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Schaff house
Appenzell Rh.-E.
Appenzell Rh.-I

61, 779
63, 367
11, 276



522 5, 196 1, 797 5,568 10, 739 6, 821 9, 236 6,596 9,850

427 26, 134 10, 624 27, 196 18, 232

6, 245 26, 204

3, 558 16, 295 9, 674

3, 516 18, 225 18,183 3, 866 9,298 2,807 2, 235 1, 643 2,740 21, 368 5,746 1,071 1, 428

219 2,040 2,558 19,939

9, 492 14,558

3, 761 12,507 17, 362 19, 368 1, 251 2, 827

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En conséquence, le projet de constitution révisée a été adopté par 340,199 citoyens et rejeté par 198,013, de sorte que le nombre des acceptants est de 142,186 supérieur à celui des refusants.

b. Relativement au vote des Etats, les Cantons suivants ont formulé des votes spéciaux : Uri.

le 5 mai 1874. Unterwalden-le-Bas

le 6 avril 1874. Glaris..

le 12 avril 1874. Grisons

le 1 mai 1874. Tessin

.le 5 mars 1874. Genève..

le 19 avril 1874. Les États de Glaris, des Grisons, du Tessin et de Genève se sont prononcés pour l'acceptation, et ceux d’Uri et d'Unterwalden-le-Bas pour le rejet.

Tous les autres Etats ont déclaré qu'ils considéraient le résultat du vote populaire comme étant le vote de l'État.

Il en résulte que le projet de Constitution révisée a été adopté par 141 Etats, savoir : Zurich, Berne, Glaris, Solenre, Bâle, Schaff house, Appenzell Rh.-E., St-Gall, Grisons, Argovie, Thurgovie, Tessin, Vand, Neuchâtel et Genève; et qu'il a été rejeté par 71 états, savoir: Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zoug, Fribourg, Appenzell Rh.-I., et Valais;

Déclare ce qui suit : 1o. La Constitution fédérale révisée, telle qu'elle se trouve renfermée dans la loi fédérale du 31 janvier 1874, a été acceptée soit par la majorité des citoyens suisses ayant pris part à la votation, soit par la majorité des Cantons; en conséquence, elle est, par le présenté arrêté, solennellement declarée en vigueur à dater du 29 mai 1874.

20. La présente déclaration est transmise au Conseil fédéral pour qu'il pourvoie à ce qu'elle reçoive la publicité nécessaire et qu'il prenne les mesures ultérieures d'exécution.

Ainsi arrêté par le Conseil national,
Berne, le 28 mai 1874.
Le Président :

ZIEGLER. Le Secrétaire :

SCHIESS. Ainsi arrêté par le Conseil des États, · Berne, le 29 mai 1874. Le Président :

A. KOPP. Le Secrétaire :



L'arrêté fédéral ci-dessus sera, avec la Constitution fédérale elle-même, inséré au Recueil officiel des lois de la Confédération et communiqué aux Gouvernements cantonaux pour qu'ils lui donnent la publicité convenable en le faisant afficher.

Berne, le 30 mai 1874.
Le Président de la Confédération :

SCHENK. Le Chancelier de la Confédération :


Nir. Delapluine to Mr. Fish.

No. 773.]


Vienna, August 3, 1874. (Received August 18.) SIR: In compliance with the Department circular-dispatch of the 23d of June last I have endeavored to obtain reliable and authentic information in regard to the course pursued by the government of AustriaHungary, in relation to the adjustment of claims presented against it. I have mainly consulted in this matter with the Count Revertera, the chief of the legal section of the imperial and royal ministry for foreign affairs. The report and general observations with special reference to the schedule of inquiries forwarded by the Department in the dispatch alluded to, which I have drawn and herewith append, have been obligingly revised by him, and have been pronounced correct in every respect. I shall transmit through Mr. Consul Robinson, via Hamburg, certain volumes for reference, containing more detailed and copious information, as well as full statements of the laws and ordinances upon the subject. The titles of such volumes being as follows:

1. Das allgemeine birgerliche Gesetzbuch für das Kaiserthum Oesterreich.

2. Die Civil- und Militair-Jurisdictionsuorm. The formula of civil and military jurisdiction.

3. Staatsgrundgesetze der österreichischen Monarchie. State fundamental laws of the Austrian monarchy.

4. Supplement to same.
5. The universal citizens' law-books for the Austrian empire.

6. Katechismus der österreichischen Staatsverfassung. Catechism of the Austrian state constitution. I have, &c.,


Report and general obserrations upon the subject referred to in Department circular-dispatch

of 230 June, 1874. 1. It is not within the province of either legislative branch of the government to investigate or entertain the examination of claims against the government, with the possibly single exception, that in the case of the omission or refusal of any official to perform admiuistrative acts incumbent npon him under his duty or obligations as such, then a petition by the party aggrieved may be made to either branch of the reichsrath for relief. In such case there is no investigation or trial, but the petition will be transmitted to the president of the ministry, with the injunction to cause justice to be done in the matter.

