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These, expenses were us
Chamber of Peers now took up unpopular, and still more warmly the case, as the alleged frauds of was the final adjustment of them Ouvrard affected its character, by opposedin the Chamber of Deputies, implicating some of its members as because almost a certainty had been accomplices. Some doubts were obtained, that great part of the entertained of the power of the money had been grossly misapplied Chamber to proceed in such an inby the frauds of the army-con- vestigation ; because no, peer had tractor, Ouvrard, and the pecu- been distinctly named or accused, lations, even of the generals who and because there, charge commanded the army sent into of high treason to constitute a Spain; and it was maintained that jurisdiction in the peers. But, no money ought to be yoted for although there was no impeachthe service of that year, untilment, nor any complaint regularly these charges had been investigat, made, it was no secret that the ed, and all the transactions con- public voice loudly accused the nected with the supplying of that highest officers in the army of army fully explained. M. Casimir having been participators in the Perrier said, it was evident that a contractor's schemes of peculation, dilapidation of the public property and the name of the Dauphin himhad been committed either by the self, who, had commanded the superior authorities, or by their army, was not spared. Count agents; and he moved as an amend, Bourdesolle, and general Guillemiment,
“that ministers shall pre not were specially pointed out as sent, in the next session, the ac- culprits, and the latter was returncounts of their operations relative ing, or had been recalled, from his to the war in Spain, and propose embassy at Constantinople, to meet the definitive settlement of the ex the charges against him. The penses of that war." The argy. Chamber appointed a committee to ment of the ministers was, that, in inquire and report whether they submitting to the Chamber the could competently proceed; and, in documents already laid before it the mean time, Ouvrard was kept respecting the expenses of sending prisoner in St. Pelagie, which had the army into Spain, they had formerly been his residence, under done all that the law required of the sway of Napoleon, for pecus them; that the expenses of the niary debits of a similar descrip, occupation were diminishing, and tion. The charges against him no new credit required for them; were, that he supplied the army and that, the effect of the amend sent into Spain with articles in ment would be, to postpone in- much smaller quantity, and greatly definitely the final adjustment of inferior in quality, to those specithe accounts in question, and ex, fied in his , contracts; that, the cite new discussion regarding mat- prices fixed by, those contracts ters on which the Chamber had were exorbitant ; and that he had already decided. After a stormy been able to affect this spoliation debate, continued during two sit- by bribing his superiors with tings, the amendment was rejected, part of the plunder. It was only and the investigation and punish with this bribery and corruption ment of the alleged guilt were that the peers had any concern, as left to another tribunal. The affecting the purity of their own
were expected to pro
that could only prove the rapacity the examining multitude of wit. The revenue required tholic world, and the universal ab fence. The second part of the Memoirs
body'; for the quantity, quality, seul, in one of his speeches charand prices, of the articles supplied acterized the proceedings in this were mere matters of contract
, and, matter
as a judicial jubilee. even if the prices were exorbitant, ? In the budget for the year 1827,
expenditure was estimated at of the contractor, and the ignorance 915,773,042 francs, and the ways or carelessness of the minister of and means were war, in concluding the bargain. duce, taking as the basis of the On receiving the report of their calculation the income for 1825, committee, they thought enough 916,608,734 francs, leaving a dishad been discovered to justify in- posable excess of 835,692 francs. quiry, and, by a large majority, a The expenditure of 1824 had been committee, consisting of the mar- originally estimated at 990,119,582 quis de Pastoret, count 'Portalis, francs, and had actually amounted count Julien, and general count to nearly two millions and a half Beliard, was appointed to institute more; but
the revenue for the same supplementary investigation. year, estimated at 992,333,953 The committee continued their in- francs, had exceeded that sum by quiries till the middle of July, more than two millions and a half. a
meet presented a report, concluding, that was greater than that required there were no grounds for proceed- for 1821, by 35,371,340 francs. ing against counts Guilleminot This had arisen partly from an and Bourdesolle, the two peers addition which had been made, who,'' at first, had seemed to be since the latter year, to the perimplicated. The Chamber adopted manent debt, partly from naval exthe report ; and, as there was thus penses to complete the operations no ground of accusation against any of that department in the colonies, of its own members, declared itself which would not be incurred again, to be incompetent. All the weight and partly from remittances alof the ministry was en
employed to lowed from the revenue of the post bring about this termination of an office, and other branches of reveaffair which threatened ultimately nue. On the other hand, the ordito involve themselves; for, although nary sources of revenue had, during
noney had undoubtedly been lost the same period, been increasing to the nation by an improvident In 1821, they yielded 891,614,678 bargain, Ouvrard would have lit- francs; while the gross produce tle difficulty in allowing that he for the present year would be had taken for his goods the highest price he could'obtain: and the
