Mr. Egan to Mr. Blaine.

No. 159.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a translation of the address of His Excellency the President of the Republic, delivered at the opening of the national Congress on the 20th of April ultimo, in which will be found a very full statement of the case of the Government in the present unhappy dispute.

I have, etc.,

Patrick Egan.

Opening of the National Congress April 20, 1891.—Speech of President Balmaceda.

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies:

As you are aware, extraordinary occurrences have profoundly affected the public welfare.

The traditions of peace, moderation, and sound sense which distinguished home politics have been broken, and the loyalty of the sailors whose duty it was to maintain order in the interior of the Republic and the external security of the State has also been broken.

On the 7th of January last the squadron lying in Valparaiso Bay abandoned its anchorage, disobeying the commandant-general of marine, Rear-Admiral Williams, and carrying on board the vice-president of the Senate and the president of the [Page 113] Chamber of Deputies. A few hours after the consummation of this occurrence, without precedent in the naval history of Chile, the squadron returned to Valparaiso in full revolt, in rebellion against its constitutional chiefs, in command of men who on the day previous had not the command of a vessel, and exciting the army and the people to rebel against the constituted authorities.

The army, faithful to the traditions of loyalty and honor which have strengthened the public powers and exalted the nation before the civilized world, has remained at the post of duty.

The people contemplated with surprise the conduct of the navy, which they considered was consecrated principally to maintain the external prestige of the Republic, and, sympathizing with the cause of order and with the Government which has endeavored to instruct them by actively fomenting primary instruction and to enrich them by increasing their salaries by the execution of works superior to those undertaken by all previous administrations, hastened to enroll themselves in the army and refused to assist the revolutionists who requested the people’s favors and invoked its name.

After three months of revolution there has been no riot, no tumult, nor a single popular movement in favor of the rising initiated by the navy in possession of the ocean.

The squadron has not been able to penetrate with its hosts into the populated territory of the Republic, where there exist great social interests and true public opinion. In order to operate with efficacy, it has had to blockade northern ports, to bombard and burn unfortified towns, and to employ against the cosmopolitan population of Tarapacá greater rigor and more firing than it cost Chile to wrest that territory from a foreign power.

The northern provinces being cut off from the central by the sea, which is in the power of the revolted squadron, and the most extensive and sterile deserts in the world, the squadron after seven sanguinary battles has been able to take possession of the nitrate region of our territory.

The squadron has not been able to overthrow the constituted Government. It has proved in exchange that it has resources sufficient to disturb the public order, which was the fundamental base of our institutions, and valor sufficient to shed the blood of Chileans and to bring upon society and numberless homes misfortunes and afflictions.

The navy could not deliberate, because the constitution prohibits it from doing so, and it ought ever to obey the President of the Republic, because the constitution orders it to do so; nevertheless it declared itself firstly in favor of the pretended delegation of Congress, to constitute afterwards the military dictatorship which has subjected the supposed delegation of Congress.

This pretended delegation has not existed with any kind of title to proceed in the name of Congress.

Since October last Congress has not been able to meet constitutionally, because it has not been convoked to session, and because, in the orbit of our legal framework, the President of the Republic alone has power to convoke it.

Nor did it meet by its own act and in fact, because since October, when it was closed, until January 7, when the resolution broke out, it held no public nor secret sitting, nor did its presidents invite it to assemble in session, nor did senators and deputies receive the customary citations; because there was no debate, no agreement, no voting; because no act has been executed which unites the conditions without which there can not be a session of Congress, whether it be according to right or simply by force.

It is said that there is an act signed by some revolutionists who were members of Congress; but a large portion of the members of this very corporation are not acquainted with it, nor have they seen it, and up to this moment it is also unknown to all Chileans, because, as the said act is the fruit of a hidden resolution, the authors of it have not had the courage to publish it and exhibit it as a document which might be judged by the upright criterion of Chilean patriotism.

The truth of the matter is that a considerable portion of the members of both chambers revolted on January 7 against the constitution and the laws, and that it can not invoke the authority due to the representatives of the people, because by revolutionizing the country and converting itself de facto into an executive power, dictatorial and in arms, it has produced a revolution which demolishes its own existence and the peace, wealth, and welfare of Chile.

The revolution has not been engendered by the people, but by political circles with a seat in Congress, animated by different ideas, with numerous and distinct leaders, and with no closer relation to each other than the sole ambition to the direction and supreme command of the State.

