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Mr. Seward to Mr. Marsh.
No. 160.] DEPARTMENT or STATE,
SIR : Your despatch No. 168, dated November 18th, has been received. The course pursued by you on receiving from Mr. King, at Rome, information of the escape into Italian territory of John H. Surratt, is approved, and the promptness and energy of your efforts to secure his re-arrest and his surrender to the United States, in the event of his being found within the Italian kingdom, are highly commended.
You are no doubt already aware of the crimina1’s flight to Alexandria, and of his arrest there at the instance of the consul general, Mr. Hale. '
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
GEORGE P. Manse, Esq., §~¢., 4-0., dc.
No.170.| I LEGATION or THE UNITED STATES, Florence, December 10, 1866.
SIR: On the 27th of November I received a circular from the Foreign Office, a translation of which, marked A, is hereto annexed. I immediately prepared a. reply, anticipating in part the substance of your instruction N o. 158, of October 27th; but that instruction having reached me on the 29th, before my note was copied to be sent to the ministry of foreign affairs, I suppressed the reply I had drawn up. Inasmuch as the instruction contained the nearest approach which circumstances admitted to the “explicit declaration” required by the Italian government, and further the time was too short to allow of much preliminary discussion, I thought it expedient to deliver a full copy of the instruction to the ministry, instead of making a verbal communication of its purport, or of putting the argument and assurance in any less formal and authentic sha e.
Iptherefore left a. transcript of the instruction at the Foreign Office, with a. note, of which a copy, marked B, is hereto annexed. According to the practice of this government, the question was referred to the ministry of finance; but I was informed at the ministry of foreign affairs, on Saturday last, that no conclusion had yet been arrived at on the subject, though I was encouraged to expect a reply before the post of to-day. No reply, however, has yet been received to my note.
I have the honor tobe, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, GEORGE P. MARSH. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Fconnncn, November 26, 1866.
By the verbal note of the 5th of October last the royal ministry of foreign affairs informed the legation of the United States that American citizens residing or possessing real or personal estate in Italy would be exem ted from liability to contribute to the national loan, on the express condition that Italian su jects residing or possessing real or personal property in the United St-ates should enjoy the same favor. In informing the legation of the United States of this decission, the urgency of obtaining the explicit declaration of reciprocity in auestion was insisted on, and it was added that it was of the utmost consequence that this
eclaration should be made as soon as possible in order not to delay the regular course of proceedings relative to this financial operation.
At the renewed solicitation of the royal ministry of finance the minister of foreign affairs
. thinks it his duty to recall the attention of the legation of the United States to the subject
and to request it to make known, without delay, the decision of the federal government in relation to it. It must be observed on this point that executory proceedings in respect to the forced loan cannot be deferred later than the 15th of December next. In case of failure of an explicit declaration of reciprocity, his Majesty’s government could not apply the rinciple of favor, but would be obliged to extend the general provisions of the law to all oreigners residing in the kingdom.
LEGATION on THE Unrrnn STATES,
Mr. MINISTER: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of an instruction which I have just received from the State Department of the United States. in relation to the exaction of involuntary loans of foreign governments from citizens of the United States residing in their territories.
It will be observed that this instruction contains all the guarantees against the imposition of such contributions upon Italian subjects residing in the United States which the nature of the case allows, and I doubt not that the assurance of reciprocity of treatment in this respect, thus given, will be deemed amply suflicient.
As soon as I receive the further instructions which the present authorizes me to expect, I
_will lose no time in communicating them to you, and I trust that the otficer of the ministry
of -finance will be directed to exempt American citizens residing in Italy from compulsory proceedings for the collection of the proposed national loan referred to in your notes to this legation on that subject.
Accept, Mr. Minister, the renewed assurance of my high consideration.
GEORGE P. MARSH. The Commander Vrscorvrr VENOSTA, Minister of Foreign A fairs.
No. 171.] LEGATION on THE UNITED Srarns, Florence, December 17, 1866.
SIR: I -have the honor to enclose herewith a translation of a note received on Friday last from the ministry of foreign affairs, in relation to the exemption of American citizens residing in Italy from contribution to the forced loan decreed on the 28th of July.
