No. 259.
Mr. Dayton to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 18.]

Sir: The King returned to the Hague yesterday, and to-day went in great state to the hall of the Second House, where, in the presence of the diplomatic corps and high officials of the kingdom, he opened the new session of the States General.

I inclose a copy of the King’s address in the Dutch language, with a French translation furnished to me officially; also an English translation.

[Page 442]

The loss of the monitor Adder and its crew, to which the address refers, occurred in July last. It left Ymuiden to go to Helvoetsluis. Some days afterwards the bodies of its pilot and several of the crew were found not far from Scheveningen. The crew and officers numbered over sixty. The vessel itself was after considerable search discovered keel up, at the bottom of the sea, about a mile and a half off the coast northwest of Scheveningen. It was last reported in that locality, and although the weather it encountered was rough, it was not very severe, and would not alone, without some defect in the build of the vessel or seamanship of its officers, seem to explain its loss. The cause of it is being sought for, and the whole matter investigated by the Dutch authorities.

The reference in the address to the condition of affairs in Atjih is probably caused, in part at least, by the news just received that the Atcheans have lately (August 7th instant) attacked the Dutch forces at or near Payon, causing a loss to them of 44 killed and wounded out of a force engaged of 140. Among the wounded were 2 officers. Eleven, killed, fell into the hands of the enemy. It appears that during the past year in Atjih the Dutch have lost in guerilla warfare 140 killed and wounded.

The recent law, by which 30 per cent, of the expenses of the public schools in the kingdom is to be paid out of the general treasury, has made an unusual demand upon its funds, which may in part explain the necessity of an increase of the state revenues.

The statement that propositions relative to the elective franchise would be submitted to the States General is no doubt the result of the constant efforts for an extension of that right made by the liberal party in Holland.

I am, sir, &c.,

WILLIAM L. DAYTON.
[Inclosure in No. 318.—Translation.]

address from the throne.

Sirs: It is agreeable to me to see the representatives of the Netherlands people again reassembled.

My relations with foreign powers are of the most friendly nature.

The navy and army have acquitted themselves, in their important duties, with a zeal worthy of praise.

The navy has suffered a deplorable loss in the foundering of the monitor Adder with its crew.

I shall trust to see passed in the course of the present session all the legal measures required in order that our new penal legislation may go into effect.

Although the state of affairs in Atjih is not all that could be desired, I have confidence that the administration of that province with the aid of the navy and army will be able more and more to confirm authority and cause security to reign.

In the other parts of the Netherland Indies the condition of affairs in general is matter of satisfaction.

The epidemics which have afflicted some portions of the population have not yet entirely ceased. The ravages of cattle diseases have nearly come to an end.

The state of the colonies in the West Indies may be considered satisfactory.

[Page 443]

Although there is reason to congratulate ourselves upon the increase of the state’s receipts of late years, an augmentation of the sources of revenue cannot longer be deferred. At the same time, there ought to be a general reformation of our taxes. A proposition tending to accomplish this reform will be presented to you.

A better regulation of local taxation seems more and more necessary. For this purpose, in connection with the revision of the fiscal system of the state, your co-operation will be asked.

A project for the modification of the law concerning higher school education is in course of preparation.

Propositions relative to the elective franchise will reach you soon.

It is my intention to cause an examination to be made as to what articles of the fundamental law it is important should be revised.

Your deliberations upon important projects of laws presented to you in former sessions are awaited with a natural interest.

May our united efforts, under the indispensable blessing of God, contribute to the happiness of our dear country.

I declare the session of the States General to be opened.