The obsession that the country was full of German spies persisted until 1918, although Federal officers had broken up German espionage early in the war.
Henceforth the various corps lost more and more their territorial character, one nationality was set to watch and control the other, and espionage and delation prevailed.
Its founder, with a wise instinct, had forbidden the accumulation of wealth; its own constitutions, as revised in the 84th decree of the sixth general congregation, had forbidden all pursuits of a commercial nature, as also had various popes; but nevertheless the trade went on unceasingly, necessarily with the full knowledge of the general, unless it be pleaded that the system of obligatory espionage had completely broken down.
No sort of espionage is attempted, no effort made to penetrate privacy; no claim to pry into the secret actions of law-abiding persons is or would be tolerated; the agents of authority must not seek information by underhand or unworthy means.
The country had heard much of the German espionage system, spies were suspected everywhere, and many acts of sabotage, arson, and violence in factories engaged in munition production were ascribed to them.
In all, 1,532 persons were arrested under the Espionage Act.; about 75 more for threats against the President or for sabotage.
On the 24th an irade announced the restoration of the suspended constitution of 1875; next day, further irades abolished espionage and the censorship, and ordered the release of political prisoners.
Some of the more unpopular officials associated with the old regime were assassinated, among them Fehim Pasha, the former head of the espionage department, who had been exiled to Brusa in 1907 at the request of the British and German ambassadors.
Ferdinand and Maria Carolina had continued to reign in Sicily, where the extravagance of the court and the odious Neapolitan system of police espionage rendered their presence a burden instead of a blessing to the island.
Acquittals and cases pending reduced the number of those actually convicted under the Espionage Act to about 600.