We are suffering from an antidemocratic revolution, initiated by a centralized and small social class, which believes it is called by its personal relations and wealth to be the chosen and directing group in the Government of Chile. Hence arises the want [Page 114] of uniformity of ideas and sentiments with the people; and above all in the provinces and departments away from the capital of the Republic, in which every Chilean has a clearer notion of political equality, of civil duties, and of virtues which elevate citizens by their intelligence and services.

In order to appreciate with exactitude the painful contest in which we are involved, it is necessary to characterize it according to its true antecedents.


The conflict has been engendered by the ambition of leaders and of circles, by the incessant splitting up of the Liberal party, by cumulative voting—the generator of parties represented by simple political individualities, and by the excessive number of senators and deputies in 3,000,000 of inhabitants.

The Liberal party has lacked unity of ideas, of direction, and of procedure, which per se could render it apt for the governing of Chile. For this reason it has always required auxiliary forces, either of the Conservatives or of other nearly allied political groups, notwithstanding the different disposition and the direction of the leaders, who have represented, by their traditions and spirit of absorption, essentially personal tendencies.

The excessive number of senators and of deputies and the cumulative vote have fomented the disintegration of the Liberal party, disorganized traditional and historical parties, and produced deplorable anarchy in Congress.

Under the shadow of the political uncertainty created by the diversity and inconsistency of personal circles, ambitions sterilizing to parliamentary labor and fatally calculated to produce general disorder have been developed.

The Errázuriz administration, so energetic and vigorous during nearly the whole of its term, found itself, toward its conclusion, through the action of the cumulative system of voting, with Congress in which there militated six different groups and individualities without any fixed political affiliation.

The Pinto administration suffered the consequences of that dislocation of men and parties.

The parliamentary oscillations and ministerial changes were frequent, so that, if the war of 1879 had not occurred, that administration would have terminated in the midst of the disasters which were being prepared for it by events.

Presidential elections have cut up the Liberal party and have carried the Republic to situations of extreme danger.

At the conclusion of President Pinto’s term, notwithstanding that the country was at war, the cutting up and the anarchy of the Liberals with respect to the choice of a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic would have created revolt, if Gen. Baquedano had not eliminated his person from the electoral contest.

Five years later, and at the expiration of the Santa Maria administration, there occurred in Congress, owing to the designation of the Liberal candidate, events of a singularly grave character.

Sundry Liberal circles allied with the Conservatives obstructed the budget in January, 1886, and only by an act of courage on the part of the parliamentary majority was the constitutional régime saved, the obstruction being overcome by breaking through the meshes of the rules of that branch of the legislature.

Elected President of Chile, it became my duty as an act of foresight as the chief magistrate of state to trace a policy and a line of conduct that would avert at the conclusion of my term of office the dangers that threatened previous administrations.

Exclusive government with the fractions of the Liberal party that had elevated me to power might have carried me involuntarily to a régime of personal government, and it would certainly have brought about a Liberal-Conservative coalition in the opposition. I, therefore, adopted a policy of patriotic reconciliation, in which, upon the basis of the party which elected me, all the Liberals might have a place. I also hoped that my respect for the members and the autonomy of the Conservative party would render possible a government of peace, of labor, and of real national aggrandizement.

The organization of the Lillo ministry was the outcome of this desire; but two months had barely passed when a boisterous disagreement occurred among the Liberals in the Chamber of Deputies, and the party that elected me was reduced to a minority, a good number of its members proceeding to act in accord with the Liberal-Conservative coalition.

The Lillo ministry disappeared, and the Antúnez ministry was organized. This ministry purposed uniting the Liberal party by the profession of the same ideas and by the same procedure.

There and then the Nationals declared from the cabinet itself to the country at large that their party had ceased to exist in order that its members might become [Page 115] incorporated, as mere individuals, in the Liberal party. With the object of rendering this policy more practical and of inspiring all Liberals with the same degree of confidence, the Antúnez ministry ceded the reins of government to the cabinet organized by Mr. Zañartu, in which all the Liberals were represented.

Shortly afterwards a considerable portion of the Liberals who were represented in the ministry by the late lamented Messrs. Miguel Luis Amuntágui and Manuel Garcia de la Huerta mutinied in the Chamber of Deputies against their own leaders, and they agreed to a vote of censure moved by the Conservative party against the Zañartu ministry.