In order to come to an understanding on the question which will arise in regard to the evidence by which American citizenship is to be established, I went to the Foreign Office immediately upon the receipt of the note, but was unable to have an interview with either the minister or the secretary-general of that department; and as Saturday was the day of the formal opening of the new session of Parliament, I was obliged to postpone the discussion of the subject till some convenient day in the course of this week. The only difliculty I apprehend on this point will be in relation to the liability of Italians, who, after taking out a certificate of naturalization in the United States, have returned and re-established themselves in their native land. I infer from some circumstances that a certificate of citizenship from the legation or a consulate will be deemed satisfactory evidence, but I suppose the government will expect a statement of the principles by which we are guided in recognizing the applicant as entitled to it.
Most of the returned emigrants have little or no property subject to taxation by the laws of the United States, but I have reason to believe that some who may claim American citizenship are possessed of considerable means. Until otherwise instructed by you, I shall require from such persons, before issuing a certificate of citizenship, proof by affidavit or otherwise that they have made the returns prescribed by law, and paid the taxes to which they are liable.
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Little has transpired respecting the objects of General Fleury’s mission to Florence, but it is supposed by many, with much apparent probability, that one object is to negotiate a virtual though perhaps not a formal alliance, offensive and defensive, between France and Italy; another to obtain an explicit remuneration of the claims of Italy to Rome as the national capital.
The first of these measures is so manifestly full of danger to the best interests of Italy, that I cannot believe that there is any likelihood of its being adopted by the ministry, at least, as at present constituted or approved by Parliament. The other, however ready the nation might otherwise be to abandon the long cherished idea of making Rome once more the capital of Italy, would be so flat a contradiction to the solemn and authoritative declarations of the
' ministry of 1864, that I think it would be regarded by the Italian people as
a humiliating concession to a foreign power, and at the same time as a decisive confirmation of the truth of the charges brought against the negotiation of the convention of September in the parliamentary debate on the ratification of that compact. * * * * * * I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, GEORGE P. MARSH. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Mr. MINISTER: I have received the despatch which you were pleased to address to me under date of the 30th of November, communicating a copy of the instruction directed to you by the Department of State at Washington, in relation to the proposal made by his Majesty’s government for a reciprocal exemption from involuntary loan hereafter.
From Mr. Seward’s instructions it appears that the government of the United States cannot in any emergency resort to a forced loan to supply the wants of the treasury, and that inasmuch as the same principle prevails in all the States which compose the republic, it would be superfluous to con rm it by a specific declaration to that effect, which, moreover, would be received with dissatisfaction by the Senate and House of Representatives.
Mr. Seward further adds that his Majesty’s government may rest assured that such loans will never be imposed on Italian citizens.
Taking note of the considerations suggested in your despatch, and in that of Mr. Seward, his Majesty’s government thinks it may regard as satisfactory the above mentioned assurance, the spirit of which precisely corresponds to the desire it had expressed.
In accepting that declaration, I am happy to inform you, Mr. Minister, that his Majesty’s overnment has already transmitted to the proper authorities due order that citizens of the nited States of America, domiciliated in the kingdom, shall be exempt from contribution to the national loan decreed on the 28th of July of this year. Accept, Mr. Minister, the assurance of my high consideration. a For the minister:
M. CERRUTI. Mr. Marsh to Mr. Seward. ' [Extract] No. 172.] ' LEGATION on THE UNITED STATES,
Florence, February 11, 1867.
SIR: I have sent you several journals containing information respecting the important measures proposed by the present Italian ministry for the disposal of the financial and politioo-religious questions growing out of the abolition of the monasteries and the intended sale of the church land.
The bill presented by the minister of finance has been considered—I cannot say discussed—by the various sections or “ofi‘icers” into which the complicated organization of the chamber of deputies divides its members, and the result is that all the ofiicers, and the committee appointed by them, are nearly unanimous in rejecting .the bill, without proposing either amendment or substitute.
The bill varies widely from that. prepared by Baron Ricasoli before his last entrance into the cabinet. I do not know how far he personally approves the new proposal, but he will doubtless express his opinions, with his usual promptness, in the discussion upon the report of the committee. It is, however, possible that the bill may be withdrawn, and that some ministerial modification may take place before the report is ready for presentation.
