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of the Year,' and to appropriate the supplies we have granted in the present session of Parliament"
Several Bills having been handed in and received the lloyal Assent in due form, the Queen read the following Speech, handed to her by the Lord Chancellor:—
"My Lords and Gentlemen —
"I am glad to be able to release you from your attendance in Parliament; and I thank you for the diligence with which you have performed your laborious duties.
"I continue to maintain the most friendly relations with Foreign Powers.
"I am happy to be able to congratulate you on the very considerable diminution which has taken place in the African and Brazilian slave trade. The exertions of my squadrons on the coasts of Africa and Brazil, assisted by the vigilance of the cruisers of France and of the United States, and aided by the co-operation of the Brazilian Government, have mainly contributed to this result.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons —
"I thank you for the readiness with which you have granted the supplies necessary for the service of the year.
"My Lords and Gentlemen—
"It is satisfactory to observe that, notwithstanding very large reductions of taxes, the revenue for the past year considerably exceeded the public expenditure for the same period.
"I am rejoiced to find that you have thereby been enabled to relieve my people from an impost which restricted the enjoyment of
light and air in their dwellings. I trust that this enactment, with others to which your attention has been and will be directed, will contribute to the health and comfort of my subjects.
"I thank you for the assiduity with which you have applied yourselves to the consideration of a measure framed for the purpose of checking the undue assumption of ecclesiastical titles conferred by a foreign power. It gives me the highest satisfaction to find that, while repelling unfounded claims, you have maintained inviolate the great principles of religious liberty, so happily established among us.
"The attention you have bestowed on the administration of justice in the Courts of Law and Equity will, I trust, prove beneficial, and lead to further improvements.
"I have willingly given my consent to it Bill relating to the administration of the land revenues of the Crown, which will, I hope, conduce to the better management of that department, and at the same time tend to the promotion of works of public utility.
"It has been very gratifying to me, on an occasion which has brought many foreigners to this country, to observe the spirit of kindness and good-will which so generally prevailed. It is my anxious desire to promote among nations the cultivation of all those arts which are fostered by peace, and which in their turn contribute to maintain the peace of the world.
•• In closing the present vssion. it is with feelings of gratitude to Almighty God that I acknowledge the general spirit of loyalty and willing obedience to the law which animates my people. Soch a spirit is the best security at once for the progress and the stability of our free and happy institutions." Upon the whole, the session of 1851 cannot be described as one very fertile in legislative results or valuable accessions to the statute book. One subject, indeed, overshadowed all the rest, and absorbed the attention of the House of Commons almost from the commencement to the close. The Ecclesiastical Titles Bill was the great achievement of the session. Introduced in February, it occupied the Houses in a protracted warfare till the end of July. The opponents were, indeed, comparatively few in number, but they maintained the unequal contest with singular pertinacity. Whether the result, after all, was worthy of the time and labour expended on
it, may be still matter of controversy; but beyond all doubt, in devoting its attention so strenuously to this one subject, Parliament faithfully reflected the prevailing tone of public opinion. With this single exception, the Parliamentary transactions of 1851 will leave no signal trace on the records of history. But, if devoid of brilliancy on the one hand, they were unchequered by reverse or disaster on the other; and, though wanting in the interest which attaches to times of stirring change or political excitement, the period which they include may be described as signalized in no common degree by the blessings of successful industry, prosperity, and abundance; and by the virtues of loyalty, tranquillity, and contentment.
France.—Interpellations by M. Napoleon Bonaparte in the Assembly respecting Orders issued to the Army by General Changarnier—Discission thereon—Election of Questors—Resignation of the Ministry— Formation of the Baroche Cabinet—Order of the Day issued by General Baraguay ctHilliers, the new Commander-in-Chief—Hostile Motion by M. Rcmusat, carried in the Assembly—Report of Committee on the Conduct of the Executive in dismissing General Changarnier—Resolution of Want of Confidence in the Ministry, moved by M. St. Beuve — Debate thereon — Speeches of MM. Mouet, Baroche, Berryer, Lamartine, GeneralChangarnier,M. Thiers,andGeneralCavaignac— Motion of M. St. Beuve carried—The Ministry resign—Formation of a Provisional Cabinet—Message of the President to the Assembly— Interpellations by M. Houyn de Tranche're—Letter from the Due de Bordeaux to M. Berryer—Dotation Bill of the President brought forward by the Ministry—Report of Committee thereupon, rejecting the Bill—Financial Statement—Debate on Dotation Bill—Speeches of MM. de Royer, Dufougerais, and De Montalembert—Dotation Bill rejected—The President declines anofferofa Public Subscription—New Ministry formed by M. Leon Faucher—Speech by M. Leon Faucher —Hostile Motion of M. St. Beuve rejected—Proposition by M. Pascal Duprat respecting the Candidature for the Presidentship—Discussion respecting French Cardinals—Debate on proposal to repeal the Law exiling the Bourbon Family—National Guard Organic Bill—Speech of the President of the Republic at Dijon—Comments thereon in the Assembly — Petitions in favour of a Revision of the Constitution —The Assembly refer the Petitions to a Special Committee—Discussion in the Bureaux—Opinions of the Conseils Generaux throughout France on the Question of Revision.
