Page images
PDF
EPUB

Les relations amicales de cet Empire avec toutes les Nations qui nous ont envoyé leurs Ministres, demeurent inébranlables; le départ du Ministre des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, si soudain et si peu fondé en raison, ne peut même nous causer la plus légère inquiétude. Je compte sur la prudence du Président de ces Etats, et sur la sagesse, la justice et l'impartialité, des Américains du Nord.

Les fiançailles de la Reine de Portugal, ma fille, ont été célébrées à Vienne en Autriche, et je me flatte de voir bientôt dans cette Capitale mon Frère son Epoux. La Cause Constitutionelle triomphe en Portugal, malgré la multitude de partis qui cherchent à l'étouffer; et il serait impossible qu'il en fût autrement, puisque cette même Charte a été octroyée d'une manière aussi légitime.

Revenant aux affaires de l'intérieur, je suis intimement persuadé que tous ceux qui ne partagent pas les idées exprimées dans mon Discours, ne sont ni de véritables amis de l’Empire, ni des Imperiaus. Constitutionnels, mais bien des monstres déguisés, qui n'attendent que l'occasion de s'abreuver du sang des défenseurs du trône, de la patrie, et de la religion.

Je ne puis me persuader qu'il existe au sein de cette Assemblée un seul Représentant national qui ne pense ainsi que moi, quelque soit le moyen par lequel il prétende atteindre le but que je me propose, Paffermissement de l'Empire, et le contentement du Peuple.

Maintenant, Augustes et Très-Dignes Représentans de la Nation Brésilienne; maintenant, que je vous ai recommandé tout ce qui m'a paru

convenable aux intérêts nationaux, je me retire, plein de confiance en Vous, et rempli de l'espoir de pouvoir vous dire dans mon Discours de Clôture: “ Je n'attendais pas moins de Vous, Je suis satisfait, la Nation l'est aussi, Nous Sommes tous heureux. Bénie soit l'Assemblée, dont les travaux législatifs font preuve de tant de sagesse." L'EMPEREUR CONSTITUTIONNEL, ET DEFENSEUR

PERPETUEL, DU BRESIL.

SPEECH of the Emperor of Brazil, on Closing the National Assembly, 16th November, 1827.

(Translation.) AUGUST AND MOST DIGNIFIED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BRAZILIAN

NATION, FILLED with pleasure and satisfaction, at the wise labours of the Assembly in the course of the present Session, and at the advantages it has obtained by the two prolongations of its sittings, which I thought fit to decree; I cannot refrain from congratulating myself upon the happy results of those labours, and of the Laws which have been enacted during the said Session and prolongations.

The affection which I entertain for Brazil, the present Political circumstances, and the National interest, compel me to remind you that the continuance in this Capital of a Majority of the Members of both Chambers, might prove of the highest utility; for, being still engaged in War, and in hope of the conclusion of Peace, the Treaty might happen to contain an Article relative to the settlement of Boundaries, which might call for Legislative measures, without which such a Treaty could not be concluded.

I leave it to the judgment of every Member composing this Assembly, to reflect upon what I have just suggested, and the reasons which I submit appear to me to be quite sufficient for expecting a result, which may shew to Brazil how great is the interest which all of us take in its happiness.

The Constitutional Emperor, and perpetual Defender, of Brazil.

MESSAGE of the Government to the Chamber of Deputies,

relating to the Finances of the Province of Buenos Ayres. -7th September, 1827.

(Translation.) GENTLEMEN DEPUTIES,

ALTHOUGH a few days only have passed since the Province of Buenos Ayres has been a second time called into a separate existence, its Government, urged by the most imperious necessity, and bound to fulfil the high duties incumbent upon it from its very position, has the honour of submitting to the Legislature, the general plan of Finance which it proposes to adopt, the exigencies of our present condition, and the resources and hopes which yet remain to us. Do not, how. ever, think, that it is about to propose new establishments or new imposts,—the state of things which exists is the point from which it sets out, and the improvement of which is its only desire.

The Government is impressed with the conviction that, without a simultaneous operation, calculated to call into action all its elements, it is impossible to preserve publick credit, to re-establish the real value of the circulating medium, to provide for existing wants, and to pre. pare channels by which the revenue of the interior may flow with regularity and abundance into our Treasury, whilst the precarious produce of the customs retains us in the difficult position in which we stand at present.

It is quite evident that no long and expensive War can be maintained by the ordinary resources of a State, and that it is absolutely necessary to have recourse to credit. But in order to obtain that credit, it is not only necessary to have the reputation of being solvent, but to have that character for good faith which never permits a doubt of repayment. The Province is, therefore, in the situation of realizing this truth, by declaring that it rocognizes, in all their vigour and force, the Laws by which the exterior and interior Debt of the Nation has been consolidated, and the obligations contracted by the creation of the Publick Funds. In acting thus, the Province does nothing more than announce to its friends and creditors that, in spite of the agitations which it has undergone, it bas not for a moment forgotten its duties. At the same time, it must be manifest that, as its Debt increases, its means of extinguishing it increase in proportion. This is pointed out by one of the Projects (No. I.) which follow.