The defeat of the bill threatens to affect the money market seriously, because its passage would have furnished some present relief to the pressing necessities of the exchequer. On the other hand, the success of the measure would disgust and dishearten, if not an absolute majority, at least a large minority of the most liberal and intelligent portion of the Italian people.
I cannot but think that such large concessions to influences which always
‘have been and still are undisguisedly hostile to the best interests of the nation,
would involve a loss of political strength by the government which would be but inadequately compensated by the temporary and partial relief to be derived from the measure. * * * * * I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, GEORGE P. MARSH. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. G’.
Mr. Marsh to Mr. Seward.
No. 173.] LEGATION or THE UNITED'STA'I‘ES, Florence, February 16, 1867.,-.
SIR: The ministerial modification, of which I spoke in my last despatch as a possible contingency, has taken place much sooner than was anticipated. The composition of the cabinet as newly organized is not at this moment publicly known, but it will probably be announced, together with the political programme of the government, in the oificial gazette of Monday next. It is certain that Ricasoli remains at the head of the administration, at least for the present.
This circumstance will tend to allay political agitation, for, in spite of the unpopularity of the financial and ecclesiastical policy of the late ministry, and of its action,in regard to the right of assemblage for public discussion, Baron Ricasoli certainly enjoys the personal confidence of a larger proportion of his countrymen than any other conspicuous Italian statesman.
The immediate occasion of the prorogation of parliament, and finally of the dissolution of the late chamber of deputies, as well as of the resignation of several ministers, events doubtless already known to you through the telegraph, was the action of the government in suppressing meetings called for the purpose of discussing the measures proposed by the ministry upon the great question of the relations between church and state in connection with the finances. A resolution equivalent to a declaration of a want of confidence in the ministry was carried in the chambers by a decided majority, and the prorogation followed immediately after. I enclose a slip from a journal containing the debate on this question, which, as you will perceive, is, in some respects, of a remarkable as well as unexpected character. The recent discourse of the Emperor Napoleon has excited a good deal of feeling in Italy, because it is the first occasion on which he has pronounced himself unequivocally in favor of maintaining the temporal power of the Papacy. I forward by this post a copy of two Italian journals of the 16th of this month, one of which, the Nazione, is generally understood to be semi-ofliicial, the other strongly in the French interest, both containing editorial articles on this subject. The construction given by the latter to the passages of the imperial discourse which refer to the relations between Rome and Italy, is not, I imagine, by any means an authorized interpretation, but is simply adopted to ward off the unfavorable impressions which these passages, taken in their most obvious sense, could not fail to produce on the Italian people.
It is worthy of remark that the political excitement in Italy has produced little effect on the price of government funds, and none at all on that of gold, which scarcelycommands five per cent. premium. It is evident, therefore, that capitalists do not regard the present crisis as threatening any serious derangement of the finance or the currency.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, _ GEORGE P. MARSH. Hon. Wl[.LiAM H. SEWARD, Secretary qf State, Washington, D. C’.
\Ve publish in full, from the minutes, the speech of Mr. Cairoli, with Mr. Ricasoli’s reply, in the session of the 11th of February.
The PRESIDENT. The election returns are properly the order of the day; but as the minister of the interior says he is ready to reply to Messrs. Cairoli and De Beni, with leave of the house, I will give Mr. Caroli the floor;
Mr. CAIROLI. 1 will make no apology for myself and colleague, Mr. De Beni, on proposing to discuss the question now before the house. I know the aversion you have to debates, for they are generally nothing more than crirninations and blame without any good result ; but when the violation of a law is in question, when our liberties are endangered, then it is our duty to fiy to theqescue of principles dear to all of us, without regard to party.
Iregret that Venetia has furnished the sad theme forthis discussion. The authorities there have prohibited the exercise of a dear right in those provinces that have been restored to the family of Italy, after along and glorious martyrdom ; and it has been done in the name of the government.
I will not proclaim the right of public meetin s, as all know their benefits. They educate the people, they tell the government its wants, t ey spread public opinion, they discuss what is legal, and the people are not forced to take refuge in the secrecy of conspiracies. The privilege of popular assemblies is an inalienable right sanctioned by the laws of all constitutional governments; by England, Belgium, France, and especially by article XXXII of