Page images

Slavonia, as also for our Grand Duchy of Transylvania, we have already taken the necessary measures, by means of our letter of October 20, 1860, with a view to the restoration of the former Constitutions of the several countries, in conformity with our abovementioned Patent, and within the limits therein laid down.

III. For our kingdoms of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Gallicia and Lodomeria, with the Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator and the Grand Duchy of Cracow; our Duchies of Austria below the Enns, and Austria above the Enns; our Duchies of Carniola and Bukowina; our Margraviate of Moravia; our Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia; our Margraviate of Istria, with the PrincipalityCounties of Görz and Gradiska and the town of Trieste with its territory; and for the country of Vorarlberg; we have determined, in order to develop, form, and bring into unison with the interests of the united monarchy, the rights and freedom of the faithful estates of these kingdoms and provinces, according to the conditions and requirements of the present time, to sanction the annexed Provincial Ordinances and Electoral Laws, and to grant to each the force of a fundamental law for the province concerned.

Since, however, we have not yet finally decided on the position of our Kingdom of Dalmatia in regard to our Kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia, the Provincial Ordinance issued for our Kingdom of Dalmatia cannot come completely into operation at present.

IV. In order to bring the statutes issued with the Patent of October 20, 1860, for our Duchies of Carinthia, Styria, and Salzburg, and for our Principality-County of Tyrol, into unison with the provisions which are taken as the principles of the Provincial Ordinances issued by us to-day; in order to afford to the Provincial Assemblies of the above-mentioned provinces those more extended rights which we have determined on granting to the representatives of the other provinces; and finally, in order to bring into operation our enactments issued respecting the franchise on the 5th January, 1861, also in Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, and the Tyrol, we have resolved, for the extension and alteration of the Provincial Statutes already published, to grant the annexed new Provincial Ordinances for Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, and the Tyrol.

V. We commission our Minister of State at the same time to lay before us at the proper period a Provisional Constitution for our Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom, based on similar principles; and in the meantime, we commit to the congregations of that Kingdom, as its present existing representatives, the right of sending the appointed number of members to the Council of the Empire.

VI. Whereas, partly by means of the preceding fundamental laws, partly by means of those which have been recalled into life, partly by means of the Constitutions provided by the new funda [1861-62. LII.] 4 I

mental laws, the foundation of the political relations of our Empire has now been established, and especially the representation of our peoples has been organized, while their participation in the legislation and administration has been ordained, we hereby proclaim this aggregate of fundamental laws to be the Constitution of our Empire, and, under the protection of the Almighty, and we will not only ourselves inviolably adhere to and maintain these hereby solemnly proclaimed and covenanted rules, but also bind our successors in the Government inviolably to adhere to and maintain them, and to pledge themselves to do this on their ascending the throne, in the manifesto then to be issued thereon. We hereby declare also our firm determination to protect them with all our imperial power against every attack, and to see that they are observed and maintained by every one.

VII. We command that this Patent, together with the fundamental State Laws on the Representation of the Empire and the Provinces, proclaimed by it, drawn up in the form of an Imperial Diploma, be deposited and preserved in our Palace Court and State Archives; and also that, in due time, the fundamental law on the Representation of the Empire, with the several fundamental laws destined for each province, be deposited and preserved in the archives of our kingdoms and provinces.

Given in our capital city of Vienna, February 26, 1861. FRANCIS JOSEPH.

FUNDAMENTAL LAW on the Representation of Austria.Vienna, February, 26, 1861.


1. THE Council of the Empire (Reichsrath) represents the Empire The Council of the Empire consists of the Upper House (Herrenhaus), and the House of Deputies.

2. The Princes of the Imperial House who have attained their majority are members of the Upper House by birth.

3. The hereditary members of the Upper House are the heads who are not under age of those native noble houses distinguished by their extensive landed property, on whom the Emperor has conferred the dignity of hereditary Councillor of the Empire.

4. The members of the Upper House in virtue of high church dignities are all archbishops and those bishops who are entitled to the rank of Prince.

5. The Emperor reserves to himself the right of summoning to the Upper House as members during their lifetime distinguished men who have deserved well of the State, or of the Church, of science, or of art.

6. In the House of Deputies there will be 343 members elected, according to the numbers established for the several kingdoms and lands, as follow:

For the Kingdom of Hungary..

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]






[ocr errors]










Grand Duchy of Transylvania
Margraviate of Moravia



Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia ..
Principality-County of Tyrol and Voralberg.. 12
Margraviate of Istria, together with the Prin-



cipality-County of Görz and Gradisca and
the town and territory of Trieste..


