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M. Lainé Villevêque complained of fences denounced in the law. MM. the injustice done to writers, by de- Daunou and B. Constant declarpriving them, in any case, of the be. ed, that it was a mockery to tell nefit of a jury, and pointed out the in Frenchmen that they had the
power conveniences which would naturally of printing and publishing their senarise from remitting some offences timents, and yet to refuse them the of the press to the arrêts of the cor- exercise of that power except on rectional police, and others to the condition of sinking a capital of from award of a jury. He also thought 70,000 to 140,000 francs ; a condithat the article on the defamation of tion in the highest degree injurious the Chambers was peculiarly danger. and tyrannical. A journal, they said, ous, from their having it in their established for several years, or even power to determine, in the first in. for several months, offered of itself stance, what they considered of this a more substantial guarantee than description. Of the same kind was any they could obtain; while, in point that relative to foreign Princes, a- of right, it was as unreasonable to degainst which he declaimed with pe- mand securities as hostages. These culiar energy; maintaining, that the objections were answered, though, it vices, acts, and crimes of sovereigns must be confessed, in very vague and belonged properly to history, and general terms, by the defenders of ought to be left open to the most the principle of the law, M. Guizot, free and unfettered discussion. Se. the King's Commissary, and MM. veral other members, and particu. Lainé, Roger-Collard, and the Keeplarly Mr B. Constant, followed near- er of the Seals. In fine, however, ly the same course of observation, after five days' discussion, the Miniand a number of amendments were stry consented to the reduction of proposed, which were however nega- the amount of the security to be detived, and the project carried, as it manded, though only in the case of originally stood, by a majority of 85, provincial journals, and to the mothere being 145 for it, and 58 against dification of some other articles; and it. In the Chamber of Peers, whi- on the sitting of the 5th of May, the ther it was carried on the 24th of law passed the Chamber of Deputies April, it encountered but little op. by a majority of 108. On the 8th, position, and finally passed by a ma. it was carried to the Peers, where it jority of 130 to 50.
excited little or no discussion, and The second project was not so on the 28th was passed, 14 only votkeeply contested, as in fact most of ing against it. "Upon a survey of the topics which it involved had the whole, we cannot say that we been discussed when the first was coincide in opinion with the Keeper under the consideration of the Cham- of the Seals, that the authors of this bers. It was accordingly carried law “had at length established in through by the most decided majo. France the liberty of the press.” rities.
We come now to the Budget for In the discussion of the last pro- the year, which the Minister, for the ject, that relative to the public journ convenience of discussing it more in nals, some strong and pointed re- detail, divided into two separate marks were made on that part which projects; the first called the Law of demanded security for the payment Expenditure, which was submitted of fines that might afterwards be to the Chamber of Deputies on the levied for the commission of the of. 16th of March, and the second, call
ed the Law of Receipts, wbich was From this exposé, as compared introduced four days after. But, for with the budget of last year, a dethe convenience of having the whole cided improvement is manifest in of the estimates under oureye at once,
the French Finances. we shall combine them together, as and means of last year amounted on former occasions :
only to L. 31,999, 100 Sterling, while EXPENCES.
the charge was estimated at no less Interest of the Public
than L. 41,383,500, leaving a deficit Debt, and the Sink- Francs. to be provided for of L. 9,384,400;
ing Fund............. 232,000,000 whereas this year they were calcuCivil List...................
34,000,000 lated to equal the expenditure, the Ministry of foreign af
former exhibiting an increase of fairs.........
8,000,000 L. 5,051,420, and the latter a de- . of Justice....... 17,460,000 crease of L. 4,333,080 Sterling. In of the Interior, 102,700,000 addition to this, the Minister stated, of War.......... 192,750,000 that the surplusage op Bank stock, of the Marine 45,200,000 annuities, &c. would give an excess of Finance..... 257,100,000 of ways and means over the charge, Total charge,......889,210,000 amounting to 23,872,000 francs, or
about L.973,833. About L.37,050,420 Sterling. From the division of the budget
into two parts, it was necessarily Direct Taxes............
referred to two separate Committees.
363,558,000 That on the expenditure, which gave Administration of the
in its report on the 10th of May, national demesnes,
appears to have entered very minute. &C..........................
ly into the different heads of charge, Woods............
upon all of which it proposed conCustoms.......
