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the first fruits have already sprung up in the country. These facts denote the importance attached to instruction, which is the principal basis of all progress.
“As to agriculture, when in the first place, we perceived the frightful ravages of the murrain, and then the unusual inundation of the Nile, which menaced with complete destruction the crops and property of the cultivators, assistance of every kind was prodigally lavished, and the most energetic measures were at once taken. Thanks to these enormous sacrifices and the considerable sums which were dispensed, the general prosperity and the public welfare have been, under the auspices of his Majesty, once more established. In spite of these successive disasters, agriculture has been so much developed in consequence of the works carried out, and the effective
, measures taken at the time of these misfortunes for the irrigation of the soil and the facility of transport, that 320,000 feddans of previously untilled land have been brought under cultivation and rendered productive. The foundation of a great number of important financial institutions; the considerable increase in the number of foreigners who have come to settle in all parts of the country, even as far as the Soudan, for the purpose of entering, with perfect safety, into business; the constantly progressive activity in the ports of Alexandria, Suez, and Port Saïd, and the development of commercial relations between Egypt and every part of the world, are the best proofs of the continual progress of trade and agriculture.
“As to the expenses, they are made, as has been before mentioned, only with the approbation of the Assembly of Delegates. And if it is considered that, despite the debts left by the late Saïd Pasha, the different difficult questions which have caused the payment of large indemnities by the Treasury, the construction of new railways upon a line of 700 miles, an enterprise necessitated by the increase of general prosperity; the extension of the telegraph lines to Souakin, Massowah, and the Soudan, as well as their establishment at other points of the country; the works of the dock and port of Saïd, and others of a similar character which have been undertaken for the public good; in fact, the considerable sums advanced as aid to the population, as well as those dispensed for the Suez Canal; if, also, it is considered that every one receives regularly what is his due, that the pensions and salaries of the officials are paid regularly every month, and if we regard the amount to which the debt has been reduced, every one will readily comprehend that the finances are faithfully administered, without waste, without burdening the people with heavy taxes, and, consequently, without indisposing them against the administration.
“With regard to the purchase of fire-arms and vessels of war, I have the honour to point out to your Highness that it was simply a question of replacing the old arms by those of a newer construction, and substituting new ships for those which had become useless. With this object, commissions composed of officers of merit have been formed both here and in Europe during the past two or three years, for the trial and choice of the best and newest weapon. The experiments thus made have resulted in the adoption of an arm of recent invention, and upon a report from the commission, suggesting a purchase equal to half of the old arms in Egypt, authorization was granted and the order for their manufacture was given. On the other hand, the vessels which have been ordered two years since are not yet finished. The expenses necessitated by these orders have been approved in the Budget which it is customary to present in the course of the year to the Assembly of Delegates, and each amount appears under a special head. These expenses, far from being superfluous, are justified by the sincere intention of being useful in the protection of the Imperial territory, and even of the Empire itself, as is evidenced by the fact that, at the time of the rupture of relations with the Greek Government, 20,000 men were concentrated at Alexandria, waiting but the first order or the first signal from his Majesty. These details fully demonstrate that the principal causes of civilization have not been neglected, and I have therefore the conviction that your Highness will fully recognize it.
“The measures taken during the past two years for the opening of new streets and the embellishment of the towns were suggested to me by the useful works executed at Constantinople in the interest of the general health and public well-being, and those works, emanating from the initiative of the municipal councils, as I have been able to prove during my recent journeys, I have endeavoured to confine within the usages and customs of the Imperial territory. The Ministry of Finance, besides, does not bear any of the expenses occasioned by this kind of public works, which are provided for out of the revenues of the town itself, and sometimes, when necessary, out of my own private purse.
“ These frank and sincere explanations upon the true state of affairs will, I have no doubt, efface from the mind of your Highness the unfavourable impression which has been caused by unjust accusations, while the dignity and justice which in such a high degree distinguish your Highness are to me a sure guarantee that you will acknowledge the fidelity and devotion with which I am animated towards his Imperial Majesty. Further, if his Majesty has felt any displeasure towards me, I have the firm conviction that as soon as he knows the entire truth he will, moved by those sentiments of clemency and generosity which animate his great soul, deign to restore and even increase towards me the goodwill which he has, up to the present, condescended to bestow upon me. Under any circumstances, when I have finished some important affairs which concern the subjects of the Imperial territory, it is my intention to visit Constantinople, in order to do homage at the foot of his Majesty's throne, and to fulfil towards him my duties of respectful fidelity
“I therefore beg your Highness will be good enough to take a favourable opportunity of submitting my intentions to his Majesty, and I beseech you to preserve for me his precious friendship.”
Ultimately, however, through diplomatic interference, the matter was settled by the acceptance, on the part of the Viceroy, of the conditions insisted upon by the Porte.
In December the grand ceremony took place in Egypt of the opening of the Suez Canal, an enterprise, the successful execution of which was due to the unwearied energy and determination of M. de Lesseps. He had enormous difficulties to contend against, and triumphed over them all. Eminent engineers had prognosticated failure. It was for a long time believed that the levels of the Mediterranean and Red Sea were so different that it would be impossible to prevent an impetuous current flowing through the canal, or that the shifting sands along its sides would overwhelm the work, and the silt on the northern shore would choke up the mouth at Port Saïd. But the gigantic undertaking was steadily persevered in, and complete success, so far as engineering difficulties are concerned, has been the reward of M. de Lesseps. We can only hope that financially it will prosper, and become the channel through which will flow the commerce of the world between Europe and Asia.
