Page images

rized to hear and to transmit to the Legislative Power, every class of Propositions, be they what they may; at the same time it judges that the national decorum, and the protection which in justice is due to the European and American Spaniards, call for the establishment of a basis, useful and conducive to the welfare of the Spains.

Before fixing this basis, and that it may be as productive to the common felicity as policy and the national honour require, the Commission lays down the fixed principle that, this new, grand, and legitimate path for pacifick communications being opened, all Treaties be esteemed of no value or efficacy that have been concluded between the Spanish Chiefs and the American Governments, which ought to be understood as null, as they have been, from their origin, as respects the acknowledgment of Independence; inasmuch as they were not authorized, nor could such authority be given them, unless by a previous Resolution of the Cortes.

The Commissioners may hear all the Propositions that may be made to them, in order to transmit them to the Mother Country, excepting such as take away, or limit in any manner, the absolute right of the European and American Spaniards, residing in whatever part of the Ultramarine Provinces, to remove and dispose of their Persons, Families, and Property, as they may think proper, without being opposed by any obstacle or measure that might prove injurious to their interests.

With this explanation, the Committee reproduces its anterior Dictamen, and the Cortes will resolve what may be most proper.









Senor Oliver proposed to add the following Clause to the Dictamen: "That it ought to be understood as not affecting the responsibility which Persons, whoever they be, may have incurred in this affair, nor the rights of the Spanish Nation, represented by the Cortes and the King."

Senors Moscoso, Toreno, and Espiga, proposed the following Additions to the Dictamen:

"I. That the Cortes declare, that the Treaty, called that of Cordova, concluded between General O'Donoju and the Chief of the Dissidents in New Spain, Don Augustin Iturbide, as well as any other Act or Stipulation relative to the Recognition of Mexican Independence by that General, are illegitimate and null in their effect, as to the Spanish Government and its Subjects.


"II. That the Spanish Government, by a declaration to all others with which it has friendly relations, make known to them, that the

Spanish Nation will regard at any epoch, as a violation of the Treaties, the Recognition, either partial or absolute, of the Independence of the Spanish Provinces of Ultramar, so long as the dissensions which exist between some of them and the Mother Country are not terminated; with whatever else may serve to convince Foreign Governments that Spain has not yet renounced any of the rights belonging to it in those Countries.

"III. That the Government be recommended to take all possible measures, without any delay, to preserve and reinforce those Parts of the Provinces of Ultramar, that remain united to the Mother Country, obedient to its authority, or that resist the separation from it by the Dissidents, proposing to the Cortes the resources it requires and which may not be at its disposal.

"IV. That the Cortes declare that the Provinces of Ultramar, which have declared their Independence of the Mother Country, or do not acknowledge de facto the supremacy of the Government of it, ought not to have Deputies in the Cortes during their continuance in their present state."

Senors Murfi, Navarrete, and Paul, proposed to add the following Clause to the foregoing Dictamen: That it is their opinion, that, in case of the approbation by the Cortes of the Dictamen of the Committee, they should not approve the additional Clauses presented by some Individuals of it, they being contrary to the ends proposed by the same Committee, but should put into execution the measures contained in the Dictamen without delay, and without prejudice to what the Ordinary Cortes may resolve upon, with respect to whatever else they may deem convenient.

After a short discussion, whether the Dictamen should be discussed by itself, or with the additional Clauses, it was determined that the Dictamen of the Committee should be first discussed.

During the discussion, Propositions to the following effect were presented by Senor Salanot, viz:

"That the Cortes, with a generosity peculiar to the Constitutional System by which we are governed, and for the general interest of the Spaniards of both Worlds, declare the Independence of all those Provinces of both Americas that actually are so at this day, on condition that each of those Governments pays an Annual Subsidy in recompense of the rights which are renounced; that a Treaty of Commerce be formed on the basis most convenient to the reciprocal interests of the American and Peninsular Spaniards; that all hostilities be completely suspended until such Treaty be finally approved; that all Spaniards who may wish to retire to the Peninsula, may do so freely, with all the funds belonging to them, and without being obliged to pay any duty whatever; that any Spaniard who wishes to live in America, shall have the enjoyment of all his rights and property preserved to him; that every Spaniard who may have been deprived of his

property and of his rights, in consequence of the anterior disturbances, shall be reinstated in them; that all the wealth and property belonging to European Spain shall remain at its disposal, and be removed to the Peninsula, at the expense of America; that all the Troops that are actually in America, belonging to European Spain, shall be maintained in the same Places, at the cost of the American Governments, until the Ratification of such Treaty; that European Spain may dispose of the Naval Force it has in America; and that there be established a Confederation, composed of the American Governments, under the protection of European Spain, upon the basis that may be most convenient, and guaranteed as may be agreed upon."

Senor Munoz Toreno demanded that the Author of these Propositions should withdraw them immediately, as he had no powers to authorize him to make them, or, if he had, to exhibit them.

The Cortes decided that these Propositions should be withdrawn, as contrary to the powers given to them by the Constitution.

After considerable discussion, the Cortes approved of the Dictamen as proposed by the Committee.

