No. 883.
Mr. Bell to Mr. Bayard.

No. 284]

Sir: I have the honor to report that the revised constitution has at last become binding as the fundamental law of the country. The Chambers have adopted it, the King has sanctioned it, the official [Page 1322] journal has published it, and on the 30th ultimo it was solemnly read in the high court of justice at The Hague, also in the courts of justice, in the tribunals, and in the communal houses throughout the Kingdom.

The Chambers will now be dissolved, and will be re-elected conformably to the new provisions before the 1st of April, 1888.

I have the honor to transmit herewith three copies, in the Dutch text, of the law of November 30, 1887, promulgating the revised constitution.*

It will be observed that the most important modifications to the constitution of 1848 relate to the following questions: (1) Succession to the throne; (2) the electoral rights; (3) composition of the States-General; (4) military service.

The Second Chamber, which is now composed of eighty-six members, will hereafter be composed of one hundred members, being one deputy for every 45,000 inhabitants. In place of election every two years the entire Chamber will hereafter be elected every four years.

The First Chamber, which is now composed of thirty-nine members, will hereafter be composed of fifty members, and as at present will be elected by the provincial states.

I have, etc.,

Isaac Bell, Jr.
  1. Not printed herewith.