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sity of giving a new impulse to our public works. I recommend to the attention and to the patriotism of the chambers the project of that great communication from the sea and the Scheldt to the Maese and the Rhine, which is sought for by the wants and wishes of almost the whole country.
"Besides the budget and the law for regulating the public accounts, new laws will be presented to you for the organization of the provinces and the communes. Your deliberations will also be directed to the distillery laws, as they must exercise an important influence on the state of our agriculture, already so flourishing.
"Gentlemen, the elements of prosperity which Belgium contains, as well as her liberal institutions, attest the progress of her civilization. It belongs to the powers which preside over her destinies, by their common efforts, to cause those elements of prosperity, and those institutions to flourish, which, wisely developed, will become the most solid basis of our nationality, and promise us the most prosperous futurity."
The chambers voted addresses, which were an echo of the speech, but they subsequently made some reductions on the ministerial estimates of the budget. According to the statements of the minister of Finance, the annual budget, after the army should have been reduced to a peace establishment, would not exceed 85 millions of francs, or about 3,400,000l.
While the king was rejoicing in the birth of an heir to his crown, the "manufacturing interests" of Belgium were suffering under great depression, and the manufacturers of Ghent brought their complaints to the foot of the throne.
In a memorial presented to the king, they stated, that Belgium possessed manufactories for cotton, the value of which, including buildings and machinery, amounted to 62,677,300 francs, or about two millions and a half sterling. These establishments worked up annually 8,320,000 kilogrammes of raw cotton, estimated at 665,600l. They produced 7,765,333 killogrammes of cotton yarn, from which were woven 1,941,333 pieces of various tissues, the remainder being used in hosiery and mixed goods. The whole manufacture gave employment to 221,886 individuals. At the head of the causes which had brought it into its present unfortunate condition, they placed the separation of Belgium from Holland. They had now no market but the kingdom of Belgium: even there they found competitors. The second cause was a consequence of the first-the loss of the trade with Java, which had annually consumed a large portion of their manufactures. The third was the enormous extent to which foreign goods were smuggled into the country. The remedies which they proposed were, first, to secure, by a revision of the tariff, a monopoly of the home market to the home manufacturer; and, secondly, to favour exportation by bounties. The workmen likewise, besides sending a deputation to the king, presented a petition to the chamber of representatives. They stated, that, during the last three years, they had been without any work for months together, and at other times had had only half work, so that they had been obliged gradually to pawn all they had, even to their bed-clothes; and now, when they had nothing left to sell or pawn, they were without work,
and consequently without bread. They did not know the cause of their misfortunes, or the means of remedying them; but they did know that they no longer saw numerous waggons and ships conveying their manufactures to distant countries; they did know, from the reports of some who had been in other countries, that in England, France, and Prussia, not an ell of cotton manufactured in Flanders, or any other produce of Belgian manufacture was to be seen; while
they saw, with their own eyes, that the shops of Flanders were filled with English, French, and Swiss manufactures. Why, then, they asked, did not Belgium do as they did in France, England, and Prussia, where trade and manufactures flourished? Yet, at this very time, the workmen of Lyons were preparing to rise in rebellion, and the manufacturing artisans of Britain were making complaints much more loud, and, at least, not better founded.
GERMANY.-State of Political Feeling-Motion made in the States of Wirtemberg against the Resolutions of the Diet-The King requests it not to be discussed-The deputies vote the interference of the King a breach of privilege, and resolve to proceed-The Chambers are dissolved-Manifesto of the King-Meeting of the new ChamberDissolution of the Chambers of Hesse Cassel-Disputes between the Government of Hesse Darmstadt and the Chambers regarding the Decrees of the Diet-Discussions regarding the same Decrees in the Chambers of Baden-The Government prohibits the printing of a Motion against them-Debate on this Prohibition-Weimar-Riots in Frankfort and at Neustadt-Trial of Dr. Liebenpfeiffer for the Hambach festival. SWITZERLAND-Dissensions in Basle and Schwytz-Some of the Cantons form themselves into a separate Diet -Proceedings of the General Diet-Military Disturbances in Basle and Schwytz-The Diet divides Basle into two Cantons Neufchatel.
TN Germany, the partial outbreakings of political agitation in 1832, and the doctrines circulated by exaggerated political writers, had induced the diet to enact severe ordinances to preserve the tranquillity of the Confederation. But these measures only added fuel to the flame; they were rules, not for the individuals of a state, but laws for the government of the different states themselves who became merely subordinate instruments to execute the will of the supreme and central authority. They seemed to encroach on the constitutional powers of the representative bodies in the constitutional states. Thus the dispute was no longer a contest between a government and its own agitators, but between the diet, and the parliaments of Baden, Wirtemberg, or Bavaria. The pub VOL. LXXV.
lic discussions, thus unavoidably excited, increased a thousand fold the mischiefs of existing discontents; and resistance, ceasing to wear the look of a few hotheaded citizens resisting the state, assumed the appearance of constitutional authorities protecting public rights against the dominion of foreign powers.
