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of the royal families of any of those Powers should be eligible. The election, therefore, of Prince Alfred was simply a nugatory act, and it is to be regretted that the . British Government did not distinctly make it known at Athens beforehand that; under no possible circumstances, could the young Prince be allowed to ascend the throne. The consequence was, that at the end of the present year Greece was still without a King, and the Provisional Government continued to conduct the affairs of the country. We should mention, that it was intimated by the British Government, that if the question of the future monarchy were settled in a satisfactory manner they would be prepared to consent to the cession of the Ionian Islands to Greece. But it is obvious that this would require the consent of the other great Powers, who were parties to the arrangement whereby the protectorate of those islands was vested in Great Britain at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. And there was a strong feeling in this country that the cession would be an unwise and inexpedient act. Indeed, it is doubtful whether, notwithstanding all the clamour which the Ionian Parliament has made for many years past against the connection of the Islands with Great Britain, such a measure would not be against the wishes of the great bulk of the inhabitants. It is difficult to see how they can gain anything by the change, although England would thereby get rid of an expensive incumbrance, which has hitherto brought her no thanks, and caused her some trouble and annoyance.
POBTUGAL.—On the 23rd of December, last year, the new King Dom Luis I., took the constitutional oath at the meeting of the Portuguese Cortes, and afterwards addressed the Chambers in the following speech:—
"Worthy Peers of the Kingdom and Deputies of the Portuguese Nation,—Called unexpectedly to rule the destinies of the Portuguese people, I appreciate from the depth of my heart the solemn event which has placed me in the midst of the national representatives. I shall consecrate all my solicitude to the Portuguese people, whom I have learned to love from my tenderest infancy, in order to assist as much as shall lie in my power in securing the great property which it deserves. I shall follow eagerly the noble example which has been left me by my dear brother, whose loss we so profoundly regret. The grief which is inspired in all of us by the fatal event we now deplore is at once the most honourable testimony consecrated to the memory of King Dom Pedro V., and the strongest stimulus to us to endeavour, as he did, to fulfil our duty. On this occasion I must express to the King, my august father, my gratitude for the devotedness with which, under the most grievous circumstances, he accepted the Regency of this Kingdom during my brief absence. It is a new proof to the nation and myself of his zeal and good-will. The people over whom I have the honour to rule are an enlightened people, and worthy, on account of their love for constitutional institutions, to occupy a distinguished rank among the most cultivated nations. The oath which I have just taken is the sincere expression of the sentiments of my heart. Fidelity to the institutions which wo have the privilege to possess ensures to us tranquillity for the present, and promises us happiness for the future. May Almighty God moke the reign which is commencing merit the blessing of Heaven and the national sympathies. I depend much upon the enlightened co-operation of the
representatives of the nation in promoting the public interests and in facilitating the execution of the mission which has been confided to me. The gratitude of the Portuguese people, a worthy object of the highest ambition, will be the just reward of such a noble solicitude."
The President of the Cortes then proclaimed Dom Luis 1.. King of Portugal.
Prussia.—Opening of the Session of the Prussian Chambers—Royal Speech—Question of the Constitution of Hesse Cassel—Dissolution of the Chambers—Change of Ministry—The Military Budget—Meeting of the New Chambers—Speech of the President of the Council of Ministers—Reply of the King to an Address from Hie Chamber of Deputies—Change in the Cabinet—Adverse Vote of the Chamber on the Military Budget—Collisions between the Two Houses—Dissolution of the Chambers—Royal Message—Answer of the King to an Address from the Provinces.
Mexico.—Proclamation of Commissioners of Vie Allied Powers—The British and Spanish Governments refuse to co-operate with France in the Expedition against Mexico—Earl Russell's Despatch on the Subject—Proclamation of the French Commissioners—Failure of the French to take PueUa—Reinforcements sent from France—Letter from the French Emperor to General Lorencez.
