4 AUGUST 1860, Page 1

Through M. Thonvenel, France has proposed, and through the Count

Bernard de Rechberg, Austria has agreed, that Spain should henceforward be included in the rank of European " Powers." This is a species of promotion which has not here- tofore been regarded as a purely titular affair. The powers of Europe are so called because they are powerful ; they are the leaders of Europe because, when they are agreed, they have the strength to lead. Spain is actually of no higher rank in Europe than Holland ; morally and politically she is scarcely so im- portant as Belgium or Portugal ; and financially she has stood at a tremendous discount. We are, however, reconciled to the pro- posal on two grounds,—first, that if Spain be admitted now, Italy must soon enter as a matter of course ; and secondly, that it seems so far a step towards that grand desideratum, a perma- nent, or at least a periodical, Congress of Europe.