The Chambers of Wirtemberg met on the 15th of January. The representative chamber, before proceeding to any other business, entered on the discussion of the ordinances of the Diet of the preceding year restricting the liberty of the press. A motion was made, that they were contrary to the constitution of the kingdom; that the government should be requested either formally to retract its accession to them, or, at least, to submit them to the states, modi[T]
fied or differently interpreted, under the sanction of the Diet; and that, while awaiting the concurrence of the Diet in this object, any future application of these resolutions should be protested against. According to the forms of the assembly, a considerable interval must elapse between the proposing of a motion, and its adoption. The government, after much deliberation, took advantage of the interval to send down a royal rescript, in which it maintained, that the resolutions of the Diet were not violations of the constitution, and that all the states of Germany were bound to obey them; that the government, in consideration of its own dignity, and of the respect due to the other powers of the Confederation, expected the chamber would reject the motion with the disapprobation it deserved; and desired to know whether they were disposed to yield to the views of the government on this subject, and avoid entering on the consideration of the resolutions. The member who had made the motion declared that he would not withdraw it, and protested against the authority which government was attempting to exercise. The rescript, instead of being immediately taken into consideration, was referred to a committee. That committee reported in favour both of the conduct of the committee in entertaining the motion, and of the propositions contained in the motion itself. They added that, in order to maintain the independence of the Chamber, it was absolutely necessary to repel with energy the attempted interference of the crown in its proceedings, and therefore recommeuded, that the following address
should be presented to his majesty as an answer to the rescript: "To your Royal Majesty we present most respectfully, in consequence of a rescript, what follows:
"In the said rescript it is declared, that we should, with marked disapprobation, reject a motion respecting the resolutions of the Federal Diet of the 28th of June, 1832. We therefore consider it proper to explain, in the most decisive manner, that it is the right and the duty of every member of the chamber to speak without reserve when the constitution is threatened, be it from whatever quarter it may, with danger. The motion has been entertained in the regular course of business, and we neither permit the order of our proceedings to be disturbed, nor any other character to be given to our decisions than that which they require-calmness and impartiality. We therefore cannot reject with disapprobation the motion in question; and as to the anticipated interference in the regular course of our transactions, we hold ourselves bound equally to guard the freedom of the Chamber and the responsibility of each of its members.' When the address was brought under discussion, it produced a long and animated debate. The opposition maintained the independence of the Chamber, and denied the right of the government to interfere, on any pretext, with its proceedings.
An attempt was made by the court party to postpone the debate on the address until after the discussion of the motion; but they failed, and the address, as proposed by the committee, was, in substance, agreed to, after a division, in which fiftythree voted for it, and thirty-one,
for different reasons, against it. However, some verbal amendments being thought necessary, it was referred back to the committee, and reported again on the 13th of March, when it was finally adopted, eleven members protesting against it. On the 22nd, the king dissolved the Chambers, and ordered a new election. This was a measure which, under the ordinary working of the constitution, would not have promised to be very effective; but the government had a great advantage in the actual existence of the ordinances of the Diet, by which combinations of public opinion through the press could be prevented, while electoral committees would no longer be allowed.
The dissolution was followed by a justificatory manifesto of the king. It had been evident, he said, from the commencement of the session, that the Chamber contained a party hostile to the existing order of things, and labouring to depreciate the benefits which had been derived from previous Chambers, not directing their efforts towards objects beneficial to the nation, but employed in attacking the internal and external relations of the country, so that the time of the Chamber had been wasted in useless discussion. The motion against the resolutions of the Diet, which described them as having inflicted a mortal and premeditated wound on the constitutions of the German states, was itself an attack against the fundamental principles of the constitution of the kingdom, and particularly against that on which its monarchy depended. But the Chamber ordered the motion to be printed and discussed. It was then that the government deemed
it an imperative duty to instruct the Chamber as to the course it should pursue, and point out the dangers of the path on which it was entering, especially as they were aware, that this was not an isolated measure, but was nected with others of more extensive operation. This the Chambers chose to treat as an illegal interference with their proceedings; and, without waiting for the discussion of the principal question itself, it was peremptorily declared, that the Chamber would not concur in the views of the executive. A declaration of such a nature, after all that had passed, demonstrated, that the further deliberations of the Chambers could not be conducive to the good of the country, and the support of a well-regulated government. "The fate of the ensuing session we have now placed in the hands of the electors. Let every man weigh well the responsibility which he incurs, and that none should be returned but men who have the welfare of their country sincerely at heart, uniting moderate and impartial views with a prudent and reflecting spirit, and devoted with equal fidelity to the king and the constitution." The new Chambers assembled on the 20th of May. They did not make the ordinances of the Diet the exclusive subject of discussion, or allow them to stop all the business of the country; but neither were they forgotten. The Chamber of representatives, before being prorogued, voted an address to the king, praying him to abolish the censorship, and to maintain the rights of his people against the encroachments of the Diet.
The estates of the electorate of Hesse Cassel, which assembled on