All the Liberals were hardly reunited when they commenced anew to split and break up.

After the elections of 1888 the segregation of the Liberals, who had remained united in order to secure electoral peace, took place in a most unusual manner. The Nationals again raised a party banner, after having secured in Congress a representation they had not had since they left power in 1861. Owing to this circumstance the dispersed Liberals, the Radicals, and the Government Liberal party returned to their former shape and to their inevitable pretensions.

The ministry designed for the unification of the Liberal party disappeared before the Congress elected under its direction met.

Experience and my natural adhesion to the party which elected me counseled me to return to the political center with which I initiated my administration, with the object of organizing out of it a ministry of Liberals in which the Nationals might be represented in such a manner as not to awaken the mistrust and the resistance of its numerous adversaries. The Nationals refused to form part of the ministry, although their coöperation might be considered as imposed upon them by the most obvious political signification.

Since that date all my efforts for the unification of the Liberal party have been fruitless.

From June, 1888, till October, 1889, the different fractions of the Liberal party and the personal circles of Congress have been in a state of permanent quarrel, attacking and breaking up each other in a most irreconcilable manner. They who were divided by ambition were at length united by ambition in order definitely to secure to themselves a majority in Congress and with it absolute predominance in Government councils.

Being desirous of amending a state of affairs so opposed to public tranquillity, a ministry, with the consent of all the Liberals in Congress, was organized in October, 1889. In fifteen days there was another crisis. The cabinet having been reconstructed, serious disagreements occurred among parliamentary circles with respect to the bases of a convention to nominate a candidate for the Presidency and of votes in the Chamber of Deputies which brought about the rupture of the coalition ministry. From that date there arose between the congressional majority and the executive power a struggle having for its object the subordination of the liberty and action of the President of the Republic to the will and designs of a coalition composed of divided political groups, with opposing leaders and tendencies, but all united to lower the dignity and authority of the chief of the nation.

The motive assigned for these strange demands was a pretended official candidature for the Presidency.

The distinguished citizen to whom the favors of the Government were gratuitously imputed renounced in May last all support from his fellow-citizens to exalt him to the supreme magistracy, and he organized a ministry, presided over by himself, in order to give practical testimony of the public compromise he had contracted.

That ministry was censured before being heard in Congress, all the considerations of honor and respect which up to that moment had been observed toward the representatives of the executive power in Parliament being thus violated.

This attitude, without precedent in the history of the world, was followed by the postponement of the discussion of the law which authorizes the recovery of taxes for as long as the President did not sacrifice his constitutional prerogatives or did not consent to appoint ministers selected by and in the confidence of Congress.

This conflict was terminated by the resignation of the May ministry and the organization of another composed of persons foreign to the political contest.

This patriotic solution was on the point of being frustrated by the incredible demand that I should give my assent to the loss of the revenue during the forty-three days that the budget was postponed. But administrative honesty and the public revenue were saved, and the Prats ministry was organized, and the electoral law prepared by the allied groups was promulgated. In the said law they adopted every measure calculated to protect their interests from any possible intervention from the agents of the Executive.

The law having been promulgated, the inscription of the electors was made in perfect order.

[Page 116]

At this moment the contest broke out anew.

The allied circles learned in a practical manner that they did not possess the majority of the taxpayers to constitute the electoral power, nor that of the electors.

This revelation of the superiority of the strength of the Government Liberal party, notwithstanding the bill which the coalition had passed for their benefit, disconcerted the allies and shook the ministry of the day.

It was difficult to observe in practice a, neutral policy, in consequence of inevitable party demands, and rather than commence a struggle the ministry resigned.

Following their advice, and inspiring myself in the lofty duties that the situation imposed on my love of Chile and public peace, I requested the distinguished citizens Messrs. Enrique S. Sanfuentes, Anibal Zañartu, and José Tocornal to approach all the political parties and groups and request their coöperation to resolve in a definite manner the political question which was agitating men’s minds. I asked them, in consequence, that the question of the candidature of the Presidency of the Republic should be decided by a sole convention, in the manner and form to be agreed upon by political parties, but recommending on my part the convenience of stipulating for the election of a candidate such a considerable majority of votes as would place the President of the Republic in such a position as to render it impossible for him to interfere directly or indirectly in the resolutions of the convention.

