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“The affecting sorrow which the whole nation felt in the last moments of the king, my brother, was to me the most soothing consolation; and I say it with truth, that it is to that alone I am indebted for having been able fully to enjoy the confidence with which my accession to the throne has been hailed. “This confidence, gentlemen, will not be lost. I know all the duties of royalty. My efforts, my love for my people, and, I trust, the aid of God, will give me the courage and firmness necessary to fulfil them properly. “I announce to you with pleasure, that the dispositions of foreign governments have not undergone any change; they leave no doubt of the preservation of the friendly relations that exist between them and me. “The spirit of conciliation and prudence which animates them, gives to nations the strongest guarantees they have ever had to check the scourges which have so long desolated them. “I shall neglect nothing to maintain this happy agreement, and the peace which is the consequence of it. It is with this view that I have consented to protract the stay in Spain of a part of the troops that my son had left there, after a campaign, which as a Frenchman and a father, I may call glorious. “A recent convention has regulated the condition of this temporary measure, which is calculated to conciliate the interests of the two monarchies. “The just security which we derive from our external relations will favour the development of our internal prosperity. I will
second, gentlemen, these salutary movements, by causing those ameliorations which the interests of religion require to be successively proposed to you. “The king, my brother, experienced great consolation in procuring the means to close the last wounds of the revolution. The moment is come to execute the wise plans which he had conceived. The situation of our finances will permit us to accomplish this great act of justice and of policy, without augmenting the taxes, without cramping the different parts of the public service. “For these results, we are indebted to the order established by your concurrence, to the fortune of the state, to the peace which we enjoy. “I entertain the firm conviction that you will enter into my views, and that this act of reparation will be performed with great harmony of will between my peole and me. “I intend that the solemnity of my coronation shall terminate the first session of my reign. You will be present at that august ceremony, and in the presence of him who judges nations and kings, I will take the oath to maintain the institutions granted by my brother. “I thank Divine Providence for having deigned to make use of me to repair the last misfortunes of my people, and I conjure it to protect this beautiful France which I am proud of governing.” Speech of the King of the Netherlands on opening the States General. “High and Mighty Sirs, The marriage of my second son has taken place since your last
of which the necessary negociations will be conducted with all the care with which the desire of promoting the good of my people can inspire me. With the same view I have issued orders for facilitating the commerce of my subjects in all parts of the world. “The late exhibition of works of industry at Haarlem produced a display no less flattering to national pride than gratifying and honourable to the industry of my people, and satisfactory in regard to the general good of the nation. All the productions which luxury as well as the common wants of life can require were there collected, and there could the Netherlander convince himself that in that respect he need not envy any other people. “The general attention is directed to the opportunity which the nature and position of many countries afford to the development of our national industry, through which I hope she will see the channels for the fruits of our industry, and our lands, multiply, which the plans of the trading company has already begun to open. “The spirit of forming associations, so advantageous to great
undertakings, has spread itself
more and more, and has extended its influence to the most useful objects; the devoting of considerable capitals to ship-building has given a new life to our docks, and has occasioned the laying down of innumerable keels. “The salt herring fisheries, which have for many years been a losing concern, will, from all appearances, prove most profitable for this last year. “But with regard to the Greenland and Davis' Straits fisheries, my Netherlanders will, I fear, participate in the general unfavourable result common to all who have this year undertaken them. “Schools for instruction are now almost universally established throughout the kingdom, and have in many instances shown their utility, especially those of recent establishment. “The universities have lately been much improved and enlarged, and have in many branches of learning had additional facilities afforded for the attainment of knowledge, and they now furnish the most liberal means for the study of the various sciences. One institution, devoted to the wants of my Roman-catholic subjects, will afford to the young people appointed to study for the church the opportunity of obtaining that knowledge which the present state of civilization requires; and I hope I may promise myself the best consequences to the honour of that church in my kingdom. “Through the beneficence and liberality of the nation, through the strenuous co-operation of your High Mightinesses, and through the praiseworthy exer
tions of the authorities and officers, I am happy to say that the disasters which were caused by the late floods are already materially repaired, and the dikes will soon be placed in a state of security against the weather. “The commissioners who were appointed by me to examine the best courses for rivers have fulfilled their very important task, and will ere long lay before me the result. “The formation of new plans of improvement is carried on with vigour. “The plan adopted for the prisons develops itself more and more, and will soon be established. “The regulations respecting the meetings of Provincial States, and the government of cities, and of country places, have undergone an investigation. The dispositions in those regulations, which concern the right of voting, and the qualifications to take part in the provincial and local government, were, by the end of the tenth year, after the notice of our fundamental law, to be a part thereof; it was therefore of importance to introduce those improvements which experience has shown to
be desirable as early as possible. ,
“Our foreign possessions are the subject of my peculiar attention; and my endeavours have been particularly directed to the furthering of their internal prosperity, in order to render them of the utmost advantage to the Netherlands and its industry. The expenditure in several of those possessions has, in consequence of wars and expensive measures in their government, been augmented to too great an amount, which has produced un
favourable consequences in the condition of the finances. I have adopted measures to moderate them, and have further considered it prudent to send a special commissioner thither, in order that the orders already given for economy in the expenditure should be most strictly observed. There is ground to hope that the injurious consequences already mentioned will soon be remedied. It will, nevertheless, be necessary that the mother country should, by means of its credit, come to its support, and I hope that I may reckon on the co-operation of your High Mightinesses. *
“The various branches of the revenue have, taking them in general, been completely competent to Our wants.
