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in regard to it. In the mean time, it will be seen in the detail of the Expenditure, that considerable sums have been expended in the last Year in the encouragement of the establishment of Primary Schools in the various Islands.
It will also be my duty in the present Session to make a communication to the Assembly on the important subject of the Religious Establishment of the States. It is highly expedient that the nomination of the Archbishops and Bishops should take place in the several Islands immediately; for it is impossible that they can be allowed longer to remain under provisional heads of the Church, instead of Dignitaries regularly appointed to superintend the interests of religion, and to whom the People might look up as their permanent guides. This is a measure equally necessary to the decorum and stability of the Govern ment, and which has been only delayed from the difficulties that presented themselves in strictly fulfilling the Article in the Constitutional Chart on this subject, and which difficulties of late have been considerably increased from the repeated violence and change to which the Patriarch at Constantinople has been exposed.
At the same time too that the arrangements relative to the Dignitaries of the Dominant Church are carried into effect, it will be proper also to come to a definitive settlement in respect to the heads of the Roman Catholick Church, which under the Constitution is in these States specially protected.
It would be of no avail to particularize the circumstances which have prevented, even to this day, the substitution of new Civil and Criminal Codes with their relative Procedure, in the room of those now existing, and which were declared by the Constitutional Charter to be generally deficient and inapplicable to the Ionian People; but I may be allowed to express my deep regret at the delay which has taken place, in a point of such vital importance to the Country.
The formation of a new Criminal Code was the principal reason of my visit to England in the early part of last year, accompanied by one of the Ionian Members of the Supreme Council of Justice; but at the time when I entertained sanguine hopes of completing it I was obliged suddenly to return, in consequence of the extensive revolution in the neighbourhood of the Island. It is therefore not at present in the shape in which I think it ought to stand: but it gives me peculiar satisfaction to think (and I say it after due reflection) that I am most thoroughly convinced that the late general measure of prohibiting the bearing of arms in these States without license, making a careful selection of those to whom the licenses are given, will of itself do more to annihilate those melancholy scenes of violence, homicide, and murder, which have at all times unfortunately prevailed, to such an extent in these Islands, than any other measure which the Legislature could devise; and on this subject it is my intention forth
with to bring in a Bill, to be submitted to your consideration: in the mean time, the Procedure must undergo further revision on some material points in which it lately has been found defective, for which purpose it is now laid on your Table.
We are now, Mr. President and Gentlemen, arrived at the Opening of the 5th and last Session of the first Parliament held under the Constitutional Charter of 1817; and I should here close the observations I have thought it necessary to make, did not the unfortunate state of my health render it but too probable, that I shall be obliged to seek relief by a temporary absence from the States, antecedent to the end of the present Session.
I cannot therefore delay executing a religious duty that I owe to you, to the Senate, and to the People at large of the Ionian States, by avowing in the most open and in the strongest manner, the deep sense I entertain, not only of the purity, but of the moderation and temper of this Assembly; which has essentially contributed to the attainment of that progressive prosperity which these States now enjoy.
The uniform harmony and good understanding constantly maintained between you and the Senate, evince the patriotism which has guided you throughout, whilst it affords the most substantial proof of the wisdom of that illustrious Body.
Nor can I persuade myself that the unfortunate aberrations of the People in some of the Islands, already detailed to you in the preceding part of this Address, were grounded on the slightest dissatisfaction towards their own Government, although an enthusiasm, much to be lamented, in an attempt equally rash and unfortunate, led them to despise its injunctions and violate its Orders, calculated, as every one I believe must now confess, for their own benefit and salvation.
It is the fact, of your having now for the first time lived, since the fall of the Venetian Rule, for a considerable period under a regular Government; and the experience I have derived of the general character and feeling of your Population, that lead me to express in the most unequivocal manner, my thorough belief that you will see at the close of the present Year, what never happened in this Country before-the whole of the Government of these States constitutionally lapse, and then re-established under the Provisions of the Charter itself, without the slightest difficulty of any sort whatever.
In respect to that Charter, it is the basis to which we must ever look as the life and support of our Constitutional Fabrick. On the whole, it has been found as perfect as reasonably could be desired, and to answer in practice, so as to gratify its most sanguine well-wishers; but should some partial changes be judged advisable in its Provisions, such modifications as the Parliament may agree to, will be constitutionally laid for Ratification before the Protecting Sovereign, my Gracious King
and Master, of whose benign intentions towards this People, it is superfluous to speak, after the repeated proofs that the universal benevolence, which in such an extraordinary degree distinguishes the elevated mind of that most August Monarch, has ever been directed, in the most earnest manner, to the promotion of the welfare of the United Ionian States, happily placed under his sole and exclusive protection. By command of His Excellency,
FREDERICK HANKEY. Secretary to the Lord High Commissioner.
NOTE of the Spanish Envoy, to the Secretary of State of The United States, respecting Captures of Vessels arising out of the Spanish Blockade of the Coast of Venezuela. (Translation.)
New York, 11th December, 1822. I HAVE had the honour to receive your Note of the 11th of last month, together with a printed Copy of the Decree of the Judge of the District Court of South Carolina, for the restoration of the Spanish Privateer Palmira.
Before I proceed to reply to the other points embraced in your Note, I shall make the remarks to which the Decree gives rise.