As a consequence of the sole convention, a ministry which would be a pledge of confidence for all parties would be appointed.

The idea of a sole convention, was accepted for a moment and was rejected immediately afterwards. The majority of the parliamentary groups demanded that I should previously organize a ministry.

I proposed in the act a ministry in which there figured three persons of recognized authority in the coalition of the parliamentary majority, and three others of the Government Liberal party, whose characters and antecedents entitled them to the respect of all.

This basis for a ministerial organization was also rejected.

These occurrences appear incredible, nevertheless they are true and are publicly known to all Chileans.

The coalition of the parliamentary majority desired to precipitate me from the position to which I was called by the vote of my fellow-citizens, or that I should submit myself unconditionally to its designs. After rejecting every reasonable proposal, the coalition resolved to open on the following day a new and violent parliamentary campaign.

I closed Congress, hoping that a little reflection and calm might produce in the groups forming the coalition arrangements reciprocally respectful and equitable; but the overflow had occurred, and we had to support its deplorable consequences.

The Comision Conservadora (parliamentary consultative committee*) convoked itself to a session to which access was given to all the members of Congress, in order that they might contribute to keep up discussions which form the saddest page in the parliamentary history of Chile.

I will not elevate to the dignity of the post I hold, nor to the dignity belonging to these precincts, the designs and the aberrations disclosed at the sittings of that corporation. I prefer to cover them with the silence and the oblivion which in the journey of life sustains us in order that we may not despair of man’s patriotism and virtue.


On the 1st and even on the 7th of January I found myself in the same condition in which many of my predecessors had found themselves, and in which I was myself in 1887—without the estimates and the bill providing for the land and sea forces having been passed.

This circumstance should not serve as a foundation for a revolution, because it had occurred periodically in former years. The revolt initiated on January 7 was the result of the resolution adopted beforehand by the majority of the parliamentary groups, which aimed at unconditional and absolute predominance in the management of the Government.

Deriving from the constitution the duty of governing the State and of extending my authority to everything having for its object the internal security of the nation, I had to assume the necessary powers to restrain the armed revolt and the attitude of the majority of Congress, which labored to overthrow our institutions, and established order.

I have collected together the necessary elements for the defense and triumph of the principle of authority in Chile, without which nothing solid or lasting can be undertaken in the future.

[Page 117]

Circumstances have placed us in the painful position of having to arrest the leaders and agitators of the revolt or to send them away from the scene of actual occurrences.

The sitting of courts of justice when revolution is ripe and where the constituted government is not recognized, being calculated to create conflicts, because the former exercises a military dictatorship and of fact and the latter has to practice discretional and extraordinary proceedings, the superior courts have been closed until the actual state of affairs which causes so much injury to the Republic shall cease.

Finally, the revolution being encouraged and sustained by the parliamentary majority, this has been dissolved by its own doing and de facto, and therefore it was indispensably necessary to convoke the people for the election of a constitutional Congress.

The elections have taken place in perfect peace and order, and with a large attendance of electors of different opinions in twenty out of the twenty-two provinces of the Republic.

Thirty of the thirty-two members constituting the Senate have been elected, and eighty-eight out of the ninety-two deputies to be elected under the last electoral law.


I desire now to state the ends to which, in my opinion, the constituent Congress should devote itself.

If the full and complete constitutional reform which I proposed to Congress last year had been realized, we should have laid the foundations of representative government, created provincial autonomy, and established upon an immovable base the liberty and independence of the powers of state; we should have opened out more extended horizons to the intelligent and well-ordered efforts of political parties; and we should most certainly have averted revolution.

The constituent Congress having been called together in consequence of well-defined causes, a moderate reform designed to remove the causes which originated the conflict will be preferable, perhaps, to any other.


The license of the press has reached in our day to a pitch to which it has never arrived in any country of the world. Not only the Government and public men, but society and families have been attacked in the whirlwind of political passion. In 1886 the opposition of that date proposed a reform designed to prevent such a pernicious abuse. Since then the license of the press has descended in the scale of scandal, and has come to be one of the causes of the trouble which afflicts peaceful and honest Chileans.

I am of opinion that the principle by virtue of which all have the liberty of publishing their opinions in the press without previous censorship should be maintained. But at the same time there ought to be no other offenses of the press than those which are laid down in the penal code, nor other justice than the ordinary to punish them in the form prescribed by the common laws.

