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possess the necessary energy and authority. In a State where it would be possible for few or for many to impose obstacles or exercise influences detrimental to the execution of the law, by placing themselves above it and above Parliament and the Government, there would be only liberty for the few to deprive of liberty all the others. It would be the negation of the Constitution and of all liberty, and would tend directly to absolutism or anarchy. Italy did not accomplish her great and pacific revolution to perpetuate revolution, or to reap such fruit from it. She wishes to cement and render fruitful her precious conquests. She requires security and tranquillity to be able to develope that internal activity which alone can make her powerful, happy, and respected. She is justly proud and jealous of her unity and her liberty, but on that very account she demands that the Government, while keeping within the bounds of the strictest legality, shall make itself be respected by all, that it shall employ no illegal influence, and prove by facts that it has a resolute will, authority, and power to govern and strengthen its action. To attain this object it is only necessary that the existing laws should be carried out. On this sole condition can the liberty of all be assured and guaranteed, nor can the unity of Italy otherwise obtain that culmination to which the country unanimously aspires. In conclusion, the Minister confidently relies upon the support of the prefects, and believes that his ante. cedents in public life will secure their cordial co-operation. He alludes to his former efforts in Parliament to promote administrative decentralization, and to increase the sphere of action and the authority of the prefects. The Government will efficaciously support the prefects in maintaining the respect for the law and moral principles.”
Nothing of general political importance took place this year in Italy, and the internal history presents no features which would interest the reader.
PRUSSIA-Speech of the King at the opening of the Reichstag of North Germany
Royal Speech at the prorogation of the Prussian Chambers-Opening of the
Chambers in November-Speech of Count Bismarck with regard to Baron Beust. AUSTRIA—Red Book on the policy of the Empire-Abolition of the Concordat-Baron
Beust and Lord Stanley-Speech of Baron Beust on the Foreign Policy of Austria-
Treaty between the European Powers.
ssor-Trial and conviction of the regicides.
GREECE- Speech of the King relative to the Cretan insurrection-Connivance of the
Greek Government, Ultimatum of Turkey-Blockade running-Proposed Conference.
PRUSSIA. The Reichstag or Parliament of North Germany was opened by the King of Prussia on the 22nd of March, when he delivered the following speech :
“Honourable Gentlemen,-For the third time I bid you welcome in the name of the Government of the Confederation, in order that it may continue in concert with you the settlement of the Constitution for the North German Confederation. In your last Session, by the establishment of organic institutions, you fixed the bases upon which the legislation of the Confederation must raise the edifice of national institutions.
“For this purpose three Bills, which must be submitted for your decision, have been presented to the Federal Council, and have been already partially discussed.
“In the last Session the principle of freedom of domicile was established. The readiness with which you have received and discussed the propositions which have hitherto been laid before you affords a good augury for your reception of these fresh measures.
“A plan will be brought before you with a view to settle the position of the former officers of Schleswig-Holstein, who last Session appealed to your benevolence, and to fix the amount of assistance to be given to the necessitous soldiers of the reserve.
“The duties upon brandy in the Hohenzollern Duchies and in that part of Hesse which belongs to the Confederation require to be settled, and such settlement is connected with a treaty by virtue of which free transit must be stipulated for beer and brandy between the Confederation and that part of Hesse not included within the Federal territory.
“The Budget for the year 1869 will be presented to you, notwithstanding the difficulties which presented themselves in the beginning of the year to its definitive
arrangement. Nothing has been neglected to forward this work in order that, as usual, you might be summoned at a period when the least sacrifices would be imposed upon you. The organization of the international postal service upon the basis of the laws passed last Session is already in an advanced stage. Postal conventions have been concluded with the South German States, with Austria, Luxemburg, Norway, and the United States of America, and will be presented to you. Similar conventions with other States are on the eve of conclusion, and may, I trust, also be submitted to you during the present Session. A treaty has been concluded with the United States of America to define the nationality of emigrants from the two countries, and thus to prevent causes of misunderstanding between countries so closely united by commercial interests and bonds of relationship. In concert with the confederated Governments, and upon the occasion of negotiations relative to these treaties, I have given in all arrangements connected with the subject further extension of the principle of industrial freedom. Thus the suppression of police restrictions which obstructed marriages has disposed of an obstacle which more than any other was injurious to the development of industrial efforts.
“A law concerning the obligation of furnishing lodgings to soldiers in time of peace will have the effect of completing the military legislation of the Confederation in a point of view particularly important for the interests of the people.
“The regulation of weights and measures, which last Session had to yield to more urgent subjects, will be considered in the present Session. The position of Federal functionaries requires legal regulation, and will form the subject of special Bills. A Bill affecting the administration of the debts of the Confederation will be again presented to you.
“I have confidence in the readiness with which the Federal Governments have accepted the position assigned to them in the Confederation. The diplomatic representation of the Confederation prescribed by the Constitution is now an accomplished fact, to my great satisfaction. This fact has consolidated the friendly relations which exist between the Confederation and foreign Powers. The object of my constant solicitude will be to foster and to maintain these relations. I am able, therefore, to express a conviction that peace will bless the efforts which you are making for the prosperity of the national interests, for the protection and maintenance of which interests the whole German country is united.”