2. The matter is referred to a committee for examination and subsequent report, but no special means are afforded for obtaining evidence on behalf of the government, other than by a simple citation of witnesses to appear before the committee.

3. The executive department is in no case whatever authorized or empowered to examine or determine claims of any class; but in matters purely administrative, the ministry may be called to give decisions under its responsibility in case any party considers bimself aggrieved, as in the case, for instance, of an excessive tax or contribution being imposed, &c. There exists a draught of law for the establishment of a court of administration, to be called “ Verwaltungsgericht,” which has, however, not yet been voted upon in the reichsrath. This court is intended to correct any erroneous decision of the ministry, but only in reference to matters purely administrative.

4. Every citizen having any claim, either pecuniary or for damages, against the government, is entitled to prosecute the same by suit at law, equally as against an individual, but before the landesgericht, (provincial court,) excepting when the subject of the claim has reference to the right of the occupation of landed property, or to the rents or jucome arising from real estate, in which case the suit must be prosecuted before the bezirksgericht, or district court, within the district where such property is situated, and this privilege extends to aliens alike as to citizens.

5. Aliens, whether resident or non-resident, are entitled to maintain actions in all the courts of law of the empire, and stand upon the same footing as citizens, with the single exception of an absence of reciprocity existing on the part of the native country of such alien being a fact, which might, if proved, exclude him from the privilege.

Further, a non-resident alien can, before prosecuting a suit at law, be required to furnish security for costs to be paid by him if so adjudged by the court; but only when such security in similar cases is required in his country.

6. The two classes of claims may be distinguished as those having reference to political rights, and those founded ipon contract, or private rights. The adjudication under the former is properly appertaining to the reichs gericht, composed of members nominated by the Crown and elected by the reichsrath ; but in all cases of private right, the procedure in complaints against the government consists in the presentation by the prosecutor of his complaint to the respective court having jurisdiction, which orders the same to be served upon the finanz procuratur, whose duty it is to defend the government, wbich possesses no privileges, iv regard to evidence in its behalf or in procuring same, but stands in the same position as an ordinary defendant.

It may be further rewarked that the sovereign himself is amenable to the ordinary courts of justice, as any private person in matters affecting his private domain, personal property, or rights. In the former case, the customary legal process is served upon the I. & R. verwalter, or manager of the domain, otherwise, upon the hofmeisterant.

The simple privilege possessed by the state in the matter of bringing actions for real property, consists in the right of prescription being in its favor for a period of forty years instead of thirty, in the case of individuals.

Mr. Boker to Nr. Fish.

No. 210.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Constantinople, August 11, 1871. (Received September 2.) SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a dispatch, unnumbered, under date of June 23, 1874, together with a schedule of inquiries," the object of which dispatch is to obtain exact information regarding the practice of the Ottoman government in the adjudication of claims against that government, in order that the information thus sought may be used “ for the purpose of facilitating the adjustment and determination of claims presented against the Government of the United States, whether held by its own citizens or by the subjects or citizens of foreign governments, and with a view of establishing, as far as may be practicable, a general and uniform system and mode of procedure for the investigation and determination of these classes of claims” by the Government of the United States.

The underlying principles, which pervade public affairs in the United States and in the Ottoman Empire, are so antagonistic that, save in the way of contrast, I doubt whether the governmental practices of the latter country could be made to serve as a basis for either theory or action in the former country. As this essential difference in the spirit and the form of the two governments is well known to the Department,

I shall proceed, without further preliminary remarks, to reply to the questions contained in the schedule of inquiries," adding thereto such information as the subject may seem to demand.

Question 1. “Are claims against the government investigatei, determined, and, if allowed, their payment directed and provided for by the legislative branch of the government ?

Question 2. "If the legislative authority does entertain such claims, what is the mode of procedure, by committee or otherwise, and what means, if any, are provided for procuring evidence on behalf of the Government?"

Both the above questions are answered by saying that the constitutional distinction between the legislative and the executive branches of the government, which prevails in all civilized countries, does not exist in the absolute monarchy of Tarkey. In that country the legislative and the executive functions of the government are but one, and their administration is lodged in the same hands.

Question 3. “What provision, if any, is made for the examination and (letermination of claims by the executive department? What is the mode of procedure in the investigatioy of claims by or before executive officers; and what means are provided for procuring evidence on behalf of the government ???