In this manner there would be obtained true liberty of the press, and the responsibility of those who abuse this liberty by offending without reason or truth the rights and dignity of others or public morals could be made effective.

As the laws relating to the budget, the quartering of troops in the place where Congress sits, the strength of the land and sea forces, of public order and those necessary for the existence of the executive power are constitutional laws, consequently it ought not to be left to the option of one of the powers of state to dictate them or not, or, in other words, to absorb the other powers and thus constitute a de facto dictatorship.

Taxes ought to be permanent, and their abolition or modification ought to be effected by law in the ordinary manner and only with relation to the equality of the impost and national convenience.

The law to permit troops to reside within 10 leagues of the place of meeting of Congress is at this day, when railways connected with the capital diminish distances, unnecessary. And the law providing for the strength of the land and sea forces is without object, inasmuch as in the yearly estimates the sum destined for the service of the army and navy is stated.

The only annual law on these matters ought to be the estimates, which should consist of the fixed expenditure, that provided for by special laws, and variable expenditure. The first would serve to fix the total amount of the estimates and would not be debated. The variable expenditure only would be subject to debate.

The estimates would be debated and passed by Congress during the term of the regular session, and when this from any circumstance whatever should not happen the estimates of the previous year would be adopted and considered as passed.

[Page 118]

This form of presenting and debating the estimates is adopted in the most advanced countries, and even in some of those in which the strictest parliamentary régime obtains.

It ought not to be accepted in any case that Congress or a majority of its members may decline to discuss and approve fixed expenditure of a permanent character and of that emanating from laws previously passed by Congress. The power to suppress or not pass this expenditure would presuppose public disorganization and disorder. The same thing does not happen with variable expenditure, upon which the fullest liberty of discussion and criterion is permissible. The discussion or the refusal to grant this class of expenditure may be a prudent and indirect means of influence in the councils of government, but never a perturbing element of public peace or the disturber of established order.

Parliamentary criticism, the refusal to authorize variable expenditure, the impeachment of ministers when they infringe the constitution or the laws, are the means with which in a representative system, of liberty and of independence of the public powers, the legislative power may influence, moderate, or remove ministers from the direction of public business.

When a reform of this kind is carried into effect in Chile, the peace of the powers of state will have been established and consolidated forever. It will also be the only manner in which Chilean governments will cease to take an interest in electoral contests.

It is a profound error to believe that a change of men in the Government alters the traditions and the political manner of being of parties in Chile. The most determined advocates of the nonintervention of government in elections, are only so until they are in power. I make this affirmation founded upon the conviction acquired during a lengthened experience and an intimate acquaintance with men and parties in this country.

Neither the most wisely conceived electoral law, nor the most upright intentions, nor communal autonomy, will change the system or the nature of things. Communal autonomy in the hands of the Government or the parish priest would be the most powerful instrument of electoral intervention that could be devised to frustrate liberty of suffrage.

Governments will cease to interfere in elections in Chile, in the manner and form which they wish who sincerely desire the government of the people for the people, when the existence of the executive power depends solely upon the constitution and the laws and does not fluctuate in favor of the passions or the currents of interest of unstable and fleeting majorities of Congress without organized parties, without cohesion, and without discipline.

So long as the executive power needs for its existence the annual favor of Congress, and so long as political leaders and personal groups can, by combinations of the moment, organize majorities to overthrow or raise ministries, it will be a chimera to expect the absolute nonintervention of the executive power in the formation of Congresses upon which it depends indirectly for its own existence.

When the President of the Republic and the ministers of state shall not depend upon Congress in all which constitutes the stability of the executive power, and they shall be able to govern without any other limit than that prescribed by the constitution and laws, and they shall be able to live and serve the Republic with no other interest than that of the common prosperity, then the hour of wished-for electoral liberty will have arrived.

Neither presidents nor ministers will be found who will care to expose themselves to the hazards of a struggle, and who will voluntarily compromise themselves in a contest which can not affect the life or the normal existence of the executive power.

This, in my opinion, is the manner to remove the causes which have originated the conflict we to-day deplore.

Do not forget it, Messieurs Senators and Deputies; let not my fellow-citizens forget it, whatsoever may be the destiny reserved for us in the-future. This is the only manner to reestablish cordiality between Congress and the Executive, equilibrium between public powers, and the liberty and responsibility of the functionaries who hold and discharge the duties of those positions.

