Slike strani

dispositions may, in so critical a conjuncture, find án adequate return; and that a speedy and satisfactory answer may be given 10 the demand which his Majesty has directed to be made in his name at Copenhagen, both of reparation for what is past, and of security against the repctition of these outrages.

In order to give the greater weight to his Majesty's reprefenta; tions on this subject, and to afford at the same time the means of such explanations respecting it; as maġ avert the necessity of those extremities to which his Majesty looks with the greatest reluctance, his Majesty has charged Lord Whitworth with a special mission to the court of Denmark, and that minister will immediately fail for his destination.

That court cannot but see in this determination a new proof of the King's delire to conciliate the preservation of peace with the maintenance of the fundamental rights and interests of his empire. July 30, i8oo.


Message from the Executive Committee of the Helvetic Republic to

the Councils at Berne, on the 7th of Auguft.

The Executive Committee to the Legisative Body. Citizens Representatives; IF. ever deliberation deserved the most impartial attention, the

mot entire, the absolute filence of all pallion, and of all privale interest, it is that of the present moment, in which the Execvlive Commitee, pressed by the imperious sentiment of duty, proceeds to lay before you the real state of our country, and to propose to you, at the same time, the only measure that can save it from total destruction. A transient glance at the interior of our social organization would suffice to convince us that it is advancing with rapid ftrides to approaching diffolution. We have a constitution which is neither calculated for our wants nor our refources, deftitute of fecurity for its own existence, full of contradictions and imperfections; no organic law to designate the means by which that constitution Thould be kept in motion, its place, or the sphere of action; all the old relations dissolved, and the new lett vague and indefinite; the security of persons and property exposed to the attacks of arbitrary power, from the defect of the protecting forms of civil liberty; an innumerable crowd of public fundlionaries, the immature produce of the choice of a people not sufficiently prepared for the exercise of their sovereignty. These functionaries, linking under the weight of the facrifices which they have been obliged to make for these two years påst to the public weal; tired out even by the effect of the constraint which binds thein to their places, and most of them


without a knowledge of their rights and duties; the most abundant resources of the state converted into real burdens; a system of finance, vicious in its foundation, and without means of execu'tion ;' the capital of the public fortune niortgaged for the support of the current expenses; the national credit annihilated in every quarter; a crowd of prefsing wants, for which even triple the present receipts would be far from sufficient; the asyla opened for indigence and sickness deprived of their most indispensable necefsaries; the numerous class of the ministers of religion struggling with want and misery; in the place of public patriotism and public spirit, every where the most complete indifference, or the most frantic animosity; the public authority fallen into discredit; an open contempt for the laws; a contempt which must long ago have produced all the horrors of anarchy, and the complete over, throw of all social order, if the character of our people, and the compression of two years of misfortunes, in aid of this inert force, had not resisted the progress of disorganization. Such, citizens representatives, are the principal features of the dreadful picture, the colours of which it would be in vain to attempt to soften, or to question their reality.

Some of the causes which have led to this state of things pre. sent themselves in the manner in which our revolution was effected, and may therefore pass for the result of circumstances. However, it is certain, that the greater part of them must be attributed to the men whose hands received and have had the protedion of the depot of public affairs.

The Executive Committee, citizens representatives, will not here anticipate the impartiality of your own individual reflections, It leaves you the care of reconsidering in your own minds, and appreciating yourselves, the career which you have followed thefe two years; to inquire what the Helvetic nation had a right to expect from its representatives; and to declare, in the presence of the nation which judges you, and of Europe, whose eyes are fixed on you, how far this expectation has been fulfilled. Your judgment will be the more impartial, as more than once already the acknowledgment of your insufficiency has been heard in your bosom without contradiction. The Committee adınits, on its part, with the same candour, that it has not filled the extent of public confidence. But, the simple instrument of execution, it has thought right to follow the line marked out for it, from which it would be forced in vain to change its direction: for how could it undertake any essential amelioration, while its least equivocal measures were misconstrued and perverted, and the means of public safety rejected, merely because it proposed them? How could it be able to set bounds to the progress of the spirit of party and demagogues, when both one and the other found an afylum, or, rather, altars, in your assemblies? How could it be Vol. X.


abla able to re-establish an equilibrium between the wants and the revenues of the state, while the former were continually receiving new wounds, and the latter multiplying and augmenting every day? How could it be able to secure respect and obedience to the law, while too often passion and perfonal hatred presided at its enaction; while the overthrow of the law was preached with impunity in the midst of you; while the bad citizen, he who wilhed to withdraw himself from the civic obligation, from a charge imposed upon all by the manifest will of the legitimate authority, was sure of finding defenders, even in the sanctuary of the laws ? Where could the Executive Committee find power to act, while it was a system with part of the legiflature to degrade it in the eyes of the nation, to deprive it of confidence, and, consequently, of all salutary influence? In vain has it endeavoured to draw your attention to the pernicious Consequences of this conduct. 'In vain has it attempted ways of reconciliation. Instead of acceding to them, you have been seen, led away by distrust, and blinded by passion, to trespass, even further than before, beyond the bounds of the authority confided 10 your care, openly to attack the independence of the judicial order, the sole shield of civil liberty, and even to compromise, in an essential degree, its diplomatic relations of the highest importance.

