers of state, including Baron Lasser, minister of the interior, and Mr. de Stremayr, minister for worship and instruction, have taken their annual congés.

The resignation of Baron Roller, minister of war, by reason of impaired health, has been tendered and accepted by the Emperor. Lieutenant Field-Marshal Benedek, who represented him before the Delegations, and has long and actively served the department, is designated as his probable successor.

I have, &c.,