Constitutional Amendment as regards the Right of Suffrage-Inauguration of President Grant-His Proclamation - New Cabinet -- Opening of the Forty-first Congress
- Bill to secure payment in Gold of State Bonds--Modification of the Tenure of Office Act-Close of the Session-Convention for settling Claims between Great Britain and the United States-Its Rejection by the Senate - Recall of Mr. Reverdy Jobuson and appointment of Mr. Motley as Minister to England - Interview between the Earl of Clarendon and Mr. Motley on the Question of the Claims- Despatch of Mr. Fish, the American Secretary of State, on the same Subject—“Observations” of the Earl of Clarendon on the Despatch— The Question of Slavery in the Civil War in the United States.
In the month of February a Constitutional Amendment was passed by Congress which prohibited any distinction as regards the right of suffrage on account of either race, colour, nativity, property, education, or creed. This amendment had to be afterwards submitted to each of the State Legislatures for its approval and ratification.
The new President of the United States, General Grant, took the oath of office and was inaugurated at Washington on the 4th of March. He issued the following proclamation :
“Citizens, Your suffrages have elected me to the office of President. I have taken the oath prescribed by the Constitution without mental reservation, and with the determination to do, to the best of my ability, all that is required of me. The responsibility of my position I feel, but I accept it without fear; the office which has been conferred upon me was unsought. On leading questions I will express my views to Congress when I think it advisable. I will interpose my veto to defeat measures to which I am opposed ; but all laws will be faithfully executed, whether they meet with my approval or not. I shall have a policy to recommend, but none to enforce against the will of the people. The laws are to govern all those approving as well as those opposing them. I know no method to secure the repeal of obnoxious laws so effectual as the stringent execution of them.
Many questions will arise during the next four years, and it is desirable that they should be appreciated calmly and without prejudice, the greatest good of the greatest number being the object to be obtained. This requires security for the person, for property, and for religious and political opinions throughout the country. All laws to secure this end will receive my best efforts towards their enforcement.
“A great debt has been contracted in securing the Union, the payment of which and a return to a specie basis, as soon as it can be accomplished without detriment to the debtor class or to the country at large, must be provided. To protect the national honour every dollar of the Government indebtedness should be paid in gold, unless otherwise expressly stipulated at the time of being contracted. Let it be understood that there must be no repudiation of a single farthing of the public debt, and it will go far towards strengthening our credit, which ought to be the best in the world, and will ultimately enable us to replace the debt with bonds paying less interest than we now pay. To this should be added the faithful collection of the revenue, strict accountability to the Treasury for every dollar collected, and the greatest practicable retrenchment. Who doubts the feasibility of paying every dollar with more ease than we now pay for useless luxuries?
“ Prostrate commerce must be rebuilt and industry encouraged.
" The young men of this country have a peculiar interest in maintaining the national honour. A moment's reflection upon our future commanding influence among nations should inspire national pride. How the public debt is to be paid and how specie payment is to be resumed are not so important as that the plan should be adopted. The united determination to do is worth more than divided counsel on the method of doing. Legislation on this subject may not now be necessary, nor even advisable, but will be so when civil law is fully restored throughout the land and trade shall have resumed its wonted channels.
“It shall be my endeavour to execute the laws in good faith, to collect all the revenues assessed, and to have them properly disbursed.
“I will, to the best of my ability, appoint only officers who will carry out this design.
Regarding foreign policy, I would deal with nations as equitably as the law requires that individuals should deal with each other. I would protect law-abiding citizens, whether of native or foreign birth, whenever their rights are jeopardized and wherever the flag of our country floats. I would respect the rights of all nations and demand equal respect for our own. If others depart from this rule in dealing with us, we may be compelled to follow the precedent.
" The proper treatment of the Indians deserves careful consideration. I will favour any course tending to their civilization, Christianization, and ultimate citizenship.
“I hope for and desire the adoption of the Suffrage Amendment to the Constitution.
“In conclusion, I ask for patient forbearance one towards the other throughout the land, and a determined effort on the part of every citizen to share and cement our happy Union, and I ask for prayers to God on behalf of this happy consummation.”
General Grant at first appointed as the members of his CabinetMr. Elihu B. Washburne, of Illinois, Secretary of State; Mr. Adolph E. Bowrie, Philadelphia, Secretary of the Navy; Mr. Alexander T. Stewart, New York, Secretary of the Treasury ; Mr. Jacob D. Cox, Ohio, Secretary of the Interior; Mr. John A. J. Cresswell, Maryland, Postmaster-General ; and Mr. George E. Hoar, Massachusetts, Attorney-General. General Schofield was retained as Secretary of War. But soon afterwards the following changes took place :-Mr. Elihu Washburne resigned, and Mr. Hamilton Fish was appointed Secretary of State. Mr. Boutwell, of Massachusetts, succeeded Mr. Stewart as Secretary of the Treasury, and General Rawlins was appointed Secretary of War in the place of General Schofield.
The forty-first Congress of the United States began its session on the 4th of March, but three States still remained unrepresented in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. These were Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas, which had not complied with the conditions of readmission into the Union.
A Bill was passed on the 15th of March to strengthen public credit, by pledging the payment in gold of the Five-Twenty State Bonds, about which there had been much discussion and some division of opinion. The Bill enacted “ That in order to remove any doubt as to the purpose of the Government to discharge all just obligations to the public credit, and to settle conflicting questions and interpretation of laws by virtue of which such obligations have been contracted, it is hereby provided and declared that the faith of the United States is solemnly pledged to the payment in coin, or its equivalent, of all the interest-bearing obligations of the United States, except in cases where the law authorizing the issue of any such obligations has expressly provided that the same may be paid in lawful money or other currency than gold or silver ; but none of such interest-bearing obligations not already due shall be redeemed or paid before maturity, unless at