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purpose, in the first instance, of providing for personal wants, and afterwards of liquidating a portion of the expenses of the Government.
The share of the Reigning Family in the Revenues arising from the Kammer. Gut, which were not before defined by the Law, will be couverted into a fixed sum, and the whole of the remaining amount will be applied to the exclusive purposes of the State.
The management of the same, which, so far as regarded the Estates, has not bitherto been exposed, will be submitted to complete publicity by the enactments of the proposed Constitution.
The grant of Taxes will be made dependent upon a previous ex. amination of the suitableness of the expenses of the State,--of the insufficiency of the Income of the Kammer-Gut,—and of the proper appropriation of the Revenues of the State; according as they may be derived, partly from the Kammer-Gut, and partly from the 'Taxes.
The Estates are to be at liberty to examine all the Budgets and all the Accounts of the State ; and will be placed, by the presentatiou of periodical Returns, in a situation to observe the course of their adminis. tration, in its fullest extent.
The Creditors of the State will be secured, by the establishment of a Fund for the payment of the Debts; which Fund will be managed, under the common supervision of the Government and of the Estates, by their Officers, in accordance with the provisions of the Laws to be agreed upon for that purpose.
The representation of my People in their most important rights will not, as heretofore, be vested in self-elected Boards of Magistrates in Villages and Towns; but they will be represented by Men of their own free selection, in one Division of the Assembly of the Country, and by the Hereditary Estates in another;—for the nature of the relations of the Nobility towards the State has impressed me with the conviction, that they can deliberate upon the affairs of the Country, in the most suitable manner for the welfare of the whole,in a separate Chamber.
Estimable Ministers of Religion, and intelligent Members of Learned Professions and Academic Bodies, will be united with them.
A few Individuals, united for successive years in Committees, will not continue to deal with the property of the State, under the protection of a constitutional secrecy; but my People will be informed, by means of the public proceedings of the Estates, which will be held yearly, for wbat objects they are taxed; and they will be enabled to convince themselves, that they are governed only by those Laws which are required for their own wants, and which have been maturely considered.
Every thing has been introduced which can tend to maintain the Assembly of the Country, within the sphere of its owu duties, and in an honorable independence, as well as to increase the responsibility of the Public Servants by the restrictions imposed upon their dismissal.
A Member of the Estates for its President, supported by 4 Counsellors, and a sufficient personal Chancery Establishment, will main
tain the dignity of the Representation; and a special fund will provide for the Expences of the Assembly of the Country.
The Members of the same, as well as the Members of the Privy Council, will be subject to Judges, one-half of whom will be named by the Sovereign, and the other half by the Assembly of the Estates themselves; and, as the Constitution can, in my opinion, be adequately guaranteed only by the force of the conviction of its necessity, I have placed it merely under the protection of public opinion, until the competency of the Coufederated Diet shall be decided.
I will readily subject it to the guarantee of the whole Germanic Confederation, if a common Resolution of all the Princes of the Confederation shall make this measure a general one; for I consider it to be my first duty to attach myself closely and ardently, on all occasions, to the cause of Germany.
By all these enactments, I think that I have given a proof of the affection which I entertaiu towards my People, who have borne their severe trials with patience, who have never wavered in their loyalty, and who have maintained their character with glory upon the field of honor.
Upon the present occasion, I on my own part expect, and my People expect, that you, my noble, trusty and beloved Subjects, will also turn your attention from Individuals to the whole Body, and from the past to the present; and that in maturing the Constitution, you will duly consider the high expectations which the state of civilization of the German People justifies them in forming.
May you demonstrate by your proceedings, that you are animated by a general, impartial, and enlightened feeling, and that you have attained that elevation, at which a People may, with full justice, claim to have the Civic Crown extended to them from the Throne. Providence will then bless the work, which has proceeded from
and genuine sentiment of affection for my People. My Privy Councillors are charged to point out to you, the course of proceeding which I consider calculated to lead, in the most direct manner, to the object in view. They shall be present during your Sittings, and shall discuss with you, in the first instance, the form in which the questious shall be treated, the votes upon your deliberations collected, and your decisions conveyed to my kuowledge.
I am convinced, my noble, trusty and beloved Subjects, that, by a calm and honorable bearing, you will, throughout the Negotiations, not fail to uphold the character of the German People.
Every proposition for an alteration of the Project, which shall appear to be an improvement, or even innocuous, I will with readiness adopt; but, on the other hand, any proposition which tends to undermine the foundation of a Constitutional Monarchy, and every partial change which can be acceded to only at the expense of the Community in general, shall be rejected by me with unalterable firmness :—of this, I give you my Royal word.
CONSTITUTION of the Kingdom of Sicily.—Palermo, 9th
('Translation.) FerdiNAND III, by the Grace of God, King of the 2 Sicilies and of Jerusalem, Infant of Spain, Duke of Parma, Placentia, Castro, &c. Hereditary Grand Prince of Tuscany, &c.
An Extraordinary General Parliament having, by the Royal Proclamation of the 1st of May of last year, been convoked by us, as VicarGeneral, and Alter Ego, to the end that provision might be made by the same, not only for the exigencies of the State, but also for the correction of abuses, the amelioration of the Laws, and whatever else might concern the true welfare of this most faithful Kingdom; and the same having assembeld in its corporate capacity, it established the Bases of a new Constitution, which were transmitted to us by the same, under date of the 25th of July following.
