His successor, Kalman Szell, obtained an immense but artificial Szell, majority by a fresh fusion of parties, and the minority pledged itself to grant an indemnity for the extra parliamentary financial decrees rendered necessary by Hungary's understanding with Austria, as well as to cease from obstruction.
Of the Compromise of 1867, the opposition once more took to obstruction, and on the 1st of May 1903 Szell was forced to resign.
The king; met them half way by inviting the majority to appoint a committee to settle the army question provisionally, and a committee was formed, which included Szell, Apponyi, Count Istvan Tisza.
In the autumn of 1898 he became the leader of the obstructionists or "Independence Party," against the successive Szell, Khuen-Hadervary, Szapary and Stephen Tisza administrations (1898-1904), exercising great influence not only in parliament but upon the public at large through his articles in the Egyetertes.
Intended by the Liberal leaders to serve as a diversion in favour of the Liberal-dualist standpoint; nevertheless, Nationalist feeling found strong expression during the negotiations of Banffy and Szell with various Austrian premiers for the renewal of the economic Ausgleich, or " Customs and Trade Alliance."
At the end of 1902 the Hungarian premier, Szell, concluded with the Austrian premier, Kdrber, a new customs and trade alliance comprising a joint Austro-Hungarian tariff as a basis for the negotiation of new commercial treaties with Germany, Italy and other states.
This arrangement, which for the sake of brevity will henceforth be referred to as the Szell-Kdrber Compact, was destined to play an important part in the history of the next few years, though it was never fully ratified by either parliament and was ultimately discarded.
The estimates could not be sanctioned, and though Kossuth granted the Szell cabinet a vote on account for the first four months of 1903, the Government found itself at the mercy of the Opposition.
Szell, who vainly advised the crown and the military authorities to make timely concessions, was obliged to reject these demands which enjoyed the secret support of Count Albert Apponyi, the Liberal president of the Chamber and of his adherents.
On the 1st of May the Szell cabinet found itself without supply and governed for a time " ex-lex "; Szell, who had lost the confidence of the crown, resigned and was succeeded (June 26) by Count Khuen-Hedervary, previously ban, or governor, of Croatia.
The Recruits bill and the estimates were adopted, the Delegations were enabled to meet at Budapest - where they voted £2 2,000,000 as extraordinary estimates for the army and navy and especially for the renewal of the field artillery - and the negotiations for new commercial treaties with Germany and Italy were sanctioned, although parliament had never been able to ratify the Szell-Korber compact with the tariff on the basis of which the negotiations would have to be conducted.
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 Szell-Korber tariff.
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 Szell-Korber tariff to the Chamber in the form of a Hungarian autonomous tariff distinct from but identical with the Austrian tariff.
On the resignation of Kalman Szell (June 17, 1903) he was entrusted with the formation of a ministry of pacification, but abandoned the attempt on finding it impossible to secure a majority.
Parliamentary activity was at once resumed; the AustroHungarian tariff contained in the Szell-Korber compact was adopted, the estimates were discussed and the commercial treaty with Germany ratified.
Baron Gautsch fell in April over a difference with the Poles, and his successor, Prince Konrad zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfiirst, who had taken over the reform bills, resigned also, Baron six weeks later, as a protest against the action of the crown in consenting to the enactment of a customs tariff in Hungary distinct from, though identical with, the joint Austro-Hungarian tariff comprised hi the Szell-Kdrber compact and enacted as a joint tariff by the Reichsrath.
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 Szell-Korber 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.