Claims on behalf of or against the Ottoman government are, by the regulation which defines the constitution and the functions of the council of state, submitted for investigation to the appropriate section of that body, which, sitting as a tribunal, has the same power as any court of law to summon witnesses and to procure evidence on either side.

The council of state consists of about fifty members, notables of the empire, who are appointed by the Sultan. This body is divided into five sections of ten members each, each section having cognizance of a particular department of the public administration. Section 1 is charged with the interests of the interior, the war, and the marine departments. Section 2 with the finance and the evcaf departments; the latter department being tbat which regulates the vast and complicated questions of the vacoufs, or religious establishments of the empire, which hold, either in fee-simple or by lien, a hand upon a great body of the real estate of Turkey. Section 3 is charged with the legislative department in all its branches. Section 4 with the public works, the commercial and the agricultural departments. Section 5 with the department of public instruction.

On a claim being made by or presented against the Ottoman government, the claim is delivered for investigation to that section of the council of state to which the question properly belongs. The section, after trying the case by the ordinary rules of evidence, reports to the whole body of the council, which latter in turn submits its views as to the merits of the affair, in the form of a report, to the grand vizier. It must be borne in mind that the council of state is an advisory body merely, having no executive functions whatever. Should the grand vizier be satistied with the report of the council of state, its advice is put in force by his decree, which is final. Should the grand vizier and the counsel of State differ in opinion, the question is recoinmitted to the latter, with instructions from the former to alter its judgment in accordance with the supreme will; a means of arriving at absolute truth and justice which, so far, has never been neglected.

Should a claim, treated as above stated, be one between the goverument and an Ottoman subject, it would be terminated by the execution of the decree of the grand vizier, from which there is no appeal save

by the rare and difficult means of a petition to the Sultan himself; a mode of redress which the government takes care to render it next to impossible to obtain.

The mode of procedure, in the case of claims for or against foreigners, differs entirely from that above described, as will hereafter be shown.

Question 4. “ Is there any provision of law allowing a citizen or subject to sue the government in the regularly-established courts, or in any special tribunal, and does the privilege of maintaining an action against the government (if it exists) extend to aliens ??

Claims on the part of Ottoman subjects against the government are not triable by the ordinary courts of Turkey, but must be prosecuted by petition to the grand vizier, who refers such claims to the council of state, at bis discretion. Foreign governments have never recognized this procedure as applicable to their subjects or citizens, but claim to bring suits, to which the Ottoman government is a party, before the tidjaret, or inixed commercial court. This claim, although it has been and is now disputed by the government, has never been positively denied in practice. The usual way, however, vf presenting claims of any importance against the Ottoman government is by means of direct diplomatic intervention. The grand vizier then advises with the council of state, as before mentioned, and afterward renders bis decision to the foreign embassy or legation. In the unusual event of a settlement not being arrived at as the result of one of those prolonged negotiations between a foreign representative and the Ottoman government, I judge that the ambassador would insist. either that the government should agree to an arbitration or answer to a citation before the tidjaret, and I do not think that the government could avoid submitting to one of these alternatives, such is the influence of diplomacy in this imperfectly-organized and self-distrustful state.

Question 5. 6 What is the status of aliens before the regularly-estab. lished courts of the country? Can they maintain an action in such courts against a citizen or subject; and if so, does the privilege extend to all aliens, or is it confined to resident aliens only ?»

The status of aliens before all the Ottoman courts, with the single exception of the chéri, or real-estate court, is the same as that of Turkish subjects. In the chér'i the testimony of Christian witnesses is not admitted. Considering low readily and at what low rates oral testianony is purchasable in Turkey, the above provision seems to be a wise one, although it is but a half measure, for in order to render the course of justice as to testimony perfectly pure and unsuspected, Mussulman witnesses, by an extension of the system, should also be excluded. The court might then rely, as it generally does at present, upon documentary evidence; or, lacking the latter, might hear both sides of the cause, and settle it scientifically, according to what philosophers call the "antecedent probabilities.”

Non-resident aliens, properly represented by counsel, have the same privileges before the Ottoman courts as resident aliens.

Here, setting theory aside, it may be well to say something as to the practice which exists in Turkey regarding suits between foreigners of different nationalities and between foreigners and Ottoman subjects. Causes between foreigners of different nationalities are always tried in the consular court of the defendant. Of course, in anticipation of a law-suit, there is always a struggle on each side to secure the position of defendantmå supposed necessity for success that sometimes leads to actions of which I fear rigid moralists would not always approve.

Suits between foreigners and Ottoman subjects are invariably brought

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