« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the Poles should refuse to come to the Reichsrath, the Ruthenes were to be called in to help in carrying out the direct election. There was to be no Minister-President named, but the place was to be reserved until the Reichsrath should meet, and make its own appointment.
The refusal of Kellersperg to meet in any way the demands of the Poles in Galicia-demands much more moderate than those of the Czechs of Bohemia—was the chief point on which his programme displeased Andrassy, who hoped to find in the support of the Poles that majority for Government in the Reichsrath without which the Constitution could not work. Besides this, the proposed mode of action in elections was clearly calculated to give an invidious prominence to Crown influence; and altogether the scheme was pronounced impracticable by the heads of the Government. Kellersperg retired, and the post of Minister-President was again vacant.
The next occupant of it was Prince Adolf Auersperg—a politician whose reputation and character stood high, though he had but recently made himself a name in state affairs. His brother, Prince Carlos Auersperg, had been the first Austrian Constitutional Minister, in 1867.
On the 21st Prince Auersperg-having previously obtained the sanction of the Crown for his programme, thus reversing the Kellersperg process-presented it before a Conference of the German Constitutional party for approval. It attempted to show the way not only to surmount the present difficulty as regarded getting together the Reichsrath, in a perfectly legal and constitutional manner, but to prevent parliamentary strikes in future.
The objectionable Diets were to be dissolved at once, and new elections ordered. The Bohemian Diet was also to be dissolved, so that even there a chance was given to the Constitutional party to get their interests better represented than they had been.
The Minister for Galicia was to remain, but his sphere of action was to be defined so as not to wear that character of complete sepa-. ration which it had under the Hohenwart Ministry. All affairs relating to Galicia, to whatever department they might belong, were still to pass through his hands, but the decision of them was reserved to the Council of Ministers. Thus the special needs of Galicia would be taken into consideration without breaking up the unity of the Ministry. The Government, besides, would undertake to propose to the Reichsrath, and advocate, an administrative independence in favour of Galicia not greater than that which a portion of the German Constitutional party itself was ready to grant to them.
Respect and observance of the Constitution were no more to be mere words, but a reality. There would be the legal and constitutional forum, the Diets and the Reichsrath, to redress grievances and fulfil wishes, but the licence for extra-parliamentary agitation, so often carried to rank treason, was to be put a stop to with all the means the law might give, or even by new laws adapted to the case. And not only were the agitating powers of individuals to be repressed, but the Diets also were to be held perforce in the Constitutional path. There were to be no elections of members to the Reichsrath under protest or reserve; all such elections should be considered illegal. Neither was absenteeism to be tolerated. If a member chosen by the Diet refused to come up he should lose his right, and another should be chosen in his stead. Now Government could, by the existing law, order deputies to be directly elected by the country in case the Diet as such should refuse to send up Members; but there happened to be a flaw in this law, which hitherto had damaged its operations. Thus when the Bohemian Diet, in which the Czechish party had got the majority, refused to elect Members to the last Reichsrath, and direct elections had been ordered, instead of the fifty-four Members to which Bohemia is entitled, only fourteen were forthcoming; the fact being that most of the rural districts elected Czechs from the class of great proprietors, and they, sharing in the general dissaffection, refused to come and take part in the Central Legislature. One point of the programme, therefore, was the addition of a clause that in the case of refusal to serve, the men who had got most votes after the men elected should take the place of the latter. The passing of this clause would put an end to parliamentary strikes, and insure the Reichsrath the full number of members.
The German Centralists, before whom Auersperg laid his programme, would only pledge themselves to support him on condition that the Polish demands should not be brought before the Reichsrath as a Government measure. The Emperor's expressed wish that a Polish Minister should be chosen to represent Galicia in the Cabinet was as yet disregarded, the Poles themselves perceiving that their claims were likely to be met by unfavourable discussion and virtual rejection when the parliamentary battle should begin.
To sanction the proposed changes it was necessary to assemble the Reichsrath for a short session and lay the programme before it. The question was, would a sufficient number of deputies appear to bring the House up to the number of two-fifths, without which no measure affecting the Constitution could be taken into consideration. The policy of abstention had always been found by the malcontents the best way to hamper the wheels of Government, and it was to remedy the inconvenience so often caused by it that the new Constitutional enactments, as we have seen, were in part proposed.
The Assembly met on December the 27th, and the appearance of the benches was eagerly scanned. On the left side sat the Constitutional party, in its usual strength. Then came a great void in the centre. Towards the right the places were more occupied; on the extreme right the Poles made a good show. Dalmatia had sent up no Members, but this arose probably from causes of accidental delay merely. Carniola, Vorarlberg, and the Tyrol were represented, though imperfectly. When the President called on the Members to take the oath, 120 answered to the call, and there was every expectation that more would come up. The requisite quorum was only 102, therefore it was possible to proceed to business.
