15 MAY 1880, Page 3

Prince Bismarck is in trouble again. He wants the Free

Cities —Hamburg, Bremen, and Liibeck—to give up their privilege of being Free ports, and devised a way to make them. He proposed to cut off a bit of Hamburg, and then to put the Imperial Custom-house officers between Hamburg and the sea. They could not tax Hamburg goods, but they could worry importers. Hamburg resisted, on constitutional grounds, declaring her con- sent necessary, which the Chancellor admitted, but said her con- sent was not necessary to a new demarcation of area,—a remark as absurd as if he had said that a man had a right to his field, but the police could reduce its area. The Reichstag hesitated, and Prince Bismarck went down himself and made a tremendous speech, declaring that he was weary of resistance, that he was ready to resign, and that if he did resign he should advise the Emperor to appoint a Ministry from the Right, and his advice would be taken. The Reichstag, nevertheless, referred the Bill back to the Committee—that is, shelved it.