. We find towards the end of the ligence or incapacity of those who year the following paragraph in one of had contracted with him on the the French journals i del ng part of the public, would not have "On Tuesday, the ninth of this month,
(November) M. Ouvrard is to appear added to their popularity. Alluding before the tribunal of the Correctional to the religious jubilee' which had Police, on a charge of corruption'; M. just been celebrated over the Cad Berryer, jun., has undertaken his de solution of sins
of Quvrard, in respect of his life and which was its financial operations, is announced for greatest benefit, the duke dę Choispeedy publication,"
916,608,784 francs. The report been set at liberty by the order of of the committee of the Chamber the minister of justice, with an inof Peers on the budget, was “By junction to pass into a foreign counthe attentive examination which try. The minister admitted the we have made of the expenditure, fact, and justified it on the ground we have seen, that, if there are that from the effervescent nature several heads under which 'a re of Corsican passions, it was impos
be justly hoped in sible to maintain absolute order in future, and some which might re the island, and it was necessary to ceive a more useful application, countenance the expatriation of they are collectively useful and some persons condemned for homi judicious."
cide committed from
But In the Chamber of Deputies surely it is a new doctrine both great diversity of opinion prevailed in polities and morals, that in prom regarding the purpose to which portion to the aptitude of dangerthe excess of revenue over thesex ous passions to break forth, the penditure should be applied. Some means intended to weaken them members proposed that the duty should be diminished, and that on strong beer, others that the punishments ought to be more duty on cider, should be reduced, mild and rare, precisely where and others that, in the rural com crimes are most frequent and atro. munes, houses of only one story, cious. The Papal government has and the rent of which did not ex sometimes bribed bandits from their ceed fifty francs, should be ex- calling by pensioning them off ; empted from the door and window and they have thus, at least, one tax. All these propositions were motive to good conduct, and the rejected in favour of the motion means of living without rapine ; of the minister of finance to em- but it is very doubtful whether ploy the surplus in reducing the eyen such a system has ever preland-tax. Twenty-five millions vented a robbery or a murder. were voted for the civil list, and Relegation from Corsica can scarceseven millions for the Royal family. ly be an evil, and supplies no moOn the vote for the expenses of the tive for controlling the angry minister of justice being proposed, passions whose indulgence have M. de Labourdonnaye accused that produced it. department of protecting and re To improve and maintain the warding criminals, and declared internal communications of the that he would never consent to country, 422,000 francs were voted, vote the publie money to a minis- in addition to 28,000 francs for ter “in whose hand the sword of new works, and certainly, considera justice was wielded for the protec- ing that thus only about 17,000), tion of assassination.” This charge were to be expended upon all the excited much confusion in the roads in France, it is easy to beChamber, till the member ex- lieve in the justice of the complained himself by saying, that he plaints, made by some of the memhad documents in his possession bers, of the state in which thie which proved, that, in Corsica, roads were kept. The annual exseveral assassins, under sentence of penditure, however, upon canals, death, and others against whom and other public works, had been proceedings were commenced, had gradually increasing.
The minister of the interior stat- ever the steam-boat system was ed in a report (made to the king), adopted, as adopted it must be. that this expenditure amounted in The military establishments were 1823 to something under four mil- still more roundly taxed with inlions; in 1824 it was nearly ten efficiency. The two royal manumillions ; in 1825, nearly fifteen factories of muskets, made about millions; and the estimate for 1826, two hundred thousand annually, exceeded twenty millions. But but made them so badly, that it these canals and roads, instead was necessary to subject them to an of being the fruits of a spirit of additional, and expensive process, private enterprise, were the under to render them fit for use. The takings of a public board ; and pri- army, instead of being 240,000 vate individuals, instead of sharing men, which was the peace estabin them, impeded them. The mi- lishment, consisted of only 231;000; nister complained that, although and, for the last ten years, instead the compensation proffered to the of sixteen millions being annually proprietors of lands through which devoted to the repair of the fora road or cânal was to pass, uni- tresses, the sum so bestowed, it formly exceeded the market value was admitted by ministers, was of the ground or buildings which only four millions. The situation it was necessary to purchase, the of the frontier, since the restora, board, with all its precautions, was tion, had rather rendered increase met by perpetual delays, disputes, imperious, than justified reduction : law-suits, and losses; and, instead Swiss neutrality had vanished ; of the assistance which it might Landau belonged to Bavaria ; reasonably expect from individuals, Prussia, a first-rate military power, it was often hampered by vexatious was on the banks of the Mozelle, opposition, however clear might and could manoeuvre her troops be the advantage to be reaped from within twenty leagues of Paris ; the proposed measure.