THE Session of the Prussian Chambers was opened in the middle of January by the King, who delivered a long speech, in which he said :—
"Illustrious, noble, and dear Gentlemen of the Two Chambers of the Diet,—Your labours commence at a serious period. The decrees of God having placed upon my head the crown, with its duties and its rights, I have consecrated my royal right in a holy place. The participation of my people in that festival has proved that its love and fidelity, which constituted the pride and the strength of my predecessors, have been transmitted to me with the crown. Such manifestation could only strengthen my intention of fulfilling my royal duties, in the spirit of my ancestors, for the happiness and
greatness of Prussia. Prussia has, with me, thanked the Almighty when His hand deigned to turn aside the crime which threatened my life. To-day you deplore with me an irreparable loss which Providence has inflicted upon a great and friendly kingdom, united to mine by the dearest bonds of relationship. The condition of the country generally is satisfactory. Agriculture, industry, and commerce display a progressive activity, although, to my great regret, certain hands suffer from a disturbance of the usual relations
abroad The finances
of the State are in a satisfactory condition. The increase in various receipts leads to the hope that a portion of the extraordinary credits for the organization of the army for the last
year will be covered by the surplus. The Budget for the present year, conscientiously drawn up, presents a new surplus of receipts. We are thus furnished with the means for providing for new outlays admitted as necessary, and to reduce the excess of expenses necessitated by the reform of the army. Insomuch as this excess remains necessarily distinct from additional taxes which cannot be dispensed with until the regular property-tax has been levied, the means to cover it will be found in the still untouched remnant of 1800. Thus, to all appearance, there will not be any reduction this year in the public treasury, any more than there was in the two preceding ones. The most strict economy has been observed in regulating the army estimates. To go beyond this would be to compromise its perfection, consequently the safety of the country. Carrying out the reorganization, my Government will submit to you a project relative to some modifications of the law of the 3rd of September, 1814, concerning the
obligation of military service
My interview in the course of last autumn with the Emperor of the French has only served to strengthen the friendly relations which actually exist between the two States. The negotiations for a treaty to settle die commercial relations between the Zollverein mid France are still pending. My serious and incessant efforts to effect a proper revision of the military constitution of the Germanic Confederation hive not, as yet, to my greet regret, been attended with any satisfactory results. Meantime my Government is endeavouring to open
the way, by separate conventions with individual States, to e greater uniformity in the military
institutions The want
of a general reform of the Federal Constitution has recently been admitted in an expressive manner by various German Governments. Faithful to the national traditions of Prussia, my Government will incessantly work in favour of reforms, which, responding to the real situation, will more energetically concentrate the strength of the Germanic people and put Prussia in a position to favour in a more efficacious manner the interests of the common country. To my sincere regret, tho difference relative to the Constitution in the Electorate of Hesse has not yet been settled; nevertheless, even in presence of recent events, I entertain the hope that the final result will not be out of keeping with the efforts of my Government, always directed towards the rc-cstablishment of the constitution of 1831, with the modification of articles contrary to the federal laws. My Government and that of the Emperor of Austria have entered into confidential negotiations with the Danish Government on its desire to obtain a provisional basis of agreement between the Germanic Confederation and Denmark on the question of the Duchies. Wo here uphold firmly tho federal rights and international treaties, and it is a lively satisfaction for me to see the best feeling existing on this subject, not only between mo and the Emperor of Austria, but also between us and other German Confederates."
A long and vehement di.ru*sion took place in the Chamber of Deputies on the question of tho affairs of Hesse Cassel. The object of the Liberal party was to induce the Prussian Government to interfere and force the Elector of Hesse to re-establish the Constitution whieh had been granted to that kingdom in 1831, but had been suppressed by the armed intervention of Austria in 1854.
On the 16 th of February the Prussian Government, in conjunction with other States of tho German Confederation, forwarded to Vienna a note, in which it said :—
"Should the views, on a reform of the Federal Constitution, hinted at in the latter part of the Austrian note, in favour of the establishment of a constitution for the whole Confederacy, with an efficient executive power at its head, and aiming at a political consolidation of a wider extent, comprising non-German territories, as already stated in the Austrian note of the 8th November, be realized, the Prussian Government would be compelled to see in such realization a far greater peril to the continuance of the Confederacy than in the reforms indicated in the Prussian despatch of the 20th December."
A Resolution, binding the Government to interfere, was carried in the Chamber of Deputies, by a majority of 241 to 68.
On tho 11th of March the Chambers were dissolved. The reason of this was, that the Ministry and the Lower Chamber were at variance, and the King, thinking that the Chamber of Deputies did not represent the wishes of the nation, resolved to appeal to the constituencies. The cause of quarrel was this. The Chambers, being strongly op
posed to any increase of the Rimy, and wishing, in fact, to reduce its numbers, demanded that the Ministry should submit the Budget for consideration, item by item, but the Ministry refused, alleging that the state of Europe rendered the measure inexpedient. A Resolution was, therefore, carried by a majority of 171 to 148, embodying the wish of the Chamber, and the Ministry resigned. The King, however, instead of accepting their resignation, dissolved the Chambers; and a general election followed soon afterwards.
But, in the meantime, the Cabinet fell to pieces from internal discord. The Liberal members of the Ministry, M.M. Schwerin, Von Auerswald, and Bermuth, resigned, and a new Ministry was formed, with Prince Hohenloe as President, Count Bernstorff Minister of Foreign Affairs, and M. Von der Heydt Minister of Finance. On the 20th of March, the King issued a proclamation, countersigned by the new Ministry, in which he said:—
"It is my duty and my earnest wish to insure the complete effectiveness of the Constitution to which I have taken an oath, and of the representative rights of the country, but also in the same measure to maintain the rights of the Crown, and to maintain them in that undiminished strength which is necessary to Prussia for the execution of her mission. The weakening of the Crown would be greatly injurious to the Fatherland. This conviction also lives in the hearts of my subjects. It is only necessary for me to explain clearly and