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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the forty-fifth Congress, 1879-'80
(1879-1880)

Switzerland,   pp. 965-976 PDF (5.0 MB)


Page 966


966                     FOREIGN RELATIONS.
tempt on the Emperor's life, General de Roeder did make a representa-
tion to this government+ and that in presenting it to the President he
used very decided language to the latter.
  The recent attempts on the lives of the Kings of Spain and Italy, the
throwing of bombs in Florence and Pisa, and the spread of the doctrines
of the "Internationale 1 have naturally created great alarm throughout
the monarchies of Europe.
   The Spanish charg6 d'affaires, Viscount de la Vega (at one time secre-
tary of legation in Washington), in whose veracity I have the most im-
plicit faith, told me shortly after the attempt on King Alphonso's life
that he had obtained from Geneva, some time before that occurrence,
information that such an attempt would be made, and that similar in-
formation had been obtained by the Spanish embassy at Paris. The
-newspapers report that the Italian embassy in Paris had information of
the attempt on King Humbert's life before that event.
   These reports, and the almost simultaneous outbreak of the crime of
regicide, have naturally increased the bitterness against Socialists, and
have created a great hostility to the asylum which Switzerland, by her
geographical position and free institutions, so readily furnishes to politi-
cal refugees of all nations.
  On the 23d ultimo the telegrams reported that the Correspondencia of
Madrid stated that several cabinets of Europe had informed the Swiss
Government "4that they should recall their representatives at Berne
if
Switzerland continued to receive the anarchists of all countries." This
was immediately denied by the Swiss President by means of the press,
and the following day the telegram from Madrid announced, "Although
the President of the Swiss Confederation has not yet received any com-
munication, pour parlers exist between the powers with a view that Swit-
zerland should put a stop to the tolerance which she shows toward the
anarchists." The same reports were likewise circulated by the more
reliable Epoca of Madrid.
   If the original story, which was undoubtedly exaggerated, was made
 of whole cloth, the last telegram was an ingenious method of covering
 up the fact.
   On the 27th ultimo an article appeared in the Bund, of this city, which,
 if not an official organ of this government, is in such relations with the
 political department as to entitle its expressions to great credit, defining
 its views of the right of asylum.
   Dining that day by the side of the chief of the department of justice
and police, he asked me if we had had any recurrence of the riots and
communistic strikes of the summer of 1877, and whether the communist
party had made any headway with us. I said that while we had not
been free from strikes, we had, however, no repetition of the riots and#
disorders of August, 1877, and that in my opinion communism was not
to be feared with us; that it had lost rather than gained ground since
then. His answer was significant: "And that without the enactment of
laws or repressive police measures." He seemed to envy us our freedomn
from the scourge, and our position of strength compared with other
nations. *   *  *   The Bund announces Switzerland's position as to
the right of asylum as follows:
  Switzerland should maintain in all circumstances, and defend with all her
strength
her right of asylum, in whatever concerns the protection that she should
accord to the
proscribed amnd persecuted. On the other hand, she should act with energy
against
the agitators without conscience, and the professed honorable c+ut-throats,
who under
the mantle of the asylnin practice their nefarious andI shameless industry
with energy.
She will maintain the right of asylnai, but will know how to take care that
the same


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