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XXIII. As it must depend upon the extent of the labours to be performed by the Sections, how often it may be necessary for the whole Council to assemble, we shall cause it to be convened ourselves, through the President.
The Sections will appoint their Meetings according to the extent of the business which they may have to perform.
XXIV. The Persons appointed for that purpose, shall make their Reports to the whole Council, in the order appointed by the President, and proposed by the Minister, Secretary of State. If the Members of the Section have not been unanimous in their opinion; after the Report is made, a Member of the opposite opinion shall be permitted to speak, to explain clearly the grounds of opposition, and to submit the same for the decision of the whole Council.
After this explanation of one of the Members of the Section, the Minister to whose cognizance the natter belongs, shall have the liberty of speaking. If the Council should be unanimous, the decision is to be recorded in a Protocol, by the Minister Secretary of State. But if there should be contrary opinions, those who wish them to be made known in detail must declare it to the President, who will then determine the order in which each Member is to give his opinion.
Lastly, the Person who reports is to sum up the different opinions given, and to set forth clearly and briefly the point in dispute, upon which the President puts it to the vote, and the majority of votes decides the question.
XXV. Should the number of the votes be equal on both sides, the President decides by his casting vote, and the Projects or Resolutions are to be drawn up according to the opinions of the Majority of the Council of State.
XXVI. The Minister Secretary of State specifies them in the Protocol, stating by name the Members who are present, and which shall be signed by all those Members.
XXVII. In cases of the absence of the President, the Protocol is to be laid before the President for his signature, by the Minister Secretary of State.
XXVIII. Whenever we do not pronounce a decision, in person, in the Council of State, its opinions are to be laid before us by our Chancellor of State. We shall then determine whether we approve of, or withhold our approbation from, the decision of the Council, or shall return the same to it, with our remarks, for further consideration.
The Projects of the Council, as well as the Projected Laws and Ordinances, are subject, without exception, to our confirmation, and only receive power from the Executive Authorities, after having received our sanction. Every Law must be countersigned by the President, and attested by the Minister Secretary of State.
XXIX. If at any time any Negotiation is to be carried on with the States, the same is to be conducted through the medium of the Council
of State, which is to depute for this purpose one or more of its Members chosen by the President; after the conclusion of the Negotiation, the matter shall be again laid before us.
XXX. The grant of leave of absence to Members of the Council of State, according to existing Regulations, shall depend either upon us or upon the President.
XXXI. The Sittings of the whole Council shall be suspended during the months of June, July and August, unless urgent affairs should require its being assembled. The labours in the Sections are, however, uninterrupted.
XXXII. We cominit to our Chancellor of State, Prince Hardenberg, the care of providing for the execution of the present Decree, in all
Done and given at Berlin, the 20th of March, 1817.
FREDERICK WILLIAM. PRINCE DE HARDENBERG.
(Annex A.) — List of Members of the Council of State. I. Servants of the State, who in virtue of their Offices are called to the Council of State.
The Chancellor of State, Prince Hardenberg, President.
II. The 7 Generals commanding in the Provinces, only when specially called upon.
The 10 Upper Presidents in the Provinces, likewise only when specially called upon.
III. Servants of the State who, from the special confidence reposed in them, shall have a seat and vote in the Council of State.
The Duke Charles of Mecklenburg.
The Minister of State, Baron d’Altenstein.
M. de Ladenberg.
M. de Rother. The Major-General, De Grollimann. M. de Maassen. M. de Jordan.
M. de Hoffmann. M. d'Ancillon.
M. de Rehdiger. The Major-General,De Schöler 2d. M. Scharnweber. M. de Kamptz.
M. Beguelin. The General Intendant, Ribben. M. de Dewitz. trop.
M. de Ferber. M. de Nicolovius.
M. Eichhorn. M. de Friese.
The Professor, Savigny.
FREDERICK WILLIAM. PRINCE DE HARDENBERG.
(Annex B.) List of the Sections of the Council of State.