This conduct of the legislature, these perpetual dissensions, whether between the representatives of the people themselves, or between them and the executive power, have been the fruitful source of all the calamities which now force us to de. Spair of an amelioration of our lot under the present forms, and to see in a change of the authorities the sole means of public safety. But there is another point of view in which this change becomes still more urgent. The moment does not appear to be far off, citizens representatives, when the question will be agi. tated for preparing the passage for a better order of things, and when a new con Nitution, adapted to the character of the nation, will be etablished on the basis of civil liberty, of equa. lity, of political rights, of the proper distribution of authoriiy, and of the representative system. That such a constitution could never be the work of a numerous assembly, fluctuating at the will of ruling paflions, is an opinion which the useless efforts hitherto made to effect it sufficiently prove. This constitution, destined to rally not only the present generation, but to constitute the happiness of those which are to follow, requires to be pondered in the calm of reflection, and is the only mean of giving to the edifice folidity and symmetry; it must be the work of an assembly in which there shall be found at once con cord of parties and liinitation of numbers. The inmediate advantage from this reduction of the legislative


councils is a very considerable saving in the public expenses; a saving which our situation imperiously demands.

In truth, it ought to be expected from the first functionaries of the nation, that in their eagerness on every question of sacrifices to give an example, they would, 'from their ardent zeal, avoid injuring the principles of justice and equality in those points where, above all others, a wound would be most felt. On the contrary, the Executive Committee must declare, that the payments ordered from time to time by the decree in favour of the first authorities, have been the principal cause of the absolute want in which the functionaries of the cantons have been left these two years; and that if the most urgent expenses have been suffered to run in arrear, it is to be attributed to that unjust procedure, against which the executive power struggled in vain.

Such, citizens representatives, are the motives which oblige 'the Executive Committee to propose to you, by the project of the decree subjoined to this message, a change of the legislative and executive authorities. Their developement will convince you that this charge, to effect its purpose, cannot be accomplished except in the forms proposed. All modification that might be attempted to be introduced into these forms, every delay in the decision, which is susceptible of no delay whatever, would evince nothing but a firm resolution to reject the last, the only. mean of public safety still left in your hands.

Republican health.
The President of the Executive Committee,

(A true copy.) (Signed) FINSLER.

Secretary General, (Signed) Mousson. Upon this message of the Executive Commission, of the 7th of August, considering that the present state of the public resources, as well as the necessity of preparing the establishment of a new constitution, imperiously demand a reduction of the legislative body, the Grand Council, after having declared urgency, has refolved,

Art. 1. From the date of the present decree, the legislative councils are adjourned.

2. In their place is established a legislative council of 43 inembers.

3. To form this council, the Executive Commission thall, in the space of 24 hours after the receipt of the present decree, proceed to make choice of 35 members from the ci-devant legillature.

4. Immediately after having convoked them, the Executive Commission shall resign their powers into their hands, and the members who compole it shall take their placce, in the legislative council.


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5. To the council, thus constituted, shall be added eight meme bers, who shall be taken from the generality of the citizens, and shall proceed to the filling up the places that may become vacant by refusal or dismislion.

6. The Legislative Council (hall choose seven members, from its own body, who shall form a new executive council.

7. The Legislative Council shall reunite the authority and the functions which the fifth chapter of the Constituțion gives to the two sections of the legiNature. It shall exercise those functions with the same rights, and under the fame obligations.

8. The Legislative Council fhall exercise the same power which the sixth chapter of the Constitution gives to the Directory, with the same rights, and under the same obligations.

9. The Legislative Council, as soon as a project of the law shall have been adopted by a majority of its members, shall communicate it to the Executive Council, that it may give its advice on such project.

10. The Executive Council is bound to communicate its advice in the space of two days, if the project of the decree be accompanied with a declaration of urgency; and in the space of fix days, without such declaration.

ri. After having heard the advice of the Executive Council, the Legislative Council shall have power, according to circumItances, to open a new discussion on the subject; but in all cases the project must be put to the vote again, and not pass into a law till after the second vote.

12. The two authorities established by the present law shall continue their functions until the new constitution thall be projected, then accepted by the Helvetic nation, and put in execution.

After the reading of these pieces in the Grand Council, a discnsion took place, in which all the speakers appeared convinced of the necessity of adopting the proposed measure. Ą member went so far as to say that he would not adopt it, but on the full conviction that it would equally take place, though it should be rejected. It passed the Grand Council without the least oppolition. A miller of Zurich, named Relftap, was the only opposer.

It was not so in the Senate, where a strong repugnance has been shown to accept the proposition of the Government, and it has referred it to the examination of a committee, charged to make a report this morning. But the Executive Committee, little satisfied with this delay, which would be of the most serious consequence to the public tranquillity, summoned the president to convoke the Senate yesterday, that he might proceed immediately to accept or reject ile resolution of the Grand Council. The


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