On the following day, December 28th, the Emperor delivered his opening Speech. He pointed out that his readiness to grant such extreme concessions as would be compatible with the unity of the State had not succeeded in effecting the desired internal harmony. The Crown, by referring the different provinces for a remedy for their claims to such means as the Constitution offered to them, had not only had in view the right of the whole Empire, but also the real interests and protection of the separate kingdoms. The first task of the Government, which was composed of men belonging to the representation of the entire country, was, the Emperor said, to strengthen the constitutional and legal basis, and to insure every where absolute obedience to the laws. The Government, on its part, would accede to the wishes of Galicia so far as they were confined to that province, and were compatible with the conditions of the unity and the power of the whole Empire. The complete independence of the Reichsrath must be assured by the unbiassed selection of its representatives. The proper means for carrying into practical effect this view of Austrian constitutionality would be submitted to consideration at what should seem the most favourable moment; and it would appear that all interests entitled to representation would be adequately protected. In the meantime Bills would be submitted for the prevention of abuses of the constitutional elections. The Speech from the Throne then recommended the settlement of the educational question. The Government, it was said, intended earnestly, but with moderation, to carry out the laws on primary instruction, and would also decide the pending questions respecting the Universities. The Government would further make certain necessary preparations for filling up the gaps created by the suspension of the Concordat, in legislating on the relations between the Catholic Church and the State. Further, the Government would complete the draught of the Bills on the important questions relating to the civil and criminal procedure of the police magistracy, the general organization of the tribunals, and the institution of a public prosecutor. It was already engaged in drawing up a Bill defining the attributes and conformation of a Court of Administrative Control; and the development of the Landwehr would also be one of its special duties. The Estimates for 1872 would be submitted to the Reichsrath immediately, and proper care taken to prepare the subsequent Budget. The Emperor further announced several Bills on economical and commercial questions, with the view of specially developing the trade of the country and advancing the claims of labour. The Government, he said, was engaged in drawing up Bills to increase the salaries of officials. The amelioration of the pecuniary position of the lower clergy would also be cared for. While pointing out that the unity of political labour was the surest means of harmonizing contradictory interests and of reconciling all parties, the Emperor deplored the conduct of some portions of the population in declining to be represented on the basis on which alone any understanding was attainable. He urgently exhorted the representatives to devote their undivided efforts to the solution of practical questions, in order to satisfy the material and spiritual wants of the country. The people of Austria, he said, weary of Constitutional conflicts, asked for peace and order, so that they might enjoy the rights so freely secured to them by the Constitution. The present European situation was highly favourable to the consolidation of Austrian internal interests, and it might be hoped that the friendly relations of Austria with foreign Powers would go far to strengthen the maintenance of universal peace.
The Speech concluded by expressing the expectation that the unification of the various peoples composing the Austrian Empire might be successfully achieved on national bases, and in accordance with the spirit of the age.
ITALY.–Rival Courts at Rome-Law of the Papal Guarantees—The Pope's Jubilee
The King's Arrival at Rome--Opening of Mont Cenis Railway Tunnel-Demonstrations at Rome-First Italian Parliament at Rome-King's Speech Monte
Citorio and the Vatican-Financial Statement. SPAIN.-King Amadeus-Last Session of the Cortes Constituyentes-State of Parties
-Ruiz Zorrilla— Arrival of the Queen--New Elections—Opening of the Legis. lative Cortes-Debates-Change of Ministry-King's Tour through the Provinces
- More Changes of Ministry-Massacre at Havannah. PORTUGAL. BELGIUM.–Riots at Brussels-Fall of the Anethan Ministry. NETHERLANDS. SWITZERLAND.—Peace Society-Romanizers and Anti-Romanizers—Reform of
Constitution. SWEDEN.—Army Reform Schemes, &c. DENMARK. Russia.—Relations with Germany-Army Re-organization-Black Sea—"Nihilist "
Trials—Relations with Roman Catholic Church-Cholera-St. George's Day at
Factions—Affair of the Railway Bonds.
The history of the Italian kingdom this year is singularly prosperous and exempt from vicissitudes. It is chiefly indicated by three or four landmarks in the shape of public events bearing on the peaceful progress of the newly-cemented State. Soon after the King's short visit to Rome at Christmas, 1870, his eldest son, Humbert, Prince of Piedmont, and the Princess Margherita settled there for some months, and set up a bright and popular Court on the Quirinal. Pope Pius IX. held his rival Court at the Vatican, and indulged himself in complaints at his altered situation, but resisted the pressure put upon him by some of his cardinals to leave the city altogether, and seek an asylum in some more faithful land than the dominions of Victor Emmanuel. “Many here counsel me to leave Rome," he said one day, “but where am I to go ? There is not one of the Catholic Powers that would not, after a time, find my presence an embarrassment, so that I should have to wander from one country to another, and it is very hard for an old man to turn vagabond. "I am not inspired to depart,” he said on another occasion, in allusion to his newly-defined attribute of Infallibility. The footing on which the dethroned Pontiff was allowed by the Italian Government to reside at the Vatican was defined by a Bill which passed through Parliament in May, commonly called the Bill of the Papal Guarantees. This measure was received with no good grace by the Pope, who of course denied the right of the Italian King to arrange any conditions at all for him; but to his disappointment he found no Catholic monarch willing to interfere actively for the amendment of his position.
The provisions of the Bill were as follows :The first portion of it related to the personal rights and prerogatives of the Pope, and the second to the relations between Church and State. The person of the Pope was declared to be “sacred and inviolable," and any offence against him to be punishable in the same manner as offences against the King. It was decreed that he should be received by the authorities with royal honours, and was to be given the same rights of precedence as were allowed to him and his representatives in other Catholic countries. He was to have as many guards as he pleased to protect his person and his palace. His annual allowance was to be 3,225,000 lire, the amount charged in the budget of the Papal States for the papal palaces, the Sacred College, priests, congregations, department of the Secretary of State, and foreign diplomatic service. This allowance was declared to be free from all rates and taxes. The Pope was to remain in possession of the Vatican, the Lateran, and Castelgondolfo, with all their outbuildings, furniture, &c.; and both the palaces and the libraries and picture galleries contained in them were to be inalienable, free from all imposts, and not liable to seizure for public purposes. (This provision of the Bill was amended by the Lower House, in the sense that the picture-galleries and the library of the Vatican should become the property of the nation; but the amendment was rejected by the Senate.) No official or other Government agent was to be allowed to enter any of the papal palaces, even in the discharge of his public duty, without the Pope's permission ; and the same rule was to apply to buildings where a conclave or