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Gentlemen, I call this an act of open and flagrant rebellion, without provocation, for there was not the slightest; and the Troops in fact were employed at the moment in the service of the People, to prevent the danger of the introduction of plague into the Island.

But it has been said that this was merely the ebullition of the moment. I am as ready as any Man to allow for the feelings excited by the Contest existing between the Turks and the Greeks; and in consequence of what was then passing between the Squadrons of the Contending Parties before the eyes of the assembled People, the ebullition of the moment may be pleaded as some palliation for the first attack on this small detachment; but how is such an excuse to be admitted as any extenuation for the subsequent attack actually renewed by the same People on His Majesty's Troops in the middle of the night? or as any apology for the Morean horrors practised on the dead body of the unfortunate Soldier, which fell into their hands in the unhappy business of the morning?

Having now, then, shortly narrated those prominent transactions which drove the Executive Government to the adoption of strong measures, it is necessary that I should explain myself more at length in regard to the strongest of those measures the disarming the population of these States, and the declaration of Martial Law, without which indeed it was not possible to carry into effect a measure of such a nature and extent.

It is certain that the Government was originally urged to this proceeding by what had occurred at Zante. In that Island there appeared to me to be a most obvious necessity for it, resting on grounds of common military precaution, arising from no suspicion of treason against the State that required proof, but from a downright unprovoked hostile attack on His Majesty's Forces.

In considering then all that had passed, the Executive Government felt that it had no other course to pursue, but that of promptly punishing those who had been guilty of rebellion; taking at the same time. further steps to prevent the Population (labouring as they were under an infatuation) from further committing themselves, in the event of Vessels of the Belligerents again coming, which might be daily expected, within the waters of the Island.

But it may be asked, on what grounds the same measure of apparent severity has been carried into effect in Cephalonia, in Santa Maura, and even in this Island.

It is true that the People of Cephalonia had never gone so far as those of Zante; although, as I have already shown, they had acted in a manner highly culpable, contrary to the declared Neutrality of the Government, in support of the insurrection in the Morea. But this Island was as liable as Zante to the approach of the contending Squadrons; and it was impossible, after what had happened, that the Executive Government should infer, in the event of a scene be

tween the Vessels of the contending Parties occurring near Cephalonia, a scene similar to that which had passed at Zante, that the consequences would not have been the same.

In short, the question relative to Cephalonia was, whether it was not the duty of the Executive Government, with its eyes open to the danger, to endeavour at once to secure the peace of the Island from that risk to which accident daily exposed it.

In Santa Maura the case was somewhat different: here the disarming was no new measure, it having been carried into execution 3 Years ago. The declaration of Martial Law for the time was, however, necessary on other grounds.

This Island is separated from the Continent of Greece by a narrow channel nearly fordable, and exposed on that account to the constant incursions of Banditti. In the present situation of the Continent these incursions had been so frequent, and were attended with such daring acts of outrage and murder, that the Magistrates were exposed to danger in the execution of their functions; so much so, that they dared not leave the Town, and the Civil Law was in fact virtually at an end.

In respect to Corfu, I refer you to the Proclamation issued by me with the consent of His Highness the President and the Senate, as explanatory of the reasons why no exception could be made in favour of that Island, notwithstanding the perfect tranquillity that prevailed in it, and the invariable submission and obedience of its People to the orders of Government.

Independent, however, of the reasons which induced the Executive Government to adopt this measure in any Island in particular, in consequence of the present surrounding disturbances, it also thought it advisable on grounds which may be considered, in a great degree, disconnected with those disturbances.

It is well known that the principle for indiscriminately arming the Ionian People was to enable them to repel Foreign and piratical Aggres sors; but in process of time, when these aggressions became no longer fomidable, the arms were employed in civil broils, in personal hostility, and too frequently in secret revenge; and this state of things has tended much to retard the civilization of the Inhabitants, at the same time that it generally demoralized the People.

This is the view I entertain of the system which has prevailed, for the vices of which the present measure will prove a salutary remedy.

I am by no means, however, disposed to agree that the population of these Islands should remain totally unarmed; but I am anxious that arms should alone be retained by those, in whose hands they may contribute to the due support of civil order and government.

With this view, Regulations have been established for the moment, under Martial Law, by which Arms will be issued, under Licence, to a considerable extent in each Island; and I shall direct these Regulations

to be laid upon the Table of the Assembly, in order that Legislative Enactments may be made on this important subject, to have effect at the expiration of Martial Law, which it is the intention of the Executive Government immediately to annul.

You have now, then, before you, the motives which have guided the Executive Government in the conduct it has pursued, for the preservation of the People themselves, to vindicate its own political integrity, and to support that Neutrality it had proclaimed, and which the King my Master, the protecting Sovereign, had appoved of in the most decisive manner.

The Executive Government would have been well content, indeed, not to have been driven to measures of a harsh nature. It uniformly waited till necessity obliged it to act. Its conduct has been the natural result of the infatuation which prevailed; but when this infatuation broke out into open acts of rebellion, it had no choice left but that of making use of the power lodged in its hands, to save the People and the Country from those furious Demagogues, who, to serve their own purposes, were on the watch to plunge these Islands into the utter ruin and desolation which now pervade the neighbouring Provinces.

