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CHAPTER VIII.

FRANCE.- Opening of the French Chambers, and Speech of the Emperor

--Address of the Senate in answer-Speech of Prince NapoleonState of French Finances-M. Achille Fould made Minister of Finance -His Report to the Emperor-Letter from the Emperor to the Minister of State-Speech of M. Fould in the Senate in defence of his

Financial Measures. ITALY.Retirement of the French Squadron from Gaeta - Reasons

given in the “Moniteur " for this step-- Capitulation of Gaeta l'he British Government refuses to recognize the Ambassador of the ex-King of Naples - Meeting of the first Parliament of Italy Royal Speech-Victor Emmanuel declared King of ItalyProtest on behalf of the Pope by Cardinal Antonelli Recognition of the new Kingdom of Italy by Great Britain and France-Death of Count Cavour - New Ministry formed under Baron Ricasoli -His Speech in explanation of their Policy - Questions of Venice and RomeUnsettled state of the Neapolitan Territory.

THE peace of Europe was this conflict, of which an account

1 year unbroken, except for a will be found in the later pages few weeks at the commence of this volume. ment, by the prolongation of the On the 4th of February, the struggle kept up by the King of Legislative Session of the French Naples at Gaeta, and afterwards Chambers was opened by the by an obscure contest carried on Emperor, who delivered the folby Turkey against Montenegro, lowing speech :which led to no decisive result. “ Messieurs les Sénateurs, It was on the other side of the “ Messieurs les Députés, Atlantic that the din of arms was “The Speech at the opening heard, where the North and the of each session sums up in a South rushed into a fratricidal few words the past events and war, and the great Republic of the projects of the future. Up the United States was shattered to this day that communication, by a secession of one-third of restricted in its nature, has not the population, occupying an put my Government in relations extent of territory almost as large intimate enough with the Great as Europe. The interest of the bodies of the State, and these public was chiefly centred in the bodies were thus deprived of the varying phases of that mighty means of strengthening the Go

vernment by their public adhesion or assisting it by their advice. “I have decided that every year a general statement of the situation of the Empire should be placed before you, and that the more important diplomatic despatches should be laid before your bureaux. “You can also in your Address express your opinions on the facts of the day, not, as formerly, by a simple paraphrase of the Speech from the Throne, but by the free and loyal expression of your opinion. “That improvement initiates the country more fully into a knowledge of its own affairs, and makes better known to it those who govern as well as those who sit in the Chambers; and, notwithstanding its importance, this change does not alter in any way the spirit of the Constitution. “Formerly, you are aware, the suffrage was limited. The Chamber of Deputies possessed, it is true, more extended privileges, but the large number of public functionaries who formed part of it gave to the Government a direct power of action on its resolutions. The Chamber of Peers also voted the laws, but the majority could be at any moment deposed by the addition of new members. Finally, the laws were not always discussed according to their real merit, but following the chance which their adoption or rejection would have in maintaining or upsetting a Ministry. From that there ensued little sincerity in deliberation, little stability in the progress of the Government, and little useful work accomplished. “To-day all the laws are pre

pared with care and mature deliberation by a Council composed of enlightened men, who give their advice on all measures to be taken. “The Senate, guardian of the fundamental compact, uses the conservative power of its own initiative only in grave circumstances, and not only examines the laws on the sole consideration of their constitutionality, but constitutes a true court of political appeal, and is composed of a number of members that cannot be exceeded. “The Legislative Corps, it is true, does not mix itself in all the details of administration, but it is elected directly by universal suffrage, and does not count in its body any public functionary. It discusses the laws with the most complete freedom. If they are rejected, it is a warning of which the Government takes notice, but their rejection does not shake the Government nor arrest the progress of affairs, and does not oblige the Sovereign to take for councillors the men who have not his confidence. “Such are the principal differences between the present Constitution and that which preceded the revolution of February. “Exhaust, gentlemen, during the vote on the Address all points of discussion according to the proportion of their importance, that you may have the power afterwards to devote yourselves entirely to the affairs of the country; for if these points demand a profound and conscientious examination, the other interests in their turn impatiently expect prompt decisions. “On the eve of more detailed explanations, I will limit myself to recalling to mind, summarily, that which has been dome at home and abroad. “At home, all the measures that have been taken tend to increase the agricultural, commercial, and industrial produc

tion. The dearness of all things is the inevitable consequence

of the increasing prosperity, but at least ought we to seek to render articles of first necessity the least dear. It is with that view that we have diminished the duties on raw materials, have signed a Treaty of Commerce with England, have projected or contracted other treaties with neighbouring countries, and facilitated everywhere the means of communication and of transport. “To realize these economical reforms we have renounced 90,000,000f. of annual receipts, yet the Budget will be presented to you in equilibrium, without its having been necessary to have recourse to the creation of new taxes or to the public credit, as I announced to you last year. “The changes introduced into the administration of Algeria have vested the superior direction of affairs in the population, themselves. The illustrious services of the Marshal placed at the head of the colony are guarantees of order and prosperity. “Abroad, I have endeavoured to prove in my regulations with foreign Powers that France sincerely desires peace; that, without renouncing a legitimate influence, she does not pretend to interfere anywhere where her interests are not at stake ; and, finally, that if she entertains sympathies for all that is noble and grand, she does not hesitate to condemn everything tend

ing to violate personal rights and Justice. “Events difficult to foresee have arisen to complicate in Italy a situation already sufficiently embarrassing. “My Government, in accord with its Allies, has believed that the best means of obviating the greatest dangers was to have recourse to a principle of our policy of non-intervention, which leaves each country master of its destinies, localizes questions, and prevents them from degenerating into European conflicts. “I certainly do not ignore the fact that this system has the inconvenience of appearing to authorize many annoying excesses, and extreme opinions would prefer, the one that France should take part with all kinds of revolutions, the other that she should put herself at the head of a general reactionary movement. I shall not allow myself to be