Belgium was no longer simply an In the British parliament, the Austrian province, with a distant opposition had endeavoured to force government, but had become a a reduction of the army : in the kingdom united to Holland, armed French Chamber of Deputies, the with a triple line of fortresses, and opposition to the army and navy these fortresses commanded and inestimates was, that they were too spected by Wellington.
Ren low. Ministers were accused of collect, gentlemen,” exclaimed M. acting so as to reduce France to Casimir Perrier, in that theatrical the rank of only a third-rate naval style of rhetoric which characterizes power, and of adopting a false and French eloquence, and amid shouts pernicious economy. General Se- of “ Order," and violent and tubastiani reproached them more multuous interruptions from the especially with having paid no at- mortified national pride of the tention to the construction of steam- Chamber, « Recollect the tears of boats, which were rapidly bringing despair which we shed on seeing about a maritime revolution ; and the Prussians, the laurels of viche assured the chamber that all tors in their caps, guarding your the money now expended in build- barriers, and parading your squares! ing ships of war was wasted, for Do you wish to see the matches the vessels would be useless when again lighted, ready to blow up
your bridges, your public edifices, a wretched abortion, sprung from and that immortal column raised the immoral union of stock-jobbing to the glory of your armies." The and delusion.! On the other side minister of war admitted that the, it was contended, that the prefer. present i military means were in-ence given to the three per cents sufficient; but they might be ex was no injustice to the holders of pectedd to improve annually, and the five per cents, as the law did could not be insufficient merely not specify any particular stock to from being 9,000 men below the be the subject of the operations of fixed peace restablishment. As to the sinking fund, but left the comthe fortresses, Lisle had been neg- missioners at liberty to make their lected during the whole period purchases wherever they could make from-1794 to the restoration, but, them to the best advantage. The since the restoration, 1,500,000 motion for the committee was lost franos had been expended on it.' by a large majority. A similar
Although the i finances were display i of " virtuous indignation flourishing, and only required a against stock-jobbing was manipacific ministry to keep them so, fested by M. Hyde de Neuville The variations in the prices of some and M. Perrier, on a petition for of the public funds had produced the prohibition of timer bargains. a great deal of individual misfor- M. Villèle checked the career of tune and disappointment. They the latter gentleman by quoting a liad most observable in the paper to which M. Perrier had three per cent stock, which, within affixed his signature in favour of a short time, had been up at 78, those very concerns which were and down at 59, and had fallen in now denounced as polluting and the confidence of that portion of corrupting what was termed France the public who invested their money morale. When lotteries were aboas prudent men for security, not as lished in England, not a voice was gamblers for stock-jobbing gains. raised in defence of their principle, Ministers were accused of lending and the practical evil of their rethemselves to produce these fluctua- sults was inonstrously exaggerated. Ytions by shewing an undue prefer. The stake in this country was ence to the three per cents in ap- always too high to create a spirit
plying the sinking fund, and M. of gambling in those who would Casimir Perrier moved for the ap- have been injured by indulging it : pointment of a committee to in- the lottery was beyond the reach quire, whether the laws respecting of the lower ranks; and, even in the sinking fund had not been the middling classes, it was never violated with regard to the holders a general or a ruinous passion. In of the five per cents. He contended France, as in the other continental
that the purchases made with that countries, and particularly in Italy, fund ought to be made exclusively it was much more easily accessible, in the five per cents; and he com- , and therefore much more general ; plained that, in violation of the but the morality of the Chambers law, the commissioners gave a pre- could not be brought to suppressit. Irference to the three per cents which M. Villèle admitted that such gamshe designated, with as much warmthing was improper, and that govern
and virulence as if he had speculated ment, in the game, had a great adin them, and had come off a loser, vantage over the buyers of tickets,