Mr. Judd to Mr. Seward
Sir: Your despatch No. 85, dated February 7, 1865, is received. The differences between the Prussian administration and the house of representatives, so far from being compromised or adjusted, increase in their intensity, and the hope of a return to constitutional rule and to a condition in which the representatives of the people shall exercise some influence and control over the expenditures of the government is exhausted.
At the last court ball Herr von Bismarck said to me that he saw no prospect of an agreement between the ministry and the house. That body is at present debating the budget for the purpose, as I suppose, of diffusing information among the people, and the result of the vote, when that is taken, will be its rejection in the form presented by the government, and the ministry will continue to carry on the affairs of state according to their own will and pleasure, its only responsibility being to his Majesty.
The negotiations between Prussia and Austria, in relation to the Schleswig-Holstein question, “drag their slow length along,” apparently no nearer a termination than they were six months since. Herr von Bismarck’s masterly inactivity’ still leaves the administration of the duchies in his hands, and the Prussianizing process is going on, not apparently with much success. A favorable result could hardly be expected with the known feelings of a majority of the people of the duchies. Still this entire Schleswig-Holstein business has been from the beginning a series of lucky accidents in aid of Prussian experimental policy. There are those that believe the finality will place the duchies substantially and really under the control of Prussia, although formal annexation may not be proclaimed. It is true, Austria has just refused to agree to propositions made by Herr von Bismarck to that effect, but this will not preclude further transaction, and not occasion a rupture, as Austria fears a total disagreement with Prussia in the present attitude of Italian affairs, and Herr von Bismarck knows it. As long as that continues, the negotiations can end in only one way, and that is, by the concession of all that Prussia desires.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.