On the prorogation of the Prussian Chambers the King delivered the following speech :
“The Parliamentary Session which concludes to-day has been fruitful of important problems. Like myself, you will be satisfied to know that these problems have been solved, or are on the eve of being solved, thanks to the accord existing upon essential points between my Government and the representatives of the country. I thank you for the readiness with which the two Chambers of Parliament have voted the augmentation of the Civil List which I had demanded with the object of maintaining the dignity of the Crown. The vote of the Budget and those of other financial measures which you have adopted, have furnished my Government with all the resources necessary for the administration of the enlarged monarchy and for the satisfaction of the legitimate desires and wants of the recently-annexed provinces. My Government will feel bound to employ those resources with economy and circumspection. The measures which, with your consent, have been taken to relieve the distress in Eastern Prussia, added to the resources furnished by private benevolence from all quarters, and to the experienced care of the authorities, will, I confidently hope, be sufficient to avert the most immediate dangers from their cruellytried province. Ulterior measures, which will be adopted with
your agreement, will contribute to bring those districts into more close connexion with the general intercourse of all parts of the monarchy, and to further the development of their prosperity. You have adopted a series of important measures--some affecting the general interests of the country, and others special interests of the provinces. With regard to the development of administrative institutions, which it is my object to further, you have been able during this Session to enter upon but preliminary discussions. The views and desires which have been expressed upon this subject will be carefully considered in the course of the labours preparatory to legislation now in progress. In voting the provincial fund for Hanover you have not only assented to the spirit of equity and good-will which governs my resolutions in respect of the new provinces, but you have at the same time taken up ground from which it is the intention of my Government to obtain for the other provinces the benefits of successful self-administration. I recognize with satisfaction that you have adopted the political views and considerations which influenced my Government in concluding treaties of indemnity with the former Sovereigns of Hanover and Nassau. By that course you have contributed towards the solid establishment of the new relations, and to secure their calm and peaceful development. In its foreign relations my Government has incessantly
. endeavoured to exert its influence for the preservation and consolidation of the peace of Europe, and I am able to state with satisfaction that those endeavours, inasmuch as they were participated in by the Governments of foreign Powers in the most friendly and conciliatory manner, bore in themselves the guarantee of success. I may therefore express the conviction that the firmly-based general confidence in the development of mental and material welfare and the prosperity of the nation will bear the desired fruits."
The Prussian Diet was opened on the 4th of November by the King, who delivered the following speech from the throne :
“The Session which begins to-day opens for you a new field of important legislative labour. I trust that the same spirit of ready co-operation with my Government to which the favourable results of the last Sessions were due will rule over your deliberations on this occasion.
“ The_Budget for next year will be laid before you without delay. In consequence of the concurrence of several unfavourable circumstances it has been necessary to draw upon the extraordinary revenue in order to completely cover the expenditure, although the latter has been curtailed as much as possible. The continued badness of trade, and the consequences of the unfavourable harvest of the previous year have prevented the otherwise naturally increasing revenue from keeping pace with the unavoidable increase of the requirements of the State. The reductions of the Customs duties and other sources of revenue, which were resolved upon in the general politico-economical interest of the country, have occasioned a falling off of the receipts to a considerable extent. In the expectation of this, Bills were at the beginning of the year brought before the Customs Parliament, which did not, however, give them its approval.
“I confidently hope that the necessity of an addition to the special revenue of the Confederation will be acknowledged, and that this addition will no longer be refused. Inasmuch as according to the present state of things a revival of trade and its favourable influence in increasing the State revenue may be expected, we may deduce therefrom the hope that means will shortly be available for restoring the equilibrium between the ordinary revenue and ordinary expenditure, and that we shall be able to provide more liberally for the expenses of the State than is at present possible.
“In considering these circumstances you will not hesitate to give your sanction to the proposals of my Government for meeting the required expenditure for next year.
“The improvement of our administrative institutions has been the subject of searching examination. It cannot be intended to shake or abolish those hitherto existing institutions to which Prussia owes her prosperity before other institutions which promise to endure and be fruitful of results shall have been created. But, looking at the increased extent of the monarchy, and having regard to a desire which has in many ways been manifested, my Government recognizes as its duty gradually to hand over to the respective provincial and communal corporations, for independent consideration, those branches of public business which do not on account of any direct interest of the State necessarily require to be retained under the direction and care of the State authorities. So soon as those corporations are provided with proper administrative organizations, legislation will be directed towards extending their field of operation in the separate branches of public affairs accordingly as the experiments made shall show such extension to be advisable. In several of the new provinces the way is already paved for establishing these administrative organizations. To prepare the ground in the old provinces the completion of the system of dividing the country into districts is, above all, requisite. My Government will lay before you a Bill aiming at that object.
“ It is intended to effect a number of other important amendments to the laws through your co-operation. The regulations respecting the acquisition or loss of the character of Prussian subjects require modification as affected by the establishment of the North German Confederation. With reference to the settlement of the communal relations in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, Bills will come before you treating of the Constitution and administration of the towns and district communes.
"My Government devotes unceasing care to the development of the popular schools, and confidently expects your approval of the Bills which relate to the position of those schools and their teachers.