The Judge acknowledges the illegality of the Capture of the Palmira, and orders her restoration. I cannot conceive how that opinion can be reconciled with what is stated in the Decree itself, that the conduct of Captain Gregory in this affair is deserving of praise. But what is still more extraordinary is, that a Decree, whilst it releases the Crew of the Palmira, detains in custody those Sailors charged with having robbed the American Vessel Coquette. That decision established so dangerous a principle to all Maritime Powers, that I cannot persuade myself it has escaped your penetration. It is a principle which The United States have resisted with great and laudable energy; a principle, in short, which this Republick has repelled at the expense of a sanguinary War.
The Palmira was carried into Charleston upon the pretence of being a Pirate; after a mature deliberation, she has been pronounced innocent of that offence by the competent Judge, and recognized as a Spanish Privateer, duly authorized, that is to say, as a Spanish Vessel of War. If a part of the Crew are detained for an alleged misdemeanour against Citizens of The United States, it is obvious that the principle and right are thereby established to search friendly and neutral Vessels, and take therefrom such Individuals as it is supposed have trespassed upon the property appertaining to Subjects of the Invading Power, in order to bring them before her Tribunals. I submit to your consideration, Sir, whether that opinion concurs
with the repeated declarations of your Government, that it would never assent to such a principle; and with the able Documents that have emanated from the Department of State of The United States, and their Agents, repelling the pretensions of England to examine American Vessels, and take away, not American Citizens charged with committing depredations on British Commerce, but their own Deserters, in which there is certainly a wide difference; and ultimately, whether it was to be expected that a Judge of The United States Court shoul attempt to establish a doctrine which this Republick has so gloriously resisted at immense sacrifices. It is, therefore, important in the highest degree to Europe, and more especially to Spain, to be informed of the sentiments of the Government of The United States on so momentous a subject, and I believe I shall only anticipate your answer by saying I am persuaded, that, in accordance with all Writers on Publick Law, you will indignantly repel a line of proceeding which has already been attended with such fatal consequences, and still holds out a principle so hostile to the tranquillity of the World.
In the aforesaid Decree, the Judge, after stating the reasons upon which he founds his opinion for exonerating the Palmira and her Crew from all responsibility for the robbery of the Coquette, and only holding those Individuals answerable who committed that act, decides, that neither the Palmira nor her Crew, who he acknowledges to be innocent, are entitled to damages for the deaths and wounds inflicted upon them, and for the enormous losses sustained by the Proprietors. I am ignorant of the Laws on which the Judge established that decision, but the dictates of common sense point out, that whoever is acquitted of an imputed crime, and has been maltreated and oppressed, has a right to indemnity for the evils he has unjustly suffered. In short, it is evident that if the Palmira was a Pirate, the Individuals attached to her should have been convicted as such; but if, on the contrary, it is proved that she is a Spanish Vessel of War, her detention (even laying aside all the other circumstances attending it) has been criminal and illegal, and therefore her Proprietors are entitled to damages, and Spain to satisfaction for the outrage committed on her Flag. For these reasons I deem it my duty to request anew from the justice of the American Government, that satisfaction and a compensation for the losses suffered by the Proprietors of the Palmira; and more especially that the Individuals charged with having plundered the Coquette may be delivered up to the Vice-Consul of Spain at Charleston, that he may send them to The Havannah or Porto Rico, with such evidence as may be furnished him of said offence, in order that the Spanish Tribunals may apply the necessary punishment to the Offenders in case they shall be convicted.
The assurance you are pleased to give me of the regret the President has experienced at the occurrence of the event of the Palmira,
will be duly appreciated by His Catholick Majesty, who, always anxious to preserve the best harmony with The United States, cannot fail to see, with deep concern, whatever may tend to interrupt the friendship which he desires to maintain with this Republick.
In your said Note of the 11th of last month, you do me the honour to request I would make known to my Government, the President's reliance upon their justice and regard for the amicable relations subsisting between The United States and Spain, to issue the most positive Orders to all the Officers of Spain, Naval and Military, not only to abstain from all unlawful aggressions upon the Commerce of The United States, but also for the suppression of all acts of hostility and depredation, under the pretext of authority, and of Commissions from Spain: you add that the robbery of the Coquette is only one of a great multitude of instances, in which the lawful commerce of The United States has been, and still continues to be, subject to outrages and depredations from armed Vessels, issuing from the Ports of Porto Rico and of Cuba, many of whom are recognized by the Authorities of The Havannah, as Pirates, against which they have taken measures, in concurrence with the Naval Force of The United States ;-that the Autho rities of the Spanish Government, in America, will perceive the necessity of withholding all protection from Persons who would misuse their Commissions and Banners for criminal practices, which you support by instances that have happened, of Vessels of The United States that have been carried into Porto Rico and Puerto Cabello, upon the pretence of a Blockade of the Coasts of Venezuela, instituted by the Spanish Authorities, who could neither have the right to proclaim, nor the power to enforce, such Blockade ;-in short, that The United States cannot recognize such Blockade as lawful, and that, in instructing their Naval Officers to protect Merchant Vessels of The United States, lawfully engaged in that Commerce, they will be cautioned to respect the just and lawful Rights of Spain, and to promote, by all the means in their power, the friendly relations subsisting between the two Countries.
That part of your Note requires elucidation, and I believe it my duty, therefore, to acquaint you, with the principles which serve as a basis for the conduct of my Government, in prosecuting the War against their revolted Provinces, with the rights which they acknowledge Neutral Powers have in that painful conflict; and, in short, with the just complaints it has against the conduct observed, since the commencement thereof, by the Government and People of The United States.
In making this exposition to you, Sir, it is my desire to convince the American Cabinet of the rectitude of His Catholick Majesty's intentions, and of the liberality of his policy, supported by the most incontestible and approved precepts of Publick Law. Flattering myself that, both the one and the other being acknowledged, the Government