113,013,000 siderable reductions *; amounting in Indirect Taxes............ 174,834,500 all to 12,856,343 francs, of which Post-office........... 22,460,000
4,003,777 were under the head of Lottery..................... 12,500,000 the public debt alone. The reducSalt-works........
5,298,500 tions voted by the Chamber, howAnnuities due by the Treasury.............
ever, were eight millions in the War, Retained on Titles..... 11,200,000 General's departments.
5,180,000 and 900,000 francs in the ReceiverTotal of Ways & Means 889,210,000 On the 7th of June, M. Beugnot
About L.37,050,420 Sterling, (be. presented the report of the Commit. ing equal to the expenditure). tee of Ways and Means. One of
WAYS AND MEANS.
• The following is the substance of this report in a tabular form :-
the Committee. Public Debt ..................
232,000,000 277,996,223 4,003,777 Life Annuities
12,941,141 11,800,000 1,141,141 Civil Pensions
2,450,000 1,860,575 589,425 Military do .................... 48,831,000 48,000,000 831,000 Ecclesiastical do.
12,000,000 11,500,000 500,000 Ministry of the loterior .... 102,700,000 100,600,000 2,100,000 Marine .....
49,100,000 48,500,000 500,000 Finance
257,100,000 256,826.000 274,000 Interest of the floating debt 10,817,000] 7,500,000 2,817,000
the inconveniences attending the di- budget passed through the Chamber vision of the budget being to oblige of Peers ; and on the following day, the Chambers to enter into points a royal ordonnance announced the which they had already decided on, termination of the session. In the we shall not attempt to enter into the interim between the passing of the detail of the different heads of Ways budget in the Lower Chamber, and and Means which this Committee, like the close of the Session, the deputhe preceding one, appears to have ties were chiefly occupied in discussexamined with great minuteness, ing petitions, and other matters and, like its predecessor too, to have purely of local importance, into come to a different conclusion from which we cannot here enter. the Minister. It may suffice to men- A few general observations, how. tion, that they estimated the total ever, naturally suggest themselves, proceeds of the ways and means at when we survey the important ob892,000,000 francs ; (being some. jects to which the attention of the what more than 2 millions above the Legislative Body was this session estimates in the budget,) and the ex. directed, and the peculiar situation pence of collection, management, &c. in which the new Ministry found at 136,000,000; leaving a net pro- themselves. And the first is, that duct of 750,600,000 francs appli- they were obviously unprepared for cable to the service of the current the difficult and critical situation to year. Into these calculations, M. which they were called. In the Villèle appears to have entered very Chamber of Deputies they were minutely, though we cannot say hampered and restricted by never with what accuracy; for he arrives being able to calculate on a majoriat results different both from those ty in support of their measures ; and of the Minister and the Committee. we have already seen that, in the For example, the proceeds of regis. case of the three laws relative to the tration were estimated by the Mic press, they were compelled to resort nister at 181,166,800, by the Com- to the strong, and, we believe, unmittee at 184,166,000, and by M. precedented measure of throwing Villèle at 193,565,000 francs : the sixty new Peers into the Upper indirect taxes were estimated by the Chamber, in order to avoid the same Ministers at 174,834,500, by the defeat with their predecessors. In the Committee at 187,324,500, and by defence of the law of elections, and M. Villèle at 200,000,000 francs; in the early part of the session, they while the respective amounts fic depended for support almost entirenally fixed by the Chamber werely on the left, or opposition side of 183,694,000, and 190,000,000 francs. the Chamber : latterly, however, In conclusion, the total amount of they were more generally supportthe ways and means definitively fix-ed by the right side ; while, at the ed was 891,435,000; an approxi- close, they stood ill with both par. mation exceedingly close to the ties,—with the one for the princicalculation of the Minister; and so ples they had defended, with the osatisfied were the members of the iher for the questions they had a. fair and just principles upon which voided. A very few considerations this approximation had been form- will be necessary to explain this ed, that when the vote was taken, variation of fortune. Scarcely had 170 voted for, and only 5 against the they rescued the law of elections project. On the 16th of July, the from a formidable attack, when in three departments, where deputies found themselves in a situation constill remained to be elected, (the siderably more difficult and perilous Rhone, the Sarthe, and Finisterre) then even the Ministers whose places the operation of that law was to add they occupied. But if we restrict to the number of their opponents. our judgment to the session of the Scarcely had they exerted themselves events of which we have been able to encourage petitions favourable to to trace only an imperfect