Mr. Francis to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Lisbon , January 5, 1884. (Received January 21.)
Sir: After a brief prorogation from the 29th December, His Majesty Dom Luiz opened on the 2d instant the new session of the Cortes with all the form and ceremony invariably observed on this important occasion.
I have the honor to inclose a copy of His Majesty’s speech delivered at the opening of the Cortes, with a translation thereof, and enumerate briefly such of His Majesty’s remarks as appear to me important.
His Majesty mentions the continuance of friendly relations with foreign powers; alludes to the recent conclusion of a treaty of commerce with Spain; speaks with gratitude of the reception His Majesty and family met with on their recent visit to that Kingdom, and as well for the universal evidence of sympathy exhibited for his son during the prince’s recent journey.[Page 442]
His Majesty enumerates various projects of law and conditional contracts which were under discussion during the late session; among them are prominent the measures tending to constitutional reform, and several concessions for railways, that of Lourenço Marques, which formed the subject of my No. 103, being mentioned in common with others.
His Majesty further announces the intended presentation to the Cortes by his Government of other important measures, such as the revision of the penal code, the reform of prison discipline, the work of improving the port of Lisbon, the reform of the military system, and finally the financial condition of the country.
* * * * * * *
The prime minister, Senhor Fontes, at the session of the Cortes to-day presented the annual budget for 1884–’85, which I summarize as follows:
|Estimated ordinary expenditures||31,967,000|
|Estimated ordinary receipts||31,095,000|
|Showing a deficit of||772,000|
To meet extraordinary expenditures Senhor Fontes asks for authority to borrow 4,500,000 millreis.
The deficit of 1882–’83, which was estimated at 917,000 millreis, is now ascertained to amount to 1,000,000 millreis.
I have, &c.,