No. 276.
Mr. Coleman to Mr. Bayard.

No. 399.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith for the files of the Department of State the official text of the speech* from the throne, read at the opening of the newly elected Reichstag on the 3d instant by Minister of State von Bötticher on behalf of the Emperor.

The portion of the speech which relates to the foreign policy of the Empire will command interest at home and abroad, and reads in translation as follows:

The relations of the German Empire to foreign powers are still the same as they were at the time the last session of the Reichstag was opened [in November]. By command of the Emperor I have to convey the expression of His Majesty’s satisfaction at the manifestations of the Pope, by which His Holiness betokened his well-wishing interest in the German Empire and its domestic peace.

The foreign policy of His Majesty the Emperor continues to aim at preserving and fostering peace with all the powers, especially with our neighbors.

This pacific policy of the Emperor may receive most effective support from the Reichstag if it quickly, cheerfully, and unanimously assent to the bills having for their object the immediate and enduring increase of our defensive power. If Parliament without hesitation and schism give unanimous expression to the will of the nation to meet every attack on our frontiers, now and ever, with the full-armed force of all our defensive power, then the Reichstag, by its very decisions alone and before they are carried out, will have materially strengthened the pledges of peace and dispelled the doubts which may have been created by our parliamentary proceedings hitherto with respect to the increase of our army. His Majesty the Emperor believes of the present Reichstag that its resolutions will afford a secure foundation for the national policy of the allied Governments, and derives from this confidence the conviction that His Majesty’s endeavors to preserve the peace and security of Germany will be blessed by God.

As the Emperor declares the relations of the Empire to foreign powers to be the same they were at the opening of the last session of the Reichstag, it may not be out of place to recall His Majesty’s utterances on this subject on that occasion, on the 25th of November last, which were as follows:

The relations of the German Empire to all other states are friendly and satisfactory. The policy of His Majesty the Emperor unceasingly aims, not only at preserving [Page 385] to the German people the blessings of peace, but also at maintaining unity among all the Powers, by turning to account that influence in the council of Europe accruing to German policy from its approved love of peace, from the confidence of other Governments thus acquired, from the lack of interests of its own in pending questions, and especially from the close friendship uniting His Majesty the Emperor to the courts of his two Imperial neighbors.

The Government bill increasing the peace strength of the German army, defeated in the late Reichstag, will be brought before the newly elected one to-day, with every prospect of being speedily adopted.

I have, etc.,

Chapman Coleman.
  1. Inclosure not printed.