No. 378.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.

No. 588.]

Sir: In my dispatches Nos. 575 and 579 I explained very fully the relations which General Boulanger held to the political campaign in favor of revision of the constitution, in favor of which Mr. Floquet had fully organized his cabinet. The hope I expressed in my No. 575 that General Boulanger would maintain his association with the Republicans was, I thought, well founded, but the violence with which he has been assailed by them tends greatly to dispose him to yield to the solicitations of the Imperialists, most of whom supported him in the late election. Meanwhile Mr. Floquet has with great tact succeeded in uniting the entire Republican party in favor of revision under his direction, which he promises to undertake with the support of the Republican party and without any coalition with or concession to either the Monarchists or Imperialists.

Although the very large vote cast for General Boulanger at the recent election admonished the Republicans that harmony in their ranks was indispensable, and thus secured a vote of confidence for Mr. Floquet by an overwhelming majority, yet it is not difficult to perceive that this union was an enforced union, and may not be continued when the chamber is engaged in the discussion of the questions of revision and dissolution, nor can it be foreseen at this time how parties will divide upon the proposition of General Boulanger to revise the constitution by a constituent assembly or convention, rather than by the action of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies in Congress assembled. This question will be considered at an early day, though there are many Republicans who would like to defer its consideration indefinitely, fearing that the work of reform once undertaken will involve the election of the President as well as the senate by a popular vote, to which all the prominent Republicans who assisted Mr. Theirs in forming the present Government are earnestly opposed.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

Robert M. McLane.