turned aside from my course by

either of these opposing influences. It is enough for the grandeur of the country that it should maintain its right, where it is indispensable, to defend its honour where it is attacked, to lend its assistance where it may be invoked in favour of a just cause. “It is thus that we have maintained our right in causing the acceptance of the cession of Savoy and Nice. These provinces are at the present day irrevocably united to France. “It is thus that, to avenge our honour in the extreme East, our flag, united with that of Great Britain, has floated victoriously from the walls of Pekin, and that the cross—emblem of Christian civilization—again surmounts in the capital of China the temples of our religion, closed for more than a century. “It is thus that, in the name of humanity, our troops have gone to Syria, in virtue of a European convention, to protect Christians against a blind fanaticism. “At Rome, I have thought it necessary to augment the garrison when the security of the Holy Father appeared to be menaced. I despatched my fleet to Gaeta at the moment when it seemed the last refuge of the King of Naples. After leaving it there for four months I have withdrawn it, however worthy of sympathy a Royal misfortune so nobly supported might appear. “The presence of our ships obliged us to infringe every day that principle of neutrality which I had proclaimed, and gave room for erroneous interpretations. Indeed, you know that in politics people do not believe in purely disinterested acts. “Such is a rapid explanation of the general state of affairs. Now that apprehensions are dissipated and confidence consolidated, why should not commercial and industrial affairs renew their activity? “My firm determination is not to enter on any conflict where the cause of France is not based upon right and justice. What, therefore, have we to fear? Can a united and compact nation numbering 40,000,000 of souls anticipate either being drawn into a struggle the object of which she does not approve, or being provoked by any menace? “The first virtue of a people is to have confidence in itself,

and not to allow itself to be moved by imaginary alarms. Let us look, therefore, at the future with calmness, in the full confidence of our power, as of our loyal intentions. Let us devote ourselves, without exaggerated anxiety, to the development of the germs of prosperity that Providence has placed in our hands.” In the Address of the Senate in answer to this speech the question of Italy was thus alluded to :— “If we now cast our eyes on the Italian Peninsula we are, like your Majesty, struck with the events of which it has been the theatre since our last session. Two interests of the first order which the Emperor wished to conciliate have clashed, and Italian liberty is struggling with the Court of Rome. To prevent that conflict your Government has tried all that political skill and fair dealing could suggest. To one you pointed out the course of the law of nations, to the other a compromise. There you separated from unjust aggression; here you were afflicted at impolitic resistance. Everywhere you were affected by noble misfortune and painful ruin. In fine, all equitable roads were opened, and you only stopped short before the employment of force. For by armed intervention ideas of conciliation are not realized. Your Majesty, moreover, has not forgotten that at other periods the fault committed by France was to pretend to govern Italy after having emancipated it, and you desired to disengage French policy from what had been an embarrassment, not thinking that because it was necessary to interfere in favour of Italy oppressed by a foreign Power, it was necessary to interfere in constraining the will of emancipated Italy. This system of non-intervention, the best to prevent a general conflagration, will close the field of our ancient rivalry with Austria; and if, notwithstanding sinister predictions, an European war does not break out in Spring, it is because your Majesty, content with a prudent and firm attitude, has resisted the inducements of ardent passions, while you did not yield to the exigencies of reaction. And this peace will be as valuable a blessing to Italy as to us, for Italy will not be understood by the world, which is regarding her, unless she proves that she will not agitate Europe by her liberty after having so long disturbed it by her misfortunes. Let her recollect, above all, that Catholicism has intrusted to her the Head of the Church, the representative of the greatest moral force of humanity. The religious interests of France demand of her not to forget it. The pleasing recollections of Magenta and of Solferino lead us to hope that she will take it into consideration. But our firmest hope is in the tutelary, and indefatigable hand of your Majesty. Your filial affection for a sacred cause—which you do not confound with that of the intrigues which borrow its maskhas been unceasingly remarked in the defence and maintenance of the temporal power of the Sovereign Pontiff. And the Senate do not hesitate to give their full adhesion to all the acts of your frank, moderate, and persevering policy. For the future we shall continue to place our

confidence in the monarch who covers the papacy with the French flag, who has assisted at its trials, and who has constituted himself the most vigilant and most faithful guardian of Rome and of the Pontifical Throne.” + At the sitting of the Senate on the 1st of March, a remarkable speech was made by Prince Napoleon in reply to some attacks by the Marquis de Larochejaquelein on the policy of the Government. He said:— “Gentlemen, there are attacks which reflect honour, and I leave the care of replying to the outrages which you have heard, to liberal opinion in Europe, to Italian patriotism,

* A statement was published in the Constitutionnel, showing the cost to the French Government of the Army of Occupation at Rome —

Cost.
Troops. Francs.

1849 19,185 2,029,000
1850 13,777 7,822,000
1851 10,198 5,423,000
1852 9,858 ... , 5,291,000
1853 8,784 4,950,000
1854 9,358 5,962,000
1855 6,910 4,316,000
1856 5,423 3,082,000
1857 5,600 2,946,000
1858 ... 5,628 2,936,000
1859 ... 7,404 3,787,000
1860 ... 7,000 3,500,000
1861 ... 19,000 9,480,000

128,125 61,524,000

The Constitutionnel added:—“It is evident that these figures do not represent the entire expense, inasmuch as they do not include the cost of clothing, arms, and ammunition. It is known, by the Budget of the Minister, that each soldier costs 1000f., and that 1000 men cost 1,000,000f. According to this calculation, the cost of keeping a French army in Rome since 1849 amounts to 128,125,000f.”

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