If the reform should not be realized in the manner I have the honor to indicate to you, your labor will not be lasting and time will very soon obliterate the marks of your passage through the precincts of the hall of law.

The actual contest must terminate some day, and it is necessary, after the sufferings it has imposed upon our convictions or our duties, that the peace of the public powers may be assured in a regular and definite form.

The abolition of the council of state is another reform which is advocated and supported by all political parties.

This institution does not correspond with a representative system, and therefore it ought to be eliminated, in conformity with the system proposed for your adoption

Sundry questions of jurisdiction or competency between the President of the Republic [Page 119] and his agents and the judicial power, or between the legislature, the Executive, and the judiciary, with respect to the constitutionality of the laws, have created very serious conflicts, and finally there is the question arising out of the convocation of this constituent Congress.

It would be advisable to create a special tribunal, composed of three persons appointed by the President of the Republic, three by Congress, and three by the supreme court, to decide without recourse conflicts between the powers in the cases and in the form prescribed in the constitution.

It is neither natural nor just that in conflicts between public powers any one of these should be the one to decide the dispute, because in this manner there is created a supremacy of authority to the detriment of the others, nor will it ever be proper that one only of the public powers be judge and party to the suit.

The organization of the judicial power requires, perhaps, your most serious consideration and study.

But taking into consideration the exceptional circumstances by which we are surrounded, I simply point out those reforms without which the conflict of to-day will inevitably be repeated periodically.

These are the cardinal reforms which I consider are rendered necessary by the force of circumstances.

If in the present conflict we should confine our efforts to the vanquishment of the adversaries of the constituted authorities, our labor would be insignificant and unworthy of statesmen. Our duty is to restore public order and to give, by permanent constitutional prescriptions, rational and legal solution to past conflicts and the avoidance of others in the future.

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies, I have no desire to enumerate the labors of the administration over which I have “had the honor to preside. My fellow-citizens can bear testimony to them.

There is not a single department of our territory which has not received its share of benefit in the distribution of the activity and wealth of the State. I have procured a tranquil and equitable solution to the grave and numerous questions which affected our foreign relations, and I have maintained with his holiness and the representatives of the church in Chile a policy of cordiality and of the most absolute respect.

Since the day I entered upon the duties of my office I have devoted every moment of my life to the progress and enrichment of my fellow-citizens, and to the aggrandizement of the Republic. My acknowledgments are due to all those who in the administration of the Government have assisted me in my vast and active labors. I owe them especially to all those who in hours of danger and of trial have given me their friendship, the remembrance of which I shall preserve as a generous recompense for the deceptions I have suffered in governing the nation.

I have still to say to the army and to the navy who have remained faithful to their constitutional chiefs, that I have always found them in the path of honor, and that with their loyalty and abnegation they will save the actual Government, and they will be the secure shield of future administrations. They who maintained intact subordination and military discipline will always be deserving of confidence.

Many good men, under the command of the valiant Col. Robles and of his comrades Villagran, Mendez, and Ruminot, have fallen nobly on the field of battle. Their blood will bear fruit, because oftentimes national institutions are only sustained and consolidated by the sacrifice of their defenders.

Like ourselves, future generations will point to them as generous victims and as examples which the soldier ought to follow in the fulfillment of his military duties.

About to descend from power, I shall return to private life, as I entered upon the Presidency, without hatred or ill-will, which is foreign to the rectitude of my character and unworthy of the chief of a state.

It is true that few rulers have had to suffer like myself such unmerited and gratuitous inculpations. Nevertheless, I have never on this account lost my serenity or the perfect tranquillity of my conscience. I am accustomed to confront the injustice of men.

After the fury of the storm will come the calm, and, as nothing durable can be founded by injustice and violence, the actors in the tremendous drama which is taking place in the territory of the Republic will receive, according to their deserts, their share of honor, reprobation, or responsibility.

I rely tranquilly on the help of God, who presides over the destinies of nations, and who penetrates our inmost thoughts. May He be pleased to enlighten the patriotism of all Chileans, and to guide your sagacity and wisdom by the way which may lead to the paths of order and to a final solution of the misfortunes and of the conflict which to-day divides the Chilean family.

J. M. Balmaceda.
  1. A consultative joint committee of both houses which represents Congress during a recess.