Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung November 1848

Sittings of the Federal Council and the Council of States

Source: MECW Volume 8, p. 95;
Written: by Engels on November 25, 1848;
First published: in Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 155, November 29, 1848.

Berne, November 25. Yesterday’s sitting of the National Council did not come any nearer to solving the question of the federal capital and, if anything, it made the solution even more remote. It was decided, against the majority, to choose the federal capital not by secret ballot at a joint sitting of the two Councils, but through a law to be deliberated by each Council separately. If this happens a conflict will ensue, as I conjectured earlier, the National Council will choose Berne and the Council of States will choose Zurich. This is admitted by members of both Councils. Unless the Council of States revokes this decision, it is impossible to see how the conflict is to be resolved.

In addition, the federal capital that is to be chosen was placed under obligation to procure and furnish the necessary quarters for the legislative federal assemblies and the Central Government and likewise to provide a mint. After that, unlimited credit facilities were granted to the Federal Council by a large majority. Similar credit was simultaneously granted by the Council of States, and therefore has the force of law.

Today there was first a sitting of the Council of States, then of both Councils jointly, and afterwards of the National Council. At the joint sitting, Druey and Franscini were sworn in as Federal Councillors.

Since I was prevented from attending the sittings, I shall report any further developments of importance tomorrow.