Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung December 1848

Berne Declared Federal Capital. — Franscini

Source: MECW Volume 8, p. 112;
Written: by Engels on November 28, 1848;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 158, December 2, 1848.

Berne, November 28. At today’s sitting of the National Council Berne was declared the federal capital by 58 votes to 42. All that is now needed is the ratification of the Council of States, which in the opinion of the Berne public is a foregone conclusion. There will be a sitting of the Council of States at 4 o'clock this afternoon, when it will take a decision on this matter. As the post goes at half past four, it will be impossible for me to send a report today on the outcome of this sitting.

At yesterday’s sitting the Council of States ratified the National Council’s decision on the Tessin question without amending it, which means that it has force of law. In the debate, which was somewhat long drawn out, Federal Councillor Franscini, who arrived the day before, particularly distinguished himself with a speech in support of the Tessiners. Carteret of Geneva also spoke out energetically in support of the Italian refugees and protested against their being referred to as “culprits” in this assembly, whereas they deserved the sympathy of all Swiss people for their aspirations and their struggles. It was indeed by demonstrating such active sympathy that the Tessiners proved that they were genuinely Swiss. In spite of this and several other vigorous protestations, especially against Article 2, which deprives Tessin of the right to grant asylum, the decision of the National Council was, as I have said, ratified in its entirety by a sizeable majority. Here too the German cantons were the decisive factor, even though a few German deputies also supported the Tessiners in the Council of States.