outline, the system on which they proposed we shall be compelled by justice to to act, when numbers poured in, admit, that, in spite of all the embar. whose object and aim was to strike at rassments by which they were surthe very root of their power. Scarce- rounded, the mortifications to which ly had the law relative to the press they were exposed, and the violent been passed, and which, with all its passions with which they had to conimperfections on its head, was more tend, they succeeded in considerably favourable to free discussion and the ameliorating the representative sysdissemination of liberal opinions than tem of France. This was the first any that had hitherto been given to session of the Legislative Body in France, (the best proof of which is, which the projects of the different that after the publication on the 9th laws were presented in a form proof June of the law which freed the perly digested and arranged, in journals from the censorship, several which the will of the King was not new ones sprung up, notwithstanding compromised for ministerial intethe obligation imposed on them to rests, and in which the principle of find security in guarantee of fines that ministerial responsibility and the demight be imposed,) when their con. tails of the budget had been effecduct was criticised and censured with tually recognised and examined. a bitterness which approached to in- With the exception of some fresh gratitude; for surely if they had failed outrages committed in the early part to do everything, they might have been of the year against the Protestants at allowed credit for what, in their pre- Nismes, by the blood-thirsty ruffians carious circumstances, they were able who had often imbrued their hands to accomplish. The want of regular in their blood with impunity, and support in the Chambers necessarily a riot, on some trifling occasion, at rendered them timid and irresolute; Montpelier, the general state of they were compelled to compromise France continued tranquil. At the between what they wished and what close of the year the new elections they were able to effect; and they were and the opening of the Chambers placed in the cruel circumstances took place as usual ; but in order to of being liable to blame, from which give a connected view of the events they found it as difficult to escape of each session by itself, we shall, as as to defend themselves. Hence it is before, delay entering upon its pronot to be wondered, that they soon ceedings till the next
THE REST OF EUROPE.
Spain. Death of Charles IV. and his Queen.-Proceedin gs of General Elio
at Valentia.-State of the Finances, and of the Army and Navy.- Edict against foreigners in the service of the South American Insurgents.--Difficulties in ratifying the treaty
for the cession
of the Floridas. Discovery of a conspiracy in the expedition at Cadiz.—The introduction of the Plague. -Its ravages.-Change of Ministry.- Report of the Council of Castile.Manceuvre of the Court.-Revolution of the 1st of January 1820.-Germany.-Deliberations of the Diet.-- General State of Affairs. — Assassination of Kotzebue.-Congress of Carlsbad.-Resolutions of the Diet.-Austria. -Prussia.-Bavaria.-Baden.-Wurtemberg.—Hesse Darmstadt - The Netherlands.-Denmark.--Sweden.-Russia. - Turkey.
This year, the events of which in- brought to General Elio, Captaindicated the approach of a great crisis General of the province of Valentia, in the history of the Spanish Monar. that a plot bad been formed against chy, was ushered in by accounts of his life, and that the conspirators were the death of the Ex-King Charles then assembled in a coffee-house deliIV. and of his Queen, Louisa Maria berating on the means of carrying Theresa of Parma ; which took place their designs into effect. Thither he at Rome, (where they lived latterly instantly repaired, accompanied by on a pension of three_millions of his informer and a few soldiers. On reals paid by their son Ferdinand,) entering the retreat of the conspirain the month of January. The ex- tors, he perceived a retired officer, tinction of this wretched dotard, Colonel Vidal, who had been pointand his profligate Queen, who re ed out as the author of the plot, and tained to the last, apparently with whom, having refused to surrender the concurrence of her husband, his sword, the General, after severely Godoy, Prince of Peace, and the wounding him, disarmed with his own mipion of her licentious pleasures, hand. After some resistance, his comappears to have excited no sensa. Panions, twelve in number, were also tion, and certainly to have produced secured, and the whole conducted to no alteration in the relative state of prison, tried by a court-martial, and parties in Spain.
executed on the 22d, before the couEarly in the year, an event occur- rier sent to the King by the Goverred, triding in itself, but important nor with the report of the trial from the arbitrary proceedings to had returned to Valentia, with his which it led, and the results with Majesty's approval of the sentence. which it has since been attended. Vidal who, by his merits and his couIn the middle of the night of the rage, had raised himself from the 2d of January, information was ranks, was hung like a common felon,