7. The number of members fixed for each land will be sent by direct election from their several Diets.

The election will be effected by absolute majority of votes in such a manner that the number of the members of the House of Deputies falling according to the provincial regulations to certain territories, towns and corporations, will be chosen from the members of the Assembly of the States for those territories, towns and corporations.

The Emperor reserves to himself the right of ordering the completion of the election by the territories, towns and corporations direct, when exceptional circumstances occur, which prevent the full election to the House of Deputies by a Provincial Assembly.

8. The Emperor nominates the presidents and vice-presidents from the members of each House.

The other functionaries will be elected by each House itself. 9. The Council of the Empire will be convoked every year by the Emperor.

10. The sphere of action of the whole Council of the Empire embraces, according to Article II of the Diploma of October 20, all

subjects of legislation which have reference to rights, duties and interests common to all the kingdoms and lands. Such are specially: (a.) All matters which have reference to the kind and manner as well as to the regulation of military duty.

(b.) All matters which concern the regulation of money, credit, and mint affairs, the banks of issue, customs and commerce, the principles of the postal, railway, and telegraphic services.

(c) All matters of Imperial finance in general; especially the estimates of the State expenditure, the examination of the State balance-sheet, and of the results of the financial operations, the contracting of new loans, the conversion of existing State debts, the alienation, alteration, and taxation of the real property of the State, the increase of existing and the introduction of new taxes, imposts, and rates.

The taxes, imposts and rates will be laid on according to the existing laws, so long as these shall not be altered in a constitutional


The State debt is placed under the control of the Council of the Empire.

11. Subjects of legislation which are common to all the kingdoms and provinces, with the exception of the lands appertaining to the Hungarian Crown, belong to the constitutional sphere of action of the Council of the Empire, according to Article III of the Diploma of 20th October, 1860, without the participation of the members from the lands of the Hungarian Crown.

To this diminished Council of the Empire therefore belong, with the exception of the matters mentioned in section 10, all subjects for legislation which are not expressly reserved by the provincial ordinances for the several Provincial Assemblies represented in the diminished Council of the Empire.

The same holds good in the case of such subjects reserved for the Provincial Assemblies, when a common treatment of the subject is proposed by the Provincial Assembly concerned.

In the case of doubts arising respecting the competency of the diminished Council of the Empire in affairs of general legislation, as opposed to the competency of a single Provincial Assembly represented in the Council of the Empire, the Emperor will decide at the proposal of the diminished Council of the Empire.

12. Projects of law come before the Council of the Empire as Government proposals.

The Council of the Empire has also the right to propose laws on subjects within its sphere of action (sections 10 and 11). For all such laws the concurrence of both Houses and the sanction of the Emperor are necessary.

13. If at the time when the Council of the Empire is not

assembled, urgent measures must be taken on a subject within its sphere of action, the Ministry is bound to lay before the next Council the grounds and results of its measures.

14. For a valid resolution of the whole or of the diminished Council of the Empire, an absolute majority of the votes of those present is necessary.

Proposals for altering this fundamental law require a majority of at least two-thirds of the votes in each house.

15. The members of the House of Deputies are to receive no instructions from their electors.

16. All members of the Council must personally exercise their right of voting.

17. The duties of the members sent from any country to the House of Deputies cease on the day of meeting of a new Assembly. They can be again elected to the House of Deputies.

If a member dies, loses his personal competency, or is permanently prevented from being a member of the Council, a new election must be made.

18. The adjournment of the Council, as also the dissolution of the House of Deputies, takes place by order of the Emperor. In case of a dissolution, there is a new election according to section 7.

19. The ministers, court chancellors, and chiefs of central offices are empowered to take part in all consultations, and to make their proposals in person or by a deputy.

Upon their request they must always have a hearing.

They have the right of taking part in the voting provided they are members of either House.

20. The sittings of both Houses of the Council of the Empire are public.

Each House has the right of excluding publicity exceptionally when the president or at least 10 members demand it, and when the House has determined on it after strangers have withdrawn.

21. The more precise regulations for the transaction of business, and for the reciprocal and external intercourse of both Houses, will be regulated by the order of business.

PROCLAMATION of the President of San Domingo, declaring the Re-incorporation of the Republic with the Spanish Dominions.-San Domingo, March 18, 1861.



Ir is not many years since my voice, always loyal, always consistent, while presenting to you the reformation of our political

« PreviousContinue »