1. Foreign AFFAIRS.
II. MILITARY AFFAIRS.
III. AFFAIRS OF Justice.
IV. AFFAIRS OF FINANCE.
V. AFFAIRS OF COMMERCE.
M. de Beguelin, Junior.
VI. AFFAIRS of INTERNAL GOVERNMENT.
VII. AFFAJRS OF PUBLIC Worship AND EDUCATION.
M. de Nicolovius.
FREDERICK WILLIAM. Prince de HardeNBERG.
SPEECH of Prince Hardenberg, President of the Prussian
Council of State, on the Installation of the Council.-Berlin, the 30th of March, 1817.
Most ILLUSTRIOUS Princes, Right HONOURABLE GENTLEMEN,
His Majesty the King, by the organization, lately made public, of the Council of State, has given to his faithful Subjects a new pledge of his paternal good-will, and princely disposition, for which he merits the gratitude and veneration, and the fidelity, of the wbole Nation, so happily united under the Prussian Sceptre, but especially that of the Servants of the Crown here assembled, whom the Monarch has deigned to call to his Council of State, and has thus honoured with the highest confidence.
How can we better acknowledge this confidence, and strive to merit it, than by the renewal of our solemn vow, to fulól faithfully and inviolably the duties we owe to him and to our Country, in the responsible charge which has been entrusted to us ?
You, Gentlemen, whom this confidence of your Sovereign distinguishes above your Fellow Citizens, have learnt from His Majesty himself, and from the Decree for the appointment of the Council, to how high a destination, you, animated and honoured by the presence and participation of the Princes of his Royal House, are called by your Sovereign. The eyes of the Nation, and the hopes of our Country, are now fixed upon us. We are determined not to disappoint them; we are resolved to execute our task, and to follow the plain path of rectitude. The success of human endeavours rests in the hand of God; but Men of high minds must direct the earnest efforts of their lives to the erection of some imperishable work, in order that their public labours may continue to be productive of good to their Nation, even when their names shall at length be effaced from the pages of history. Let us never lose sight of this object, and we shall zealously
further the views of our Royal Master; we shall honestly fulfil the just expectations of our Country, and leave to posterity a blissful legacy.
You are assembled by His Majesty, principally for the important purpose of deliberating upon the legal regulations, which our neces. sities, and the administration of the State, require as rules of action, of examining the Projects which the Executive Authorities will lay before you upon this subject, and of considering such matters as His Majesty may think proper particularly to charge you with ; according to the best of your conscience and judgment, in order to put an improving hand to that which now exists, and to create anew where it may be necessary.
We should but imperfectly satisfy the claims which the present generation and posterity justly have upon us, were we to limit our endeavours only within the narrow circle of our immediate necessities. The duty which we have to perform is, not to reject at once what now exists, merely because the artificial calculations of theory require something different, nor to preserve it in its present shape, uvaltered, merely as some venerable relic of antiquity, but skilfully to adapt it to the present relations of the State, to the progress of civilization of our Nation, and to the wants of the Age.
Perfection is not the lot of mortals, but Lawgivers are the medium which the Sovereign of the World has chosen for the instruction of the human race. This reflection must govern us, and must be the basis of our deliberations, and the spirit of our Decisions ; since thus, and thus only, when aspiring to the attainment of the highest objects, can we effectually succeed in laying a foundation for the lasting prosperity of the Nation, and the independence of the Kingdom.
Such conduct can alone serve as an example to Prussia, in her future progress. She has gloriously conquered Peace, and her object is to maintain and establish it, both at Home and Abroad; at Home, by the civil virtues, of obedience to the King, and to the Laws, of fidelity, justice, and general good discretion ;—Abroad, by the spirit of the Nation, which, full of vigour, attaches a higher value upon the honour of the Throne, and of the Country, and upon its independence of Foreign Nations, than upon all the riches of the Universe; and which, therefore, strengthened by its holy religion, by its love for its Monarch, and by the remembrance of the honourable deeds of its Forefathers, is as resolutely prepared to repel any unjust attack, as it is averse to violate the peace by any act of injustice, from the conviction that jus. tice alone can preserve its dignity.
A powerful Government possesses, in the confidence of the People, a never failing resource in every situation in which the circumstances of the times may place it. This confidence, of which the late History of the Prussian State offers a memorable instance, it must be your study to maintain, to animate and to strengthen. The great Events which have occurred within the last year, in which Prussia has had a share