Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

land, as the result of several resolutions for the organization of the government, and communicating, that his majesty the king had appointed M. Verhuel minister of the marine, and M. Gogel, minister of finance; the other secretaries of state being charged to continue in their posts till the king's arrival.

The same gentleman repaired in person to the assembly of their High Mightinesses, where also, in pursuance of his commission, he expressed his majesty's desire, and made the necessary communications; he also proceeded to the council of state; after which his excellency assumed the executive power, in the name, and by the authority of his majesty, whilst the pensionary, who had acted ad interim, resigned that post, and resumed that of president of their High Mightinesses. The following is the new constitution which has been digested and promulgated for the Dutch nation. I have given it rather at length, that the reader may be in possession of the principal branches of so important and interesting a document.

Louis NAPOLEON, by the grace of God and the constitutional laws of the state, to all whom these presents shall come, sends greeting. Be it known to all, that we have accepted, and do accept, with the approbation of his majesty the Emperor Napoleon, our august brother, the dignity of King of Holland, conformably to the wishes of the country, the constitutional laws, and to the treaty which, being protected by reciprocal ratifications, has been this day presented to us by the deputies of the Dutch nation. Upon our accession to the throne, our dearest care shall be to watch over the interests of our people. We will always study to give them constant and multiplied proofs of our love and solicitude (supporting for those ends) the liberty of all our subjects, as well as their rights, and in employing ourselves incessantly for their welfare. The independence of the kingdom is guaranteed by his majesty the emperor and king. The constitutional laws, and our firm and resolute good will, equally secure to every one his credit with the state, his personal liberty, and the liberty of conscience. It is after this declaration that we have decreed, and do decree, by these presents, as follows:

Art. 1. Our ministers of marine and of finance, nominated by our decree of this day, shall enter immediately upon their office: the other ministers shall continue in theirs till further orders.

2. All the constituted authorities, either civil or military, shall continue their functions until further, or other, orders.

3. The constitutional laws of the state, and the treaty concluded at Paris the 24th of May, in the present year, between his majesty the en

peror and king, and the Batavian Republic, the purport of which is here. in-aftermentioned, shall be published immediately, as well as the present decree, in the most authentic manner.

We therefore order, that these presents be published and posted up in all places where it is usual so to do; and enjoin all those whom it may concern, to provide for the exact performance of every thing contained in these presents. Given at Paris, the 5th of June, 1806, in the first year of our reign.

(Signed)

LOUIS.
(Underneath was written) on behalf of the king,
For the Secretary of State. (Signed)

VERHUEL,
The Minister of the Marine.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS.

FIRST SectioN. GENERAL DISPOSITIONS. Art. 1. The constitutional laws actually in force, particularly the constitution of 1805, as well as the civil, political, and religious laws now exercised in the Batavian republic, the operation of which is conformable to the dispositions of the treaty concluded the 24th of May, in the present year, between his majesty the emperor of the French and king of Italy, and the Batavian republic, shall be wholly preserved, excepting only those which shall be abolished by the present constitutional laws.

2. The administration of the Dutch colonies is regulated by particular laws. The revenues and the expenses of the colonies shall be considered as making part of the revenues and expenses of the state.

3. The public debt of the state is guaranteed by the present articles.

4. The Dutch language shall continue to be employed exclusively for the laws, publications, ordinances, judgments, and all other public acts, without distinction.

5. There shall be no change made in the name or weight of the current coin, but by virtue of a particular law.

6. The ancient flag of the state shall be preserved.

7. The council of state shall be composed of thirteen members. The ministers shall have rank, a seat, and a vote in the council of state.

SECTION II. OF RELIGION. Art. I. The king and the law grant an equal protection to all religions professed in the state. By their authority is to be determined all that is judged necessary in the organization, the protection, and exercise of all worships. Every exercise of religion is confined to the interior of the temples of all the different communions.

2. The king is to enjoy in his palace, as well as in every place where he shall reside, the free and public exercise of his religion.

Section III. OF THE KING. Art. 1. The King has exclusively, and without restriction, the entire exercise of the goternment, and of every necessary power to insure the

L

execution of the laws, and to make them respected. He appoints to all the offices, and to all the civil and military employments, which, according to the preceding laws, were at the nomination of the grand pensionary. He has the entire enjoyment of the pre-eminences and prerogatives hitherto attached to that dignity. The coins of the state shall be stamped with his head. Justice is to be administered in his name. He is to have the right of granting pardon, abolition or remission of penalties inflicted by sentence of law: nevertheless, he cannot exercise this right without having heard in private council the members of the national court.

2. At the death of the king the guardianship of the minor king shall be always confided to the queen-mother; and in case there shall be no queen mother, to such person as shall be appointed by the emperor of the French.

3. The regent shall be assisted by a national council, whose composition and privileges shall be determined by a particular law. The regent shall not be personally responsible for the acts of his government.

4. The government of the colonies, and all that relates to their internal administration, belongs exclusively to the king.

5. The general administration of the kingdom is confided to the immediate direction of four ministers of state, named by the king, viz. a minister for foreign affairs, a minister of war and of marine, a minister of finance, and a minister for the home department,

SECTION IV. OF THE LAW. Art. 1. The laws of Holland being made by the concurrence of the legislative body, formed of the assembly of their high mightinesses and of the king; the legislative body shall be composed of thirty-nine members, elected for five years, and named in the following proportions, viz. for the department of Holland, seventeen members, for that of Guelderland, four; for that of Brabant, four; for that of Friezeland, four; for that of Overyssel, three; for that of Zealand, two; for that of Groningen, two; for that of Utrecht, two; for the country of Drenthe, one. The number of the members of their high mightinesses may be augmented by the law, in case of the aggrandizement of territory.

