Driven to desperation, Ismail made a virtue of necessity and accepted, in September 1878, in lieu of the Dual Control, a constitutional ministry, under the presidency of Nubar Pasha (qv.), with Rivers Wilson as minister of finance and de Blignires as minister of public works.
The three officials of importance whose nomination is mentioned by the historians in addition to that of the governor were the commander of the bodyguard, the minister of finance and the judge.
The minister of finance did, however, allude to it in his budget speech, (April 23, 1910), and stated that four destroyers purchased in Germany had been paid for from the national subscription only, without touching the ordinary state revenues.
Baron Sidney Sonnino, minister of finance in the Crispi cabinet, found a prospective deficit of 7,080,000, and in spite of economies was obliged to face an actual deficit of more than 6,ooo,000.
As minister of finance in the Bourgeois cabinet (from the 3rd of November 1895 to the 21st of April 1896) he tried without success to introduce an income-tax.
At the time of the Austrian annexation in 1908, the only remaining token of Ottoman suzerainty was that the foreign consuls received their exequatur from Turkey, instead of Austria; otherwise the government of the country was conducted in the name of the Austrian emperor, through the imperial minister of finance at Vienna, who controlled the civil service for the occupied territory.
He saw some service against the Carlists; was elected deputy to the Cortes of 1836; took part for Espartero, and then against him; was imprisoned in 1843; went into exile and returned; was governor of Barcelona in 1854, and minister of finance in 1855; had a large share in secularizing the Church lands; and after the revolution of 1868 was governor of Madrid.
He became premier and minister of finance on the 31st of May 1887, with the support of the moderate republican groups, the Radicals holding aloof in support of General Boulanger, who began a violent agitation against the government.
The minister of finance has charge of the finances of common affairs, prepares the joint budget, and administers the joint state debt.
The distinguished banker and famous dramatist, who as minister of finance was intent on retrenchment, and General Weyler, who as minister of war objected to any starving of the army.