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who was a noted pistol shot, saying to the doorkeepers that he was charged with a message to one of the ministers, walked without hindrance into the council room, and fired two shots in rapid succession, the first killing Hussein Avni Pasha, the Seraskier, and the second Rashid Pasha, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The other ministers rushed to the doors to escape, except the Minister of Marine, a gallant old seaman, who had given proofs of his courage on many previous occasions, and, amongst others, when he was blown up in his ship at Sinope at the beginning of the Crimean War. He got behind the assassin and tried to pinion him by holding his arms, till he was wounded with a yataghan, and being obliged to let go, slipped tbrough a door into a room where the Grand Vizier had already taken refuge; when the two old men, between them, managed to draw a heavy divan across the door, which fortunately opened inwards.
Hassan, failing in all his efforts to force the door, addressing Mehemet Ruschdi, the Grand Vizier, in the most respectful terms, said, “My father, I assure you that I have no wish to hurt you, but open the door and let me finish the Minister of Marine.' To this appeal Mehemet Ruschdi answered, “My son, you are far too much excited for me to let you in while you are in your present state, and I cannot open the door.' While this strange colloquy was going on the unarmed attendants made an attempt to seize Hassan, but they were shot down one after another, and it was not till a soldier came and ran him through the body that he was effectually secured. He had brougbt four revolvers—two in his boots besides those he had in his hands—and with these he had succeeded in killing seven persons, including two ministers, and had wounded eight others, of whom one was the Minister of Marine.
He was hanged the next day, maintaining an undaunted bearing to the end, walking, in spite of his wound, to the gallows, where he helped to adjust the rope round his own neck, and died showing to the end the reckless courage with which he had carried out the vengeance he had resolved to take. It did not appear that political considerations, in addition to the grudge which he certainly bore to the Minister of War, had in any way actuated him; but if the attack was made with the view of setting on foot a hostile movement against the Government, it signally failed of its effect, for the first excitement caused by it almost immediately subsided.
If it had been Midhat Pasha, instead of the Seraskier, who had been killed it would have been very different, for it was in the former that the whole hopes of the constitutionalists were centred; and though Hussein Avni had played such an important part in the deposition of Abdul Aziz, he was never supposed to be, in his heart, de ted the cause of reform. Indeed, his own administration of the War Office had not been so pure that he could wish to subject it to
different States, as Electors, of persons pledged to the support ho particular candidates for President and Vice-President, who have been proposed in party conventions. The election becomes therefore, to all intents and purposes, an election of these officers by the people, the Electors chosen being a mere medium for registering the popular vote, without any discretion of their own.
The Constitution contemplated the election of no Federal officer whatever by popular vote, except members of the House of Representatives in Congress, and in States where it should be so provided, members of the Electoral College. That office, originally a very important one, has become insignificant, and only formal in its duties.
The President appoints his own Cabinet, subject to confirmation by the Senate, which in the case of a Cabinet officer is never refused. They hold office during his pleasure, and irrespective of the majority in either House, or any vote it may adopt, and cannot be members of either House. The Cabinet consists of a Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs), of the Treasury, of War, of the Navy, and of the Interior, an Attorney-General and a Postmaster-General. Each conducts, subject to the general direction of the President, his respective department, that of the Attorney-General being the Department of Justice.
The principal powers of the President, apart from his general conduct and supervision of the administration of the Government, are four—the veto, the appointment to public office, the making of treaties with foreign nations, and the pardoning power for offences against the Federal laws. And he is required, at the opening of each session of Congress, to transmit to that body a message informing them of the condition of public affairs, and recommending any subjects to their attention which seem to him to require it.
The exercise of the veto power is altogether in the President's discretion. All Acts that pass Congress are sent to him for signature, and if he approves, are signed accordingly. He may however, within ten days (Sundays excepted) after the reception of any such Act, return it without approval to the House in which it originated, with his objections in writiug, which are required to be entered on the journal of the House. If he retains the Act beyond the ten days without signing or returning it disapproved, it becomes a law without his signature. If returned disapproved, it may be again passed and become a law without his approval, if a majority of twothirds of both Houses can be obtained in its favour. The vote for that purpose must be taken by yea and nay, and the names of the voters for and against, recorded in the journal.
Treaties with foreign nations, when completed and signed, are transmitted by the President to the Senate with his recommendation, and must be ratified by a vote of two-thirds of that body in
of the resident in making treaties, except the implied one that nothing can be done under it which changes the Constitution, or robs a department of the Government or any of the States of its constitutional authority. Legislation by Congress however, may often be necessary to carry the provisions of a treaty into effect.
The power of appointment to office, and of removal therefrom, is the heaviest tax which is imposed by the Constitution upon the attention of the President. All diplomatic, judicial, executive, and administrative officers of the United States Government, including those of the army and navy, are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, except a class of minor civil officers, who are authorised by law to be appointed by the heads of departments, or by other executive or judicial authority, and do not require confirmation. Vacancies in Presidential appointments occurring in the recess of the Senate, may be filled by commissions expiring at the end of its next session. Officers of the army and navy are usually appointed from the graduates of the military and naval academies respectively, promotion in both services being exclusively by seniority, except that general officers and officers in certain branches of the staff are appointed by the President by selection.