2. For this time, in order to proceed to the nomination of the nineteen members of their high mightinesses, by whom the number determined in the preceding article will be completed, the assembly of their high mightinesses shall present to the king a list of two candidates to fill each of the places. The departmental assembly of each department shall equally propose a double list of candidates. The king will make the election

among the proposed candidates.

3. The grand pensionary for the time being shall take the title of president of their high mightinesses, and shall remain in office in this character during his life. The choice of his successors shall take place in the manner determined by the constitution of 1805.

4. The legislative body shall elect from itself a notary by a majority of votes.

5. The legislative body shall re-assemble as usual twice a year, viz. from the 15th of April to the 1st of June, and from the 15th of November to the 15th of January. An extraordinary convocation may be made by the king on the 15th of November in every year; the oldest fifth of the members forming the legislative body shall retire from the same. The first going out shall take place the 15th of November 1807 ; and for this time the persons going out shall be determined by lot. The members who go out shall be always re-eligible.

SECTION V. OF THE JUDICIARY POWER. Art. 1. The judiciary institutions shall be preserved as they were established by the constitution of the year 1805.

2. The king shall exercise (relative to the judiciary power) all the rights and all the authority which have been attributed to the grand pensionary by the articles 49, 51, 56, 79, 82, and 87, of the constitution of the year 1805.

3. All that relates to the military criminal justice shall be separately regulated by a further law.

Treaty concluded between his Majesty the Emperor of the French and

King of Italy, and the Assembly of their High Mightinesses representing the Batavian Republic.

His imperial and royal Majesty Napoleon, emperor of the French and king of Italy, and the assembly of their high mightinesses representing the Batavian republic, president, his excellency the grand pensionary, accompanied by the council of state and the ministers and secretary of state.

In consideration, 1. That, seeing the general disposition of minds, and the actual organization of Europe, a government without consistency, and without a certain duration, cannot fulfil the end of its institution.

2. That the periodical renewal of the chief of the state will always in Holland be a source of dissensions, and out of it, a constant subject of agitation and discord between the powers either friends or enemies of Holland.

3. That an hereditary government alone can guarantee the quiet possession of all that is dear to the Dutch people, the free exercise of their religion, the preservation of their laws, their political independence, and their civil liberty.

4. That their greatest interest is to secure to themselves a powerful protection, under whose shelter they may freely exercise their industry, and maintain themselves in the possession of their territory, their commerce, and their colonies.

5. That France is essentially interested in the happiness of the Dutch people, in the prosperity of their state, and the stability of their institutions, as much in consideration of the northern frontiers of the empire, which are open and unprovided with fortified places, as of the principles and interests of general policy, have named for plenipotentiary ministers, viz. his majesty the Emperor of the French and King of Italy, M. C. M. Talleyrand, grand chamberlain, minister of foreign affairs, great cordon of the legion of honour, knight of the orders of the red and black eagle of Prussia, and of the order of St. Hubert, &c.; and the Grand Pensionary, M. M. C. H. Verhuel, vice admiral, minister of the marine of the Batavian republic, decorated with the great eagle of the legion of honour ; J. J. A. Gogel, minister of finance; S. Van Styrum, member of the assembly of their high mightiesses; William Six, member of the council of state; and G. de Brantzen, plenipotentiary minister of the Batavian republic, by his imperial and royal majesty decorated with the grand eagle of the legion of honour, who, after having exchanged their full powers, have agreed upon as follows.

Art. 1. His majesty the emperor of the French and king of Italy, as well for himself, his heirs and successors for ever, guarantees to Holland the maintenance of its constitutional rights, its independence, the entirety of its possessions in the two hemispheres, its political, civil, and religious liberty, as it is consecrated by the actual established laws, and the abolition of all privileges in matters of taxes.

2. Upon the formal demand of their high mightinesses, representing the Batavian republic, that the Prince Louis Napoleon be named and crowned hereditary and constitutional king of Holland, his majesty, with deference to this desire, authorises the Prince Louis Napoleon to accept the crown of Holland to be possessed by him and his natural and legitimate male descendants, according to priority of birth, to the perpetual exclusion of females and their descendants. In consequence of this authority, Prince Louis Napoleon shall possess this crown under the title of King, and with all the power and all the authority, which shall be determined by the constitutional laws that the Emperor Napoleon has provided in the preceding article; nevertheless, it is enacted that the crowns of France and Holland can never be re-united on the same head.

3. The domain of the crown comprehends, 1. a palace at the Hague, which is to be destined for the residence of the royal household; 2. the palace of the Wood; 3. the domain of Soestdyk ; 4. a revenue in landed property of 500,000 florins. The law of the state furthur assures to the king an annual sum of 1,500,000 florins of Dutch money, payable by twelve monthly instalments.

4. In case of a minority, the regency shall belong of right to the queen ; and in case there shall be no queen, the French emperor, in his capacity of perpetual chief of the imperial family, is to name the regent of the kingdom. He is to choose among the princes of the royal family, and in default of them, among the nation. The minority of the king is to end at the age of eighteen

5. The jointure of the queen shall be determined by her marriage contract ; for this time it is settled that the jointure is fixed at the annual sum of 250,000 florins, which shall be taken from the domain of the crown. This sum deducted, the half of the remainder of the revenues of

« PředchozíPokračovat »