On the following day the particular Clauses were discussed and decided as follows:

That of Senor Oliver was not admitted to a vote.

Those of Senors Moscoso, Espiga, and Toreno-the three first Articles approved, and the fourth withdrawn by the Member who proposed the same.

PROVISIONAL STATUTE for the government of the Free Departments of the State of Peru.-Lima, 8th October, 1821. (Translation.)

ON taking upon me the Supreme Command, under the title of Protector of Peru, my intention was to have instituted the fundamental basis upon which those should build who might be called to the sublime destiny of making the People happy. I charged myself with the whole authority, in order to answer for it to the Nation at large; I have freely declared my intentions, in order that they may be judged of by the result; and from the field of Battle where I have sought the glory of destroying oppression, united with my Companions in Arms, I am come to place myself at the head of an Administration, of difficulty and of vast responsibility; at the bottom of my heart are inscribed the assurances which I gave in my Declaration of the 4th of August, and the Statute, which I am now about to promulgate, explains and sanctions them: at the same time, I might have extolled the liberality of my principles in this Provisional Statute, make magnificent declarations on the rights of the People, and augment the List

of the Publick Functionaries, to make a parade of greater popularity to the present forms; but, convinced that the superabundant display of laudable maxims is not in reality the best means of establishing them, I have limited myself to the practical ideas which may and ought to be realized.

Whilst Enemies exist in the Country, and until the People can form the first elements of an Independent Government themselves, I will administer the Directorial Power of the State, the attributes of which, without being the same, are analogous to those of the Legislative and Executive Authority; but I shall abstain from ever interfering in the solemn exercise of the Judicial Functions, because its Independence is the sole and true safeguard of the liberty of the People, and it is of little importance that sentiments, exquisitely philanthropic, are ostentatiously expressed, when the Individual who makes the Law, is the same that executes or applies it.

Before exacting from the People the Oath of obedience, I shall proceed to swear before the whole Nation, to observe and execute the Statute, which 1 give as a guarantee of my intentions: those who, with the experience of the past, meditate on the present state of things, and are most in the habit of analyzing the influence of Administrative Measures, will find in the simplicity of the principles which I have adopted, a proof that I offer no more than I mean to fulfil; that my object is to do good, and not to frustrate it; and that, in a word, knowing the extent of my responsibility, I have studied to regulate my duties by the law of circumstances, in order not to expose myself to a failure in the performance of them.

With such sentiments, and confident of the effective co-operation of all my Fellow-Citizens, I venture to hope that I shall be enabled in due time to lay down the trust with which I have charged myself, with the conscientious satisfaction of having faithfully executed it. If, after having liberated Peru from its Oppressors, I can leave it in possession of its destiny, I will go and seek in private life my ultimate felicity, and will consecrate the rest of my days, in contemplating the beneficence of the Great Maker of the Universe, and in repeating my prayers for the continuance of His propitious influence over the lot of our future generations.

Provisional Statute, given by the Protector of the Liberty of Peru, for the better government of the Free Departments, until the permanent Constitution of the State shall be established.


ART. I. The Catholick Apostolick Roman Religion is the Religion of the State; the Government recognizes it to be one of its first duties, to maintain and preserve it by every means within the reach of

human prudence: whoever attacks, in publick or private, its dogmas or principles, shall be severely punished, in proportion to the scandal which he may have occasioned.

II. All Persons who profess the Christian Religion, but dissent in some points from the Religion of the State, may obtain permission from the Government, with the advice of the Council of State, to exercise the creed which belongs to them, so long as their conduct be not injurious to publick order.

III. No Person can be a Publick Functionary unless he professes the Religion of the State.


ART. I. The Supreme Directorial Power of the Free Departments of the State of Peru resides, at present, in the Protector; his powers emanate from the empire of necessity, from the force of reason, and from the exigency of the publick good.

II. The Protector of Peru is Generalissimo of the Forces by Sea and Land; and, it being his principal duty to liberate all the Towns which are an integral part of the Territory of the State, he will augment or diminish the Armed Force as he may judge convenient.

III. He will impose Contributions, establish Duties, and contract Loans, to meet the Publick Expenses, with the advice of his Council of State.

IV. He will form Regulations for the better employment and organization of the Naval and Land Forces, including the Militia, of the State.

V. He will regulate the Interior and Exterior Commerce, conformably to the liberal principles upon which the prosperity of the Country essentially depend.

VI. He will make the Reforms which he may judge necessary in all the Departments of the Publick Administration, abolishing the Employments which existed under the ancient System, or creating new


VII. He will establish the Provisional Coinage of the State, but the weight and quality which the Money of Peru has hitherto possessed shall not be altered.

VIII. He will appoint the Envoys and Consuls to Foreign States, and will promote the acknowledgment of the Independence of Peru, concluding such Diplomatick or Commercial Treaties as may be conducive to the interests of the Country, with the advice of his Council of State.

IX. He will have the Title of Excellency, the dignity of the Government requiring it; no other Individual or Corporation shall have any other Title than that which will be immediately appointed; all

« PreviousContinue »