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Confederation and all foreign Powers, and which were proved afresh by the peaceful solution of the difficulty which but lately threatened to disturb peace in the East. The negotiations and the result of the Paris Conference have proved the sincere endeavour of the European Powers to regard the blessings of peace as a valuable and common benefit, to be guarded by all as common property. Having seen the success of this course of action, a nation which has proved that it possesses both the will and the power to respect the independence of foreign States and to defend its own, is justified in trusting in the continuance of peace, to disturb which neither foreign Governments have the intention nor the enemies of order the power.
The session closed on the 22nd of June, and the Royal speech then congratulated the Parliament on the completion of the first German war, both as a memorial of German activity and sagacity. It declared that the unanimous co-operation of the Federal Governments with the national representatives in the common labouring for Germany's welfare would, with God's help, strengthen, as heretofore, the general confidence with which Germany, in fortifying herself at home, reckoned upon the preservation of peace abroad.
A new session of the Prussian Chambers was opened by the King on the 6th of October, when he delivered the following speech :“Illustrious and Honoured Gentlemen of both Houses of the Diet,
- In the coming session you will be called upon to take part in important labours for the well-being of the Monarchy and for the development of legislation. Notwithstanding the confidence in the maintenance of peace, as well as the generally propitious result of the harvest, affords a well-founded prospect for the restoration of the former legitimate increase of the revenues, the financial position of the State has not materially improved at present. You will observe from the complete statement of the Budget for the year 1868 which will be laid before you, that, in consequence of unavoidable circumstances, on the one hand, the revenue has not reached its estimated amount, and, on the other hand, the expenditure has exceeded the estimates, and that the latter could not completely be covered by the funds in hand. In the face of these results and of the position of this year's State Budget, the endeavour of my Government has been directed to decrease the burdens of Prussia, incurred in consequence of her Federal obligations, by an increase of the special revenues of the North German Confederation. This endeavour has not been followed by the desired success. It has, therefore, been impossible in the estimates for next year, which will shortly be laid before you, to balance the revenue and expenditure, although the latter have been restricted as far as possible, without affecting important interests of the country. My Government is, therefore, necessitated to resort to additional taxation in order completely to cover the required expenditure. The restoration and preservation of order in financial affairs is absolutely necessary for the successful development of all the State institutions, and this cannot be delayed. The sacrifices demanded must not be eluded; the longer they are postponed, the more oppressive they will be for the country. Convinced that you share these views, I rely confidently upon your not refusing your assent to the propositions of my Government. A Bill will be laid before you to alter the legal mode of procedure in the assessment of the classified income-tax, in order to secure a more satisfactory working of the existing law. A Bill for the establishment of a new administration of the provincial districts throughout the six eastern provinces will largely affect the entire administration of the country. This new law does not merely alter the regulations which hitherto have existed, and which have frequently been pointed out as requiring improvement—a want acknowledged also by the Government. Together with the modification of the present district assemblies, the Government proposes to establish assemblies for the communal administration of provincial districts, which will not only serve to imbue the inhabitants with greater interest in the affairs of their districts, but these assemblies will also be required to take upon themselves a part of such general business of the country as has hitherto been in the hands of the State. As soon as in those districts of the eastern provinces which are the centres of their communal administration the idea of selfgovernment shall have been realized efficiently, then the extension of the same principle to the rest of the kingdom and its still further development in an ascending scale will follow as a natural consequence. In conformity with the wishes expressed during previous debates, my Government will lay before you the draught of a complete law upon the system of education, and one which shall embrace every grade of instruction. The important deliberations which commenced last session upon the reform of the laws on landed property and the rights accruing therefrom will be resumed. My Government is engaged continually in extending the system of public roads and railways in the interest of the general traffic, and in accordance with the means at its disposal. The Government regrets, however, that it has been compelled to make retrenchments in this branch of the public service in consequence of the insufficiency of the revenue. The Government is also devoting unceasing attention to the development of agriculture. With this object the concentration of small plots of land in those parts of the country where this measure has only recently been introduced or facilitated by law is making visible progress. The unremitting endeavours of my Government for the maintenance and consolidation of peace, for guarding our relations with foreign Powers, from being disturbed in any way, have, by God's help, been crowned with success. I confidently trust that also in future the foreign policy, which will be directed by me in the same spirit, will be followed by the same good result– viz. the establishment of peaceful and friendly relations with all foreign Governments, the development of traffic, and the maintenance of the authority and independence of Germany. Gentlemen, I had lately the gratification of receiving in several provinces of my Monarchy manifestations of loyalty and confidence which gave me much pleasure. In that spirit which dictated those manifestations I recognize a fresh security for the steady and hopeful prosperity of the Fatherland, and it will be my unceasing endeavour to further the same in all directions to the best of my abilities. Success greatly depends upon your cordial co-operation with my Government, and I rejoice to be able to express my confident hope that also during this session this co-operation for the welfare of the country will not be found wanting.”
In reply to a deputation from the Brandenburg Synod at the beginning of December, the King said, “I am much obliged to you for your kind and cordial wishes, and shall be happy to see you finish your work in peace. It is very necessary, indeed, that something should be done to quiet the excitement lately prevailing in matters ecclesiastical. The enemies of the Church are numerous in these days. In this I am not alluding to the Roman Catholics, but to those who have ceased to believe. What is to become of us if we have no faith in the Saviour, the Son of God? If He is not the Son of God, His commands, as coming from a man only, must be subject to criticism. What is to become of us in such a case ? I can only repeat that I wish to see you finish in peace the work in which you are engaged."
