THE SWISS QUARREL.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE SPECTATOR.
People's International League, 84, Hatton Garden, July 26, 1847. Sin—Will you allow me briefly to point out an important error in the article on Switzerland in your paper of .1nly 17; an error which, from such an authority as the Spectator, cannot fail to be mischievous unless contradicted.
The whole tenour of your article seems to intimate, that the contest at present agitating Switzerland is a religious contest, one between Protestant and Catholic, and that the aim of one party is Protestant ascendancy, of the other mere defence of religious liberty. If you will turn to Swiss authorities, you will find that the struggle is not between Catholic and Protestant; but between the Progressive party (both Catholic and Protestant) who desire to make Switzerland a nation, and the Anti-Progressive party who desire to maintain the constitution of 1815 (imposed by the Allies) with all its inequalities, its weaknesses and its viees. You will find that this question of nationality and the repeal of the con- stitution of 1815 'by no means involves any encroachment upon Cantonal liberties, though it would make the nation of more importance than the Canton. Neither does it involve any question of religious liberty : in proof of which, you will see that several Catholic Cantons are ranged with what you call the "Protestant Party," for the expulsion of the Jesuits and the maintenance of the will of the majority—the repeatedly-expressed will of the large majority of Swiss, sanctioned by the matureat deliberation and by the voices of the majority of the Cantonal representatives. It is a political, not a religious question. The religions phase of it is but one act of the drama. The real guestaon is, whether Switzerland shall be a nation or not. The great majority of the people demand the first, have power to carry their demand; the minority will probably invoke the support of foreign powers, to uphold the constitution of 1815. • •
Despotic Austria may possibly answer that appeal, and aid a rebellious mi- nority to oppose the established government of the country. France may join hands with Austria, and the Citizen King resent the endeavour of a people to choose their own government. But I should hope that England will not be found supporting Jesuitism under pretence of religious liberty, or maintaining Austrian and Prussian interference in Swiss affairs for the sake of the old, outworn, and broken treaty of Vienna. The Swiss question is a domestic question. France, Austria, and England, have no right of intervention there. '11Che true and only ground for England's interference will be to prevent the interference of Austria and France. I trust in such case she will manage matters more honestly than of late in Portugal, and send her diplomatic protest not to Berne, but to Paris and Vienna.
I am Sir, your obedient servant, W. J. Luswors. [Our view of the whole matter is stated frankly in the Political Summary at the beginning of this paper.—ED.]