to Mr. Bayard.
Stockholm, January 20, 1887. (Received February 10.)
Sir: On yesterday at noon His Majesty, attended by members of the royal family, his personal suite, the ministers of state, and all the high functionaries of the Kingdom, in presence of the diplomatic corps and the members of the two chambers, opened the annual session of the Riksdagen.
The address delivered from the Throne was brief, its delivery not consuming more time than fifteen minutes.
The subjects touched upon are of a purely domestic nature, there being no foreign question that in any way menaces or disturbs the peace and integrity of the United Kingdoms.
The paramount question, into the discussion of which there has been interjected a good deal of bitterness, is the tariff question. While His Majesty refrained from alluding to the subject, he, as well as his ministry, are free traders, and any change in the present system would lead to the resignation of the ministry, and commit Sweden to the protective theory.
The duty proposed will especially affect breadstuffs and meats.
The country at present is suffering from a very great depression in all its commercial and manufacturing interests without much outlook for improvement.
The protectionists insist that this condition of things is the result of the present custom laws, and the arguments have made some headway the past year.
It is not improbable, therefore, that during the present session of the Riksdag, Sweden will make a radical change in her present tariff regulations.
I have, etc.,