“The late alterations in the indirect taxes have answered to: all expectations in the increase of their produce, independent of the real relief which has thereby been secured to commerce and agriculture. ... All difficulties in the collecting of the personal taxes and excise have, as is seen from experience, almost completely vanished. They were, at the introduction of the new plan, unavoidable; the doing away with them has, nevertheless, been the subject of my most anxious cares; it is with that intention that, after having consulted the states of the provinces, and having made use of the power given me by law, I have more generally introduced the farming of the excise on the grinding of corn; the manner in which this arrangement has been received, give grounds for supposing, that it will, in all respects, fully answer the objects I have, In View.
“It is most satisfactory to me that I am not obliged to lay before your High Mightinesses a more unfavourable statement of the finances of the kingdom, notwithstanding the extraordinary expenditures which are the necessary consequence of the disasters which befel us at the beginning of the year. The accounts of the revenue, which will, ere long, be laid before your assembly, are such as will justify me in giving a further relief to my beloved subjects by reducing the taxes. “The operations of the sinking fund will, without doubt, in # short time further the possibility of completely liquidating the national debt. “The Netherlands Mint suply is regular. “The calling in, and the putting out of circulation, , of the French coins, are brought to a close, by the last regulations, without on any point having given real cause for complaint. “The issuing of new coins goes on steadily ; and, for the greater convenience of common use, and much wishing it, I propose to lay before you a plan for increasing our series of gold coins, by adding one additional kind. “The industrious application of the States' commission to the framing of the National code of law, will afford me an opportunity of again laying before your assembly an important measure of legislation. “Several other subjects will require the attention of your High Mightinesses during your present sitting. I open it with the persuasion that it will not in any degree tend less to the good of the country than former sessions.
I experience the most heartfelt satisfaction at the manner in which our countrymen confide with true love in us, and support the throne of the Netherlands: and thus supported, High and Mighty Sirs, our united efforts, under the support of God, and the continued blessing of peace, cannot fail to promote the glory of our beloved country.” The king then left the chamber, being led out by the commissioners appointed for the occasion. The assembly was shortly after dismissed by the President. Message of the Vice President of Colombia in charge of the Government, to the Congress of 1825. Fellow Citizens of the Senate and Chamber of Representatives.— This is the precise day appointed by our constitution for the assembly of the representatives of the republic, in order that they may exert themselves for the happiness and prosperity of their constituents. If, in the two former sessions, congress assembled at a later period than is provided for by the constitution, owing to causes which are inherent in infant societies, (although the enemies of the republic have affected to overlook them) the present assembly will convince them, that, with the progress of time, we approach nearer to the exact observance of constitutional principles. I must congratulate Colombia and yourselves on an event which gives stability to the political system, and hopes of the most happy results from the present session. It is with the greatest pleasure that the executive is about to fulfil its duty, and contribute to this favourable
issue, by giving you an accurate idea of the state of the affairs of the republic, in the various branches of its administration. The government of his Catholic Majesty, far from abandoning its former pretensions to the sovereignty of these countries, as justice, experience, and the ruin of the Spanish nation would counsel, still labours to advance its hostile views, without affording the slightest hope of reconciliation. The executive has reason to think that the cabinet of Madrid is well aware of a conciliatory disposition on our part, and of our desire to terminate a war which, during fifteen years, has involved both nations in so many evils. The earnestness, however, with which the executive has sought peace with Spain, on the basis of independence, has not caused its vigilance to slumber. Congress may be assured that our means of defence are at the present moment abundant, and that any enterprise on the part of Spain against the republic will only serve to add lustre to our arms, and to increase the humiliations of Spain. Our relations with the American governments subsist on a footing of friendship and good understanding becoming states sustaining a common cause. The services and supplies which we have rendered to Peru have so materially altered the situation of that country, that no doubt can exist of its acquiring liberty and independence. The liberator and president of Colombia has displayed on this occasion, even more than on former ones, those virtues which are peculiar to illustrious men, and to which the Colombian republic owes its exist
ence. Surrounded with difficulties almost insurmountable — obliged to contend with enemies who, to numerical superiority, united the confidence inspired by victory— settered by disasters brought on by rashness, weakness, and perfidy—doubtful of receiving in time the fresh succours which the congress had so promptly decreed— the liberator has triumphed over all these obstacles, and, aided by the patriotism of those Peruvians who remained faithful to their duty, and by the valour of the united army, has liberated an important part of the vast territory previously possessed by the Spanish troops, after inflicting on them a severe humiliation in Junim. The executive has every hope that the auxiliaries which left Panama for Peru in October, have arrived at an opportune moment; and that, by extending the scene of operations, they will consolidate the advantages already gained, accelerate the day of Peruvian liberty, and irrevocably fix the destiny of South America. This new glory was reserved for Colombia, and for you the satisfaction of having contributed thereto by all the means in your power, and, more especially, by having permitted the liberator to leave the territories of the republic. In conformity with the resolution of the legislature, I have not ratified the convention respecting territorial limits entered into between Colombia and Peru. Notwithstanding the importance of this measure, the executive has abstained from renewing the negociations, under an impression that we ought to give an example of good faith, and generosity, by suspending all discussion thereon