TURKEY AND EGYPT. Not long ago the Viceroy of Egypt paid a visit to Europe, and was received at the different Courts with something of the respect and state usually reserved for crowned heads. This gave offence to the Sultan and Turkish Government, for in reality the Viceroy is only a satrap of the Ottoman Porte, enjoying the peculiar title of Khedive, which, whatever may be its precise import in Turkey, does not invest its possessor with a royal character. The Sultan was also offended at the invitations issued by the Viceroy to foreign monarchs to be present at the forthcoming opening of the Suez Canal, which his Majesty thought was an infringement on his imperial prerogative. He was also alarmed at other tokens of independence on the part of the Egyptian Viceroy, and in consequence a letter was addressed by the Turkish Minister to the Viceroy, which contained a statement of the grievances alleged against him, and which he answered in a long despatch. As this fully recapitulates all the causes of complaint, and embodies the Viceroy's defence, we give it in extenso.
“Highness, I have had the honour of receiving the letter which, by order of his Imperial Majesty, your Highness has been good enough to address to me, and in which you demand explanations upon the interpretations given to my last journey in Europe, and upon the reports circulated on that occasion. I hasten, therefore, to make known the true facts relating to these questions.
“ From the day on which the administration of this great country was confided to me by his Imperial Majesty, God forbid that I should have ever taken any decision beyond the limits of the rights and duties prescribed by the Imperial firmans. The thought, even, never occurred to me. On the contrary, appreciating the successive favours received from his Majesty, and the high benevolence which he has unceasingly testified towards me, I have subjected all my acts to his will and to his orders, and when his Majesty shall know that all my efforts tend to merit his high approval, I have the firm hope that I shall still retain his confidence and his good will.
"In reference to the troops some time ago despatched to Candia, it was upon my own demand, so that I might have the honour of serving his Majesty and proving my fidelity and devotion to him, that their organization was effected, and their despatch took place in conformity with the orders which he had given.
“The expenses of the Candian expedition, as well as those of the expedition to the Hedjaz, which took place about the same time, have not been paid by the Imperial treasury, as was the case in the Crimean expedition; on the contrary, they have been settled by Egypt, which has felt pride in bearing them exclusively. These expenses, however, having, in consequence of the prolonged stay of the expeditionary corps, reached the figure of about 200,000 purses, I was, with the sole object of taking an account of the sum necessary for the future maintenance of the troops, and to establish an equilibrium in the Budget, compelled to fix a term for the duration of their stay. I submitted the question to the Council at the time of my voyage to Constantinople, and a Ministerial decision fixed the date of their return, which did not, however, take place until fifteen days after the expiration of the time decided upon. From the time of their arrival on the island until their departure, these troops, with their companions in arms, marched wherever they were ordered, displaying not only true courage, but exhibiting perfect obedience; they contributed to preserve the honour of the Imperial arms, and many of the officers as well as the soldiers were either wounded or killed, happy in thus showing their devotion to the Sovereign. This being the case, I do not think I have committed any act or pursued any conduct contrary to the Imperial will, either in the despatch or the withdrawal of the troops; nor, moreover, do I think that any one has seen or heard of any thing singular in the conduct of these troops, whether officers or soldiers, during the expedition.
“As to the privileges accorded about two years since, I solicited them only in view of the general interests of the Imperial territory, confiding in the confidence and entire good will of his Majesty towards me.
“During my journey in Europe I accepted gratefully the invitation to visit them which some of the Sovereigns did me the honour to address to me; and if, when meeting them, I invited
these Sovereigns, or some members of their august families, to assist at the inauguration of the canal, it was only in virtue of the high position which I occupy under the auspices of his Majesty. If these Sovereigns by their reception have shown me any proofs of esteem and consideration, I owe it solely to the honourable position of being dependent upon his Majesty, and it is one of the happy results of the gracious favours with which he has loaded me. I may add that it is publicly known that in these circumstances no act whatever has been committed which could be construed as running counter to the sacred rights of the Sovereign-rights which I place above every thing else, and of which I know how to appreciate the value and importance.
"Your Highness mentions the displeasure which I am supposed to have evinced at the performance of their duty by the ambassadors of the Sublime Porte, and advances the opinion that, desiring to act alone, I avoided them, although in all my relations with them I in no way failed in paying due regard to their rank. As every one knows, I visited each of them. I even invited their Excellencies Djémil Pasha and Daoud Pasha to a family dinner which, during my stay in Paris, my son gave at his own house, thus proving that, so far from desiring to keep them at a distance, I was, on the contrary, glad to find myself with them. I doubt not, therefore, your Highness will be convinced that the accusations made in this respect are simply and purely calumnious.
* As to the mission of Nubar Pasha in Europe, your Highness is aware it is no new step, but that this mission has been already recognized so far back as two or three years ago ; further, during each of my sojourns at Constantinople, I have spoken on several occasions upon this question, and even obtained letters of recommendation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the ambassadors of the Sublime Porte both at Paris and London, for which I at the time verbally expressed my sincere acknowledgments. Thus the mission of Nubar Pasha has been concealed neither from the Imperial Government nor from its representatives at foreign Courts. The progress, every day more apparent, both of commerce and agriculture, and the increasing efforts made, under the auspices of his Majesty, for their development, attract into Egypt numerous strangers who naturally increase their transactions with the natives, and form every where new commercial relations. This state of things occasions disputes and litigation ; and for this reason it was deemed necessary to establish a fixed rule which would tend to protect the rights of all parties and create mutual confidence among them. The mission of Nubar Pasha has, therefore, for its object the modification of the system of jurisdiction so far as it concerns the differences, commercial or otherwise, between foreigners and natives. The adhesion of the Powers to the meeting of a Commission charged to examine this question, and to which they consent to send special representatives, proves that, seeing the development of commerce and agriculture, this reform is comprised within the