Mr. Runyon to Mr. Gresham.
Berlin, March 18, 1895. (Received March 30.)
Sir: On Tuesday last, March 12, the meeting of a select committee of the Prussian Council of State (Staatsrath) for the consideration of agricultural and economic matters was opened by the German Emperor in his capacity of King of Prussia in a speech, in which he referred to the continued unfavorable condition of agriculture, and to the desire that some means be found which, without prejudicing other legitimate interests or violating treaty obligations, might remove so far as possible the burdens weighing upon it; might counteract the existing depression, and might more nearly accommodate to each other the widely different views which prevail as to what is possible or attainable in this direction.
The Council of State is a body introduced into the Prussian governmental system by the decree of March 20, 1817, the character of which was subsequently modified by the decree of January 6, 1848. It is a deliberative body and is composed of the male members of the royal family, the ministers of state, certain of the commanding generals and high civil officials, and others, specially called by the King to participate in its deliberations, and is divided into several special committees. Its decisions and resolutions, etc., passed by it have weight only as being of an advisory character.
The proceedings of the special committee now sitting are secret, but it has been announced that measures for raising the price of grain, the increase of the bounties paid for exported sugar, etc., and also the currency question have been discussed at the daily meetings over which the Emperor has presided, and on Saturday evening, March 16, the official Berliner Correspondenz published the text of a resolution on the subject of the currency question, which had been adopted at the meeting of the day before, a copy of which, with translation, is herewith inclosed.
I have, etc.,