The German Reichstag was opened on Thursday ; but the
speech from the Throne revealed nothing, the Emperor only saying that the relations of Germany to all other States are "friendly and satisfactory," and that he sought to obtain unity among the Powers by using the influence which the Empire naturally possessed from its love of peace, "and lack of interest of its own in pending questions." This is understood to mean that Prince Bismarck is mediating between Austria and Russia. The main business of the Session will be to pass the military law which grants to the Emperor an increased Army for seven years from May, 1888, the increase to commence from 1887. Under this Bill, the Army on a peace footing, which is half the war footing, will be raised from 427,000 men to 468,000 men, the increase including twenty-four new batteries of artillery. In the expose des motifs which accompanies the Bill, this enormous increase is declared to be indispensable to the safety of the oonntry,—France having prodigiously increased her Army ; while that of Russia, which is much cheaper man for man, now costs nearly double that of Germany. The rulers of Germany are probably right, for the danger of a Franco-Russian alliance is considerable ; but it is well that there is a positive limit to enlistments. You cannot have more soldiers in a country than there are young men in it, otherwise the German Army might in 1900 be counted by millions, supported wholly by the labour of the women.