The announcement of his determination caused the Opposition to rally against him, and when on the 18th of November the Liberal party adopted a "guillotine" motion by a show of hands in defiance of orthodox procedure, a section of the party seceded. On the 13th of December the Opposition, infuriated by the formation of a special corps of parliamentary constables, invaded and wrecked the Chamber. Tisza appealed to the country and suffered, on the 26th of January 1905, an overwhelming defeat at the hands of a coalition composed of dissentient Liberals, Clericals, Independents and a few Bánffyites. The Coalition gained an absolute majority and the Independence party became the strongest political group. Nevertheless the various adherents of the dual system retained an actual majority in the Chamber and prevented the Independence party from attempting to realize its programme of reducing the ties between Hungary and Austria to the person of the joint ruler. On the 25th of January, the day before his defeat, Count Tisza had signed on behalf of Hungary the new commercial treaties concluded by the Austro-Hungarian foreign office with Germany and Italy on the basis of the Széll-Körber tariff.
He acted ultra vires, but by his act saved Hungary from a severe economic crisis and retained for her the right to benefit by economic partnership with Austria until the expiry of the new treaties in 1917.
A deadlock, lasting from January 1905 until April 1906, Deadlock of 1905. ensued between the crown and Hungary and, to a great extent, between Hungary and Austria. The Coalition, though possessing the majority in the Chamber, resolved not to take office unless the crown should grant its demands, including the Magyar words of command and customs separation from Austria. The crown declined to concede these points, either of which would have wrecked the dual system as interpreted since 1867. The Tisza cabinet could not be relieved of its functions till June 1905, when it was succeeded by a non-parliamentary administration under the premiership of General Baron Fejerváry, formerly minister for national defence. Seeing that the Coalition would not take office on acceptable terms, Fejerváry obtained the consent of the crown to a scheme, drafted by Kristóffy, minister of the interior, that the dispute between the crown and the Coalition should be subjected to the test of universal suffrage and that to this end the franchise in Hungary be radically reformed.
The scheme alarmed the Coalition, which saw that universal suffrage might destroy not only the hegemony of the Magyar nobility and gentry in whose hands political power was concentrated, but might, by admitting the non-Magyars to political equality with the Magyars, undermine the supremacy of the Magyar race itself. Yet the Coalition did not yield at once. Not until the Chamber had been dissolved by military force (February 19, 1906) and an open breach of the constitution seemed within sight did they come to terms with the crown and form an administration. The miserable state of public finances and the depression of trade doubtless helped to induce them to perform a duty which they ought to have performed from the first; but their chief motive was the desire to escape the menace of universal suffrage or, at least, to make sure that it would be introduced in such a form as to safeguard Magyar supremacy over the other Hungarian races.
The pact concluded (April 8, 1906) between the Coalition and Pact of 1906. the crown is known to have contained the following conditions: - All military questions to be suspended until after the introduction of universal suffrage; the estimates and the normal contingent of recruits to be voted for 1905 and 1906; the extraordinary military credits, sanctioned by the delegations in 1904, to be voted by the Hungarian Chamber; ratification of the commercial treaties concluded by Tisza; election of the Hungarian Delegation and of the Quota-Deputation; introduction of a suffrage reform at least as far reaching as the Kristóffy scheme. These "capitulations" obliged the Coalition government to carry on a dualist policy, although the majority of its adherents became, by the general election of May 1906, members of the Kossuth or Independence party, and, as such, pledged to the economic and political separation of Hungary from Austria save as regards the person of the ruler. Attempts were, however, made to emphasize the independence of Hungary. During the deadlock (June 2, 1905) Kossuth had obtained the adoption of a motion to authorize the compilation of an autonomous Hungarian tariff, and on the 28th of May 1906, the Coalition cabinet was authorized by the crown to present the Széll-Körber tariff to the Chamber in the form of a Hungarian autonomous tariff distinct from but identical with the Austrian tariff.
This concession of form having been made to the Magyars without the knowledge of the Austrian government, Prince Konrad Hohenlohe, the Austrian premier, resigned office; and his successor, Baron Beck, eventually (July 6) withdrew from the table of the Reichsrath the whole Széll-Körber compact, declaring that the only remaining economic ties between the two countries were freedom of trade, the commercial treaties with foreign countries, the joint state bank and the management of excise. If the Hungarian government wished to regulate its relationship to Austria in a more definite form, added the Austrian premier, it must conclude a new agreement before the end of the year 1907, when the reciprocity arrangement of 1899 would lapse. The Hungarian government replied that any new arrangement with Austria must be concluded in the form of a commercial treaty as between two foreign states and not in the form of a "customs and trade alliance."
Austria ultimately consented to negotiate on this basis. Agreement of 1907. In October 1907 an agreement was attained, thanks chiefly to the sobering of Hungarian opinion by a severe economic crisis, which brought out with unusual clearness the fact that separation from Austria would involve a period of distress if not of commercial ruin for Hungary. Austria also came to see that separation from Hungary would seriously enhance the cost of living in Cisleithania and would deprive Austrian manufacturers of their best market. The main features of the new "customs and commercial treaty" were: (1) Each state to possess a separate but identical customs tariff. (2) Hungary to facilitate the establishment of direct railway communication between Vienna and Dalmatia, the communication to be established by the end of 1911, each state building the sections of line that passed through its own territory. (3) Austria to facilitate railway communication between Hungary and Prussia. (4) Hungary to reform her produce and Stock Exchange laws so as to prevent speculation in agrarian produce. (5) A court of arbitration to be established for the settlement of differences between the two states, Hungary selecting four Austrian and Austria four Hungarian judges, the presidency of the court being decided by lot, and each government being represented before the court by its own delegates. (6) Impediments to free trade in sugar to be practically abolished. (7) Hungary to be entitled to redeem her share of the old Austrian debt (originally bearing interest at 5 and now at 4.2%) at the rate of 4.325% within the next ten years; if not redeemed within ten years the rate of capitalization to decrease annually by 1/12% until it reaches 4.2%. This arrangement represents a potential economy of some £2,000,000 capital for Hungary as compared with the original Austrian demand that the Hungarian contribution to the service of the old Austrian debt be capitalized at 4.2%. (8) The securities of the two governments to rank as investments for savings banks, insurance companies and similar institutions in both countries, but not as trust fund investments. (9) Commercial treaties with foreign countries to be negotiated, not, as hitherto, by the joint minister for foreign affairs alone, but also by a nominee of each government. (10) The quota of Austrian and Hungarian contribution to joint expenditure to be 63.6 and 36.4 respectively - an increase of 2% in the Hungarian quota, equal to some £200,000 a year.