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FRANCE.-Opening of the French Chambers, and Speech of the Emperor -Address of the Senate in answer-i -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 The 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 Italy-Protest 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.
HE peace of Europe was this
year unbroken, except for a few weeks at the commencement, by the prolongation of the struggle kept up by the King of Naples at Gaeta, and afterwards by an obscure contest carried on by Turkey against Montenegro, which led to no decisive result. It was on the other side of the Atlantic that the din of arms was heard, where the North and the South rushed into a fratricidal war, and the great Republic of the United States was shattered by a secession of one-third of the population, occupying an extent of territory almost as large as Europe. The interest of the public was chiefly centred in the varying phases of that mighty
conflict, of which an account will be found in the later pages of this volume.
On the 4th of February, the Legislative Session of the French Chambers was opened by the Emperor, who delivered the following speech :
"Messieurs les Sénateurs, "Messieurs les Députés,
"The Speech at the opening of each session sums up in a few words the past events and the projects of the future. Up to this day that communication, restricted in its nature, has not put my Government in relations intimate enough with the Great bodies of the State, and these bodies were thus deprived of the means of strengthening the Go
"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 done at home and abroad.
At home, all the measures that have been taken tend to increase the agricultural, commercial, and industrial production. 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.
ing to violate personal rights and justice.
"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
"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
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 inter
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,
fere in favour of Italy oppressed confidence in the monarch who by a foreign Power, it was neces- covers the papacy with the sary to interfere in constraining French flag, who has assisted the will of emancipated Italy. at its trials, and who has conThis system of non-intervention, stituted himself the most vigithe best to prevent a general lant and most faithful guardian conflagration, will close the field of Rome and of the Pontifical of our ancient rivalry with Aus- Throne."* tria; 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 induceinents 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
A statement was published in the Constitutionnel, showing the cost to the French Government of the Army of Occupation at Rome :