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Dictionary of Berlin

Full text: Brasch & Rothenstein's Guide of Berlin

— 64 — 
judges, lawyers and professors with merchants and farmers. 
The division of parties is carried on with great exactness 
and the differences between them are not always apprehen 
ded with ease. 
Thus there may be found the German Imperial party, or 
Free Conservatives, and then the Conservatives proper. The 
Catholics form a party called the Centre. But the Poles are 
also Catholics, yet they make a fraction by themselves; the 
deputies of Alsace-Lorraine have also their own place in the 
parliamentary annual. TbeNationalLiberalsare at present hardly 
distinguishable in political doctrine from the Conservatives. 
Then there are the Social Democrats, who have views 
differing from those of all other parties. As to talent finally, 
the Diet contains the best there is in Germany. The ineli 
gible by law are few in number, and it must be said for the 
credit of the German constituencies that they have seldom 
been influenced by local claims, but have almost invariably 
preferred men of high reputation and ability, wherever found, 
to obscure nobodies of their own neigborhood and district. 
Law and usage have united to give the President of the 
German Diet a position widely different from that of the 
Speaker in England or America. His powers are in some 
respects more, in others less, extensive. He appoints no 
committees, and is therefore without that opportunity to re 
ward friends and influence legislation. He can with difficulty 
create precedents by his rulings, and contributes little to the 
body of parliamentary law. Even his powers of discipline 
are to a considerable extent shared by the vice-presi 
dents and the secretaries, who are consulted on every 
serious occasion. But on the other hand he has no little in- 
fluence in shaping the course of debate, through the practice, 
which seldom is contested, of fixing the order of the day, 
or programme of business of each session. 
Houses of Parliament, Prussian. Consist of the Upper 
or Herrenhaus, 3, Leipzigerstrasse, and the Lower or A6- 
geordneienhaus, 75, Leipzigerstrasse, on the Donhofsplatz.
        
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