No. 534.
Mr. Bell to Mr. Bayard.

No. 259.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that for several months past the states-general have been engaged in the discussion of the bill revising the constitution.

[Page 904]

The bill as finally adopted has now received the royal assent, and under the provisions of the present constitution new chambers will-have to be elected to ratify this revision.

Four important questions were considered during the discussion:

The succession to the throne.
The organization of the army.
Primary instruction.
Parliamentary franchise.

Article 12 of the existing constitution has been so modified as to permit the Crown to pass to all the descendants of a collateral line in case it has once passed into the house of the same collateral line.

The organization of the army will henceforth be subject to parliamentary control.

The third question, relative to the proposition respecting primary instruction, gave rise to a long debate between the partisans of neutral public schools and the partisans of private schools.

During the discussion the Government did not pronounce in a positive manner upon the proposition, which had for its object the abolition of neutral public schools.

The proposition was rejected by a majority of 27 against 11.

The proposition to extend the parliamentary franchise was adopted by a vote of 26 against 11, the number of electors being so increased from about 140,000 to 300,000.

The chambers of the states-general adjourn to-morrow, and elections take place in early September.

In event of the new chambers ratifying the revision I will forward a comp ete copy of the constitution.

I have, etc.,

Isaac Bell, Jr.