THE political events of this year converted Europe into an immense
throughout the Continent of military camp. It was one of the
Europe, with the exception of axiomatic sayings of Burke, that
France, possess little or no interest, "kings will become tyrants from
The vast congeries of States known policy when subjects are rebels on
under the general name of Ger- principle," and this seems likely
many, have relapsed very nearly to be fully verified in the case of
into the same position and condi- the old monarchies of the Conti
tion which prevailed before the nent. The dream of German
revolutionary storm of 1848 burst nationality with a Prussian or
forth. The only difference is, that Austrian emperor at its head has
absolutism has strengthened its vanished into air, and the sittings
defences, and, warned by the events of the Frankfort Diet, as consti
of that and the following year, has tuted in 1815, have been quietly
resumed, as if nothing had happened to disturb them. The whole of Europe, during this year, may be said to have enjoyed the blessing of profound peace, for even in France internal quiet was only momentarily interrupted by actual conflict. But events there happened which must have an important influence upon the future, and it is to that country that the annalist of foreign affairs has at present almost exclusively to direct his attention.
In the beginning of January the Patrie newspaper published what it asserted to be extracts from the instructions originally issued by the Commander-in-Chief of the army of Paris, General Changarnier, to the troops. They were as follows:—
"1. Not to accede to any requisition unless after having orders from the Lieutenant-General. 2. To be without pity for all National Guards found on the side of the insurgents. 4. Not to obey the Representatives. 7. To shoot on the instant all traitors. 8. To fall on all persons propagating false news, such as the death of the General-in-Chief. 11. All the soldiers abstaining from acting during the combat to be shot."
The publication of these "orders " caused considerable excitement, and on the 3rd of January M. Napoleon Bonaparte, in the Assembly, demanded the right to put questions on the subject to' the Minister of War, General Schramm. The usual custom is to appoint a day on which the questions on which information is desired shall be put, in order to give time to the party addressed to be prepared with his answers ; but on this occasion the impatience of the Assembly would allow no delay,
and, after negativing several motions for an adjournment, the majority decided that immediate permission should be given to put the questions; General Changarnier himself voting with the majority. M. Bonaparte then, after a short speech, in which he characterized the orders to the troops as worthy of Radetzky or Windischgratz, and a violation of the constitution, moved that "The Assembly, censuring the instructions given to the troops under the Commander-in-Chief, requests the Minister of War to modify them, and passes to the order of the day."
The Minister of War stated, that in desiring adjournment he did not wish for evasion. The interpellations related to a matter which had taken place 29 months ago, and on which it was impossible for him to give any explanations in an instant, as the document spoken of could not be found in the office of his department.
Several voices called for the order of the day "pure and simple," but General Changarnier begged leave to give the explanation the Minister of War was unable to afford.
"The document in question," he said, "does not exist; it never has existed, for if it had it could still be found. In spite of the care taken by the Patrie to make an erratum with intent that the order should be textual, I positively declare that no permanent or temporary instructions of the kind published have ever emanated from the Commander-in-Chief of the army of Paris. In those which he has considered it his duty to address to the troops under his orders, the constitutional right of the Assembly to order out the troops has never been called in question. It is very true, that when, under the government of my honourable comrade, General Cavaignae, I was placed at the head of the National Guard, I published an order, which, when I united to that command that of the troops of the First Military Division, was also immediately communicated to them; that order, which I considered it my duty to issue, prescribed all the precautions to be taken to secure the regular transmission of orders and unity of command in time of combat. I may add, that all the Governments which have succeeded each other since that period have approved of that order; and the Patrie might, for the sake of having it correct, have taken it from the journals of the time."
After this the order of the day, "pur et simple" was loudly called for and almost unanimously voted, when the Assembly broke up in great agitation.
Next day a further proof of the hostility of the Assembly to the Ministry was given in the election of its officers for the month. It re-elected as Questors, General Leflo and MM. Baze andDe Panat, three members of the opposition; and in the Ninth Bureau, M. Leon Faucher, the personal friend of President Bonaparte, was rejected, in favour of M. Lepelletier dAulnay.
The Ministry therefore determined to resign, and proceeded in a body to the Elysee, where they had an interview with the President, who accepted their resignations. He treated the conduct of General Changarnier in voting for an immediate inquiry at the demand of M. Bonaparte as an act of personal hostility to himself; and he was not sorry to find a decent pretext for removing from his im
portant post an officer whose influence with the army he dreaded, and who had on more than one occasion thwarted his views and wishes. He had long felt himself under a kind of thraldom to General Changarnier, from which he was determined at the first opportunity to free himself, and he availed himself of the present crisis to put his purpose in execution. He declared, therefore, that he would accept no Ministry which was not prepared to dismiss General Changarnier.
This, of course, created no little difficulty, for the vote of the Assembly on the 3rd of January, when it, instead of censuring the conduct of the Commander-in-Chief, passed at once to the order of the day, was in fact a vote of approval of that formidable General; and, therefore, to dismiss him would be to do an act of direct antagonism to the Assembly. But at last a Cabinet was formed willing to take office on those terms, and it consisted of the following members :—
M. Magne—Public Works.
The following order of the day was issued by General Baraguay d'Hilliers on his appointment to the command of the army of Paris in place of General Changarnier :—
"Soldiers!—Called by the confidence of the President of the Republic to the command of the army of Paris, I think it neces