There can be no doubt that the system of Neutrality observed by the Ionian Government has frustrated the plans of those factious Individuals to whom I allude; who looked to the present opportunity of accomplishing those designs which they have never laid aside.-Hence, not only a false colouring has been attempted to be given to all the acts of the Ionian Government since the Revolution first broke out in Greece, but the Neutrality itself has been assailed by every species of misrepresentation and abuse.

It has been stated, that the commotions which have taken place in the Islands to the southward, are not the result of the revolutionary spirit which has shown itself in Greece, but that they are solely to be ascribed to the oppressive rule of your present Constitutional Government. It is true the greatest industry has been used to convert the natural disposition in favour of the Revolutionists into feelings of hostility against the Government, by means of the basest insinuations against its conduct and principles; but to prove the grossness of this misrepresentation, it is only necessary to reflect on the nature of the disobedience evinced by the People to the orders of Government, and it will be found demonstrated only in acts directly connected with, and in support of, the Revolution itself; and in no instance has the Government to complain of the conduct of the People in any thing disconnected with that Revolution.

It has also been falsely stated that the Neutrality has not been equally observed towards both Parties; insinuating that the Ottoman Government has been favoured in the manner in which it has been carried into effect.

But the fact is, that the very same complaint has been made by the

Porte, which alleged that this Government had violated every principle Neutrality in favour of the Greeks.

I confess these allegations do not surprise me, although both are equally without foundation.

The temper of mind of both the Contending Parties fits them but little to be judges in their own cause; and it is impossible that either can duly appreciate the motives and conduct of a third Party, who, looking with a calm and reflecting eye merely to the benefit of the People under its Government, and anxious to shield them from impending ruin, pursues a steady line of Neutrality, which it deems absolutely necessary for the maintenance of its own internal welfare and tranquillity.

For my own part, I conceive that the Neutrality has been observed with the utmost steadiness and impartiality; and that in refusing to permit armed Vessels of either of the Contending Parties to anchor within the Ionian Ports, the Government has given a pledge, not to be mistaken, of the fairness of its intentions.

Such, Mr. President and Gentlemen, is the statement I have deemed it fitting to make to you, in regard to the political situation of these States, since the close of the last Session of Parliament, and in which they now stand.

The measures which have been adopted are referred to the judgment of the Assembly, with the confidence inspired by a long experience of the moderation and equity of its principles; and it will certainly afford me the highest gratification, should you concur in thinking that the Executive Government of the Country, placed in a situation both delicate and arduous, has acted throughout with prudence, energy, and honour.

I shall now, Mr. President and Gentlemen, lay before you a short but plain statement of the financial transactions of the Year, which I am most happy to say are highly satisfactory.

It will be in the recollection of the Assembly, that the actual cash in the Treasury on the 31st of January 1821, together with advances made for the purchase of corn, &c. was, .............Dollars...535,480

The actual cash in the Treasury on the 31st of January, 1822, in which is also included advances for purchase of corn, &c. was..............


The increase, therefore, in the balance of the last financial Year, ending the 31st of January, 1822, is 108,726 dollars, and arises as follows, viz.

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Surplus revenue within the Year....

Repayment of part of the advances made in the previous


Dollars.. 98,419

... 10,307

Dollars... 108,726

A full and detailed Statement of the whole Receipt and Expenditure for the past Year, the latter divided into ordinary and extraordinary, and enumerating every item, will be laid upon your Table by the General Treasurer.

I recommend that a Committee, as usual, should examine these Statements with all their relative details; and on their report to the Assembly, such a resolution may be passed as the result of the investigation may appear to require.

The state of your financial affairs presents a favourable aspect, notwithstanding the expenditure within the Year has been considerable; but it is fitting that I should apprise the Assembly, that the Government will be immediately called upon to defray some heavy charges. I allude to the indispensable necessity of erecting publick Prisons in the several Islands, and of making Roads, particularly in the Island of Corfu. There is also a balance (which I mentioned to you on a former occasion) due to the Malta Government, which must be immediately settled.

In respect to the receipt, the substantial benefit that has accrued from abolishing the farming of the Revenues continues to display itself in the most striking colours; and to this in a great measure, should be attributed the progressive increase of the Receipt, as in fact no tax whatever has been laid on the People since the establishment of the Constitutional Government of 1817: for I continue to maintain, that the Regulations of 1818 were nothing more than a general modification of the then existing Taxes, and cannot be considered in the light of additional burdens on the People.

Acts of the Executive Government, during your adjournment, of a legislative nature, are already laid on your Table by the Secretary of the General Department of the Senate, in order that they may become the Law of the Land, if confirmed by this Assembly.

The Civil List will also be submitted to you 6 days after your meeting, according to the provisions of the Constitutional Charter.

Towards the close of the last Session a Resolution passed the Assembly for the erection of the College of these States in the Island of Ithaca, authorizing the Executive Government to expend such monies in this object as might be necessary; and in consequence an Engineer was employed to fix on the site, and prepare the several estimates. The Government, however, has thought fit to pause for the time in the prosecution of this useful undertaking. The object in view was as much for the benefit of the young Men of the neighbouring Countries, as for those belonging to the Ionian Islands; and in the present unfortunate situation of the whole of Greece, it becomes a question what course it will be prudent to pursue. During the present Session the Executive Government will make a detailed communication on this subject to the Assembly, with the view to the adoption of some definite Resolution

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