No. 362.
Mr. Bell to Mr. Bayard.

No. 161.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that after three days’ discussion the Second Chamber of the States General, in its session of the 24th instant, by a vote of 45 to 30, adopted the project of the address, in reply to the discourse from the throne, submitted to the Chamber by the committee named for this purpose.

The discussion this year had a special interest by reason of the result i of the late elections, and especially in view of the fact that the Chamber decided by a vote of 73 to 2 that the address should not be limited to the consideration of the subjects mentioned by His Majesty in his discourse from the throne.

During the three days’ discussion much time was devoted to the subject of a reform of the military and administrative abuses in the Dutch colonies of the East Indies—especially in Atcheen—without reaching any practical result.

The liberal journals of the country generally demand that the Chambers should give precedence to the subject of colonial abuses over all other questions.

It is understood here that a malady known as the “veriberi,” somewhat similar to cholera, and arising from bad nourishment, has caused great ravages in the army in Dutch India.

The same journals earnestly demand the appointment of a special committee of inquiry to ascertain the causes of this illness.

The Chamber in an explicit manner pronounced upon the question of the revision of the constitution and upon the electoral question.

The following is the tenor of the paragraph bearing upon that question:

It is the conviction of the Chamber that it will be in the interest of the state to give to the subject of electoral rights more liberty in future legislation, and to add to the new constitution stipulations providing for the immediate extension of the electoral right beyond the limits fixed by the present constitution.

Several ministerial projects, including the new stipulations concerning the excise upon sugar and the proposed modifications of the constitution, are now in the hands of the committees of the Second Chamber.

I have, &c.,