The Vice-President holds office for four years, and is president of the Senate, and except in case of the death or disability of the President, or of the failure to elect a President, has no other duty to perform. On the death or disability of the President, or if no President be elected, the Vice-President becomes the President. What constitutes disability' within the meaning of the Constitution, or how it shall be declared to exist, there has arisen no occasion to decide. It may be assumed to be a permanent disability, or what is regarded as such, and would probably be treated as within the determination of Congress. It seems clear that if such a disability be once declared, and the Vice-President thereupon becomes President, a recovery by the President from the disability would not restore him to office.
2. The legislative power of the United States Government is vested in Congress, which is composed of two Houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. No Act can become a law until it has passed both. The Senate consists of two members for each State in the Union, irrespective of its size or population. They are elected by the legislatures of the respective States, hold office for six years, and are eligible for re-election indefinitely. To be eligible as senator a person must be thirty years of age, a citizen of the United States for nine years, and an inhabitant of the State from which he is elected. The Senate have also very important powers aside from the general duties of legislation. Beside the ratification of treaties, and the confirmation of appointments to office already mentioned,
the control of a National Assembly; and as it had always been feared that jealousy and rivalry might arise between him and Midhat, the public were inclined to consider his death a gain rather than a loss to the cause.
However, impatience began to be shown when day after day passed without any sign of the promulgation of the constitution so eagerly expected. It is true that it was explained as being caused by the Sultan's illness, but the nature and gravity of it were so carefully concealed as not to be suspected ; and notwithstanding all the means of information that I possessed, it was a considerable time before I ascertained that it was his mind and not his body that was affected. It was not in fact till the 22nd of July that the Grand Vizier, perceiving that I was aware of the truth, ceased to attempt to conceal the state of the case, and spoke openly of the difficulties of the position.
There was a difference of opinion between him and Midhat as to the course that the Government should follow, for Mehemet Ruschdi recoiled from the adoption of any decisive step till he was satisfied that the condition of the Sultan was hopeless, which the doctors had not yet pronounced it to be. Midhat, on the contrary, considered that the Government were assuming too great a responsibility in continuing to conceal the Sovereign's condition from the nation, and that the state of the case should be laid before a Grand Council, which would determine the course to be adopted with respect to the Sultan.
His language to me at that time led me to conclude that he was even prepared to take a still more decisive step; for he spoke with despondency of the time that was passing without anything being done, and of the necessity of proving to the nation and to Europe that a era was being inaugurated. As a Grand Council had already pronounced that an organic reform was necessary, he seemed ready to promulgate the measure on the authority of that national decision; and he was probably influenced in his desire to take that course by his ignorance whether Hamid, if called to the throne, would consent to the constitution on which he had set his heart. Murad had been pledged to grant it immediately on his accession ; but Abdul Hamid, with whom Midhat was not even acquainted, would ascend the throne untrammelled by any such engagement. The objections urged by the Grand Vizier against the course advocated by Midhat were certainly forcible. The object of the proposed constitution was, he said, to limit or abolish some of the existing prerogatives of the crown, and could, he asked, such a measure be promulgated by the ministers while the Sovereign was not in a condition to understand the nature of the concessions he was making? Would not the validity of the new law be contested by those who were opposed to it, and possibly by the next Sovereign ? The hesita tion of Mehemet Ruschdi was very natural; but the bolder course,
instead of temporising, would probably have been better and safer, for the ministers were already obliged to exercise many of the attributes of the Sovereign, and had constantly to act upon their own authority in cases where an imperial irade was strictly requisite.
But the Grand Vizier had not the strength of character necessary for so great an emergency, and another month was allowed to pass. Even then his dread of assuming the responsibility for a step he knew to be inevitable was so great that he attempted to throw a portion of it on me; but it shows the estimation in which England was then held at Constantinople, when a Grand Vizier, to strengthen his own position among his countrymen, who are peculiarly sensitive to foreign interference in their domestic affairs, wished to support his action in such a matter by obtaining the previous approval of the British Ambassador.
Mehemet Ruschdi came to me at Therapia on the 25th of August for the purpose, as I reported the same day to my Government, of obtaining my opinion upon the course that should be followed with regard to the Sultan. He said he had lost all hope of His Majesty's recovery, and that the head of the lunatic establishment—whom I knew to be a very eminent authority—was of the same opinion ; that Dr. Leidersdorff, the well-known specialist'in mental disorders, who had been summoned from Vienna, declared that it would only be after several months, during which he must be kept perfectly quiet, that it could be seen whether an ultimate cure might be possible. This treatment, however, could not possibly be followed, for we were drawing near the time of the Ramazan and of the festival of the Bairam, during which it was indispensable for the Sovereign to appear in public. At the same time the Grand Vizier could not get over the feeling that Murad might perhaps recover, and that it would be cruel for him to find that he had been put aside during a temporary incapacity, and he wished to have my opinion upon the matter, I answered that he must not expect me, as the Queen's ambassador, to express a direct opinion upon a question of such extreme delicacy; that he had two duties to bear in mind, the one to his Sovereign and the other to his country, and he must endeavour to reconcile the two as long as possible; but when he became convinced that the safety and welfare of the Empire were seriously endangered by the continued inability of the Sultan to take charge of its interests, that consideration must override all others. Whether that moment had come was a question for him, and not for me, to answer.' I added, in my report of this conversation, that although I was bound to speak with reserve and caution to the Grand Vizier, I must not conceal from your lordship my opinion that the change should be made with the least possible delay, and that the Empire should not be allowed to continue longer without a Sovereign.'