It is evident that there is no pretext for escaping from the payment of the Debts for which we have become guarantee ; it always depends upon the honour, as well as the convenience, of a People, to guarantee, and to pay when it can, the debts contracted by its association. The Chamber will recollect that, at the commencement of this War, in a moment of enthusiasm which conferred upon it eternal honour, it offered to the General Congress, by acclamation, all that it possessed, and all that was in its power to vindicate the honour of the Nation. It will likewise recollect that, when the struggle began, this was the principal guarantee on which the Bank and individuals reckoned, in lending their capitals, and that on this basis alone confidence was established in the circulating medium. The Province ought therefore nobly to proclaim, that it guarantees the Notes of the Bank at present in circulation, and that it undertakes also the obligation of paying the Debt contracted by the National Government for the purpose of supporting the War against the Emperor of Brazil. This is the only means capable of saving its honour, of obtaining future assistance, and of preventing its name from being registered in the history of crimes. At the same time prudence requires us to take other means with respect to the circulating medium; and, as its principal value now depends upon the necessity which exists for its continuance, it is neces. sary to withdraw it gradually, till publick opinion approximates its nominal to its real value. The means of reducing it are detailed in the Project, (No. 2.) and the Chamber will see that, not only will the Notes in circulation be converted into the precious metals, or, in other words, their nominal be brought to their real value, but that, in a short time, nearly a fifth part of the Debt of the Government to the Bank will be liquidated, and means provided for extinguishing the whole at no distant period.

But the two preceding Projects would be useless, if they were not supported upon the solid basis of Contributions, proportioned to our wants, well assessed, and punctually levied. The Chamber and all the Citizens must be copyinced, that, owing to the Bank paper, as it now circulates, they have paid and do pay most enormous Contributions ; that, in the same proportion in which the real value of their property has fallen, their enjoyments have diminished; and that a deep gulf has been opened, by which, if they do not exert themselves, all their fortunes will speedily be swallowed up. This being admitted, it remains only to determine upon the species of contributions which should be imposed, and, happily, experience has already solved that question. The duty of Customs is now the medium through which the Enemy expects to reduce us to a complete state of exhaustion, and this is the natural cause of our misunderstandings with the Provinces of the Interior. It is not possible, however, to suppress the duty all at once; but it is necessary, at least, that by increasing the direct taxes now existing, we should prepare and accelerate so great a blessing. The indirect taxes of the Customs fall with injustice and inequality on the population. The People in the Interior, owing to their habits and mode of living, consume few of the products of Foreigo industry, and consequently the expenses of their defence, of their police, and of their general administration, are paid by the consumers in the Towns; more especially since no other contribution has been substituted for the tithes which were abolished. The Govern. ment, however, does not propose any new imposts; it confines itself solely to the augmentation of the produce of the taxes already established, the existing Laws upon the subject being inefficient, and offering a vast field for fraud.

The Revenue arising from the Publick Lands which have been leased, has first attracted its attention, because as this Province possesses a rich and vast extent of Territory, which is peopling with incredible rapidity, this Revenue will be the most certain, as well as the most productive. The Government has thought proper to assimilate the rents, with that part of the direct contribution which falls upon the value of lands held as private property, by a small increase, the justice of which cannot be disputed. Let us imitate nature, and, in order that our Revenue may resist the violence of political tempests, let us fix its roots in our soil. Let us secure for it a simplicity corresponding with the youthful age of our State. Let iis reduce every expense which is not consistent therewith, and our Country will be the classic land of the freedom of industry of every description. The regulations which have been adopted for the creation of, and receipt of the Sums for, Leases have been such, that their effect has scarcely been perceptible. In the Project (No.3,) the Chamber will observe that their collection is so simple, and the duties so moderate, that it can be realized in the form of patents. They will see that the Government has endeavoured to approximate these alienations almost to the condition of independent property, that the interest of 2 per cent., which, perhaps for a century, will be the third part of the interest of money in our Country, facilitates and stimulates every industrious enterprise on these Plains.

The Government, guided by the principles which it has explained in this brief statement, submits to the consideration of the Chamber another Project, (No. 4.) having for its object the effectual collection of the direct taxes. The inefficacy of all the arrangements previously adopted have been demonstrated by experience. It is to be hoped that the means which are now proposed will correct so great an evil. A directiny Junta, as respectable by the class of its Members, as it is impartial and independent by the manner of its election, will naturally exhibit justice in its decisions. Men of honour will be ashamed to appear degraded before their equals. The Egotists, who, incapable of geperous sentiments, desire to enjoy, at one and the same time, the advantages of Society and the independence of the desert, will be placed under the restraint which they will feel the most—they will be obliged to pay in proportion to their property.

It only remains to point out to the Chamber, in an evident and certain manner, that, on the supposition that the Emperor of Brazil can support for a Year longer his present absurd system of warfare, the obligations bitherto contracted, and those which, in such a case, we shall contract, will fall below the vital force of our State. The Government will exhibit this fact by a numerical calculation, which for greater clearness, is presented in round numbers, assuming our resources to be less than they probably will be. Debt at the Peace.

Dollars. London Loan.......

5,000,000 Debt to the Bank, exclusive of the 2,000,000 payable to it under Project No. 2......

9,500,000 Circulating Funds, at 4 and 6 per cent........

5,800,000 Other Debts.........

1,700,000 Funds to support the War for a Year, according to offers made to the Government.

12,000,000

.......

Total Debt at the Peace... Dollars...... 34,000,000

Amount of the Expenses of the Province in a Year of Peace. Interest of the said Debt, at 4 and 6 per cent., with Sinking Fund........

2,200,000 Ordinary Service...

2,300,000

4,500,000 Ways and Means to meet this Expenditure. Customs, Stamps, &c. .........

2,500,000 Lands and Direct Contributions.......... at least 1,000,000

3,500,000

Deficit... Dollars... 1,000,000

Laying aside the resources and combinations of Credit, and the consideration that a Year of Peace will be sufficient to increase our Rovenue so as to cover this deficit, the Province possesses within the line of the Frontier, from Bahia Blanca to Melinque, 5,000 square leagues

« PreviousContinue »