Wherefore, We, being authorized to this effect by our August Father, by a Commission dated the 1st of August last, and duly extracted and executed by the Prothonotary of the Kingdom, on the 10th day of the same month, acting in conformity with the propositions of Parliament, and, by consequence, with the wishes of the Nation, have granted the Royal Sanction to the following Provisions :
1. That the Religion of this Kingdom shall be solely and exclusively the Catholic Apostolic Roman : that the Kiny shall be bound to profess that Religion; and in the event of his professing any other, the throne shall, ipso facto, be vacated.
II. That the Legislative Power shall be vested exclusively in the Parliament. The Laws shall have force so soon as they have received the Sanction of His Majesty. All Taxes, of every description whatever, shall be imposed by the Parliament alone, and must likewise receive the Royal Sanction. The Formula shall be Veto, or Placet; as they must be either accepted or refused by the King, without any modification whatever.
III. That the Executive Power shall reside in the Person of the King.
IV. That the Judicial Power shall be distinct from, and independent of, the Executive and Legislative Powers, and shall be exercised by a Body of Judges and Magistrates ; ubo shall be liable to be tried, punished, and removed from Office, by a Sentence of the Chamber of Peers, at the instance of the Chamber of Commons, in conformity with the practice which prevails under the Constitution of England, and as will be treated of more fully under the Article, Masistracies.
* Referred to in the Correspondence between Great Britain and Sicily, 1816. Page 553.
V. That the Person of the King shall be sacred and inviolable.
VI. That the Ministers of the King and the Public Officers shall be subject to the examination, and their Accounts to the controul, of the Parliament; by which they shall be accused, tried, and condemned, whenever they may commit any Offence against the Constitution and the Laws, or any serious crime in the exercise of their functions.
VII. That the Parliament shall be composed of 2 Chainbers ;-1 to be called the Chamber of Commons, or Representatives of the Domanial and Baronial Populations, under such conditions and forms as the Parliament shall hereaster establish, in a detailed Article upon this subject ;-the other to be called the Chamber of Peers, which shall be composed of all those Ecclesiastics and their Successors, and of all those Barons and their Successors, Possessors of actual Peerages, who are at present entitled to sit and vote in the Ecclesiastical and Military Bodies, (Bracci), and also of such Others as may be selected by His Majesty, under the conditions and limitations which the Parliament may establish, in the detailed Article upon this subject.
VIII. That the Barons, as Peers, shall have only 1 vote each, the plurality of votes at present existing, in proportion to the number of their Populations, (or Peerages,) being abolished. The Prothonotary of the Kingdom shall prepare a List of the present Barons and Ecclesiastics, which shall be enrolled among the Archives of Parliament.
IX. That it shall be the Prerogative of the Crown to convoke, prorogue, and dissolve the Parliament, according to the forms and regulations which will hereafter be established. His Majesty shall, however, convoke the same every year.
X. That no Sicilian shall be arrested, banished, or punished, or molested in the possession and enjoyment of his Rights and Property, except in pursuance of the enactments of a new Code, which will be passed by the Parliament, and by means of Orders and Sentences of the ordinary Magistrates, and in such form, and with such provisions of public security, as the Parliament shall hereafter determine. The Peers shall be entitled to the same forms of Trial which are enjoyed by the Peers in England, as will be hereafter more fully specified.
XI. That Feudal Rights shall no longer exist; and that all Lands shall henceforth be possessed as allodial property, in Sicily, preserving, however, in the respective Families, the same order of succession as at present prevails. The Baronial Jurisdictions shall also cease, and the Barons shall be exempted from all those burthens to which they have hitherto been subject on account of such Feudal Rights. Investitures, Remainders, Escheats to the Crown, and every other burthen incident to the Feudal System, shall be abolished; preserving, however, to each Family its titles and honours.
XU. That, lastly, every proposal relating to Supplies, must be exclusively originated and concluded in the Chamber of Commons,
and be transmitted from thence to the Chamber of Peers, which shall merely assent to, or dissent from, the same, without making any alteration therein ; and that all Propositions which relate to matters of Legislation, or other matters, may be brought forward in either Chamber indiscriminately, the right of rejecting the same being reserved to the other Chamber.
The above Royal Sanction was communicated to the Parliament by our Secretary of State and Domestic Relations, on the 10th of August last, who, in consequence, entered upon the task of developing and establishing in detail, the Articles of the New Constitution, as may be more fully perceived by reference to the Act of Parliament, which was drawn up in Our presence on the 7th day of November following, by the Prothonotary of this Kingdom, and which still awaits our full and final sanction.
And whereas the Parliament determined upon the new form of Civic Councils, which it is proposed to establish before the month of May of the present year, at which period it will be necessary to proceed to the Election of the Municipal Magistrates, who will thenceforward have to discharge the duties and execute the functions imposed upon them by the Parliament; and whereas the Statutes relating to the new form of the said Civic Councils, as well as others concerning the Legis. Jative Power, and Instructions for the Election of the Representatives of the Chamber of Commons, framed by Parliament, and already furnished by us with the Royal Sanction, are requisite for the organization of the said Councils, and for the formation of the 2 Chambers of the new Parliament which is about to be convened; We, exercising the functions of the Executive Power, and with the advice of the Privy Council, have decreed and ordain, that the new organization of the Civic Councils, and whatever else may be prescribed in the Statutes which follow, may be immediately carried into effect throughout the Kingdom.
CHAPTERS CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE Power, and the new Organization of the Chamber of Peers and Chamber of
ART. I. The next Parliament, as well as all future Parliaments which may be convoked by His Majesty, shall be composed of 2 Chambers ; one entitled the Chamber of Peers or Lords, the other the Chamber of Commons.
[Placet Regiæ Majestati.*]
• The same form of Placet is annexed to every Article, which is not otherwise distinguished.