of The Tablet's first edition
FRANCE. The Chamber of Deputies, during the week had been employed chiefly with the discussion of the separate article of the sugar bill, the object of which is to deprive the beet-root manufacturers of the protection they have for some years past enjoyed, to the almost total destruction of the colonial interest.
On Monday, the Chamber adopted the scale of duty proposed by Government, according to which the duty on beet-root sugar is to be raised to 25 francs for every 100 kilogrammes (200 to English), while the duty on colonial sugar is to remain fixed at 45 francs.
The duty on foreign sugar was afterwards fixed 20 francs higher than on that grown in the French colonies. The prohibitionists wished to raise this to 30 francs, in which they did not succeed. "The result, however," observes the morning chronicle of yesterday, "is much the same, 20 francs amounting to prohibition. If all the beet-root manufactories were to close, however, the French islands furnishing only for two-thirds of the consumption, the French would have recourse to foreigners for the rest. To meet such a contingency, the ministry has reserved to itself the right of lowering the duty on foreign sugars by ordonnance. The Chamber, by a vote, has deprived Government of this right with respect to colonial and home-grown sugar." The ensemble of the bill was finally adopted by a majority of 230 out of 297 votes.
On Tuesday, the sugar debate was interrupted by the Home Minister's ascending the tribune and demanding 1,000,000 francs (£40,000), for the expenses of transferring the remains of Napoleon from St. Helena to Paris. The English Cabinet, he said, had offered no objection. The proposal was received with great enthusiasm by the Chamber, and would have been voted instantly by acclamation, if the President had not observed, that 24 hours must elapse between the proposal of a project and its vote.
The frigate which is to fetch away the remains of Napoleon from St. Helena will be commanded by the Prince de Joinville, who, it is rumoured, will be accompanied by Generals Bertrand and Gourgaud, Count Las Casas, and General Petit.
The Minister of the Interior, on making the announcement to the Chamber, read the following as the reply of the British Government to the application made by that of France:-
"The Government of her Britannic Majesty hopes that the promptitude of its reply will be regarded in France as a proof of its desire utterly to efface the national animosities which, during the life of the Emperor, armed England and France against each other. The Government of her Britannic Majesty takes pleasure in believing that if such sentiments still exist, in any quarter, they will be buried in the tomb in which the ashes of Napoleon are about to be placed."
The whole Paris press is full of enthusiasm on this occasion, with the exception of the Capitole , which accuses the Government of hypocrisy in thus claiming the ashes of Napoleon, while it banishes the family of the Emperor from the shores of France. The letter of the British Government is highly complimented, and a certain portion of the press forget, on this occasion, their usual sarcasms against Great Britain. 40,000l. have been voted for the expenses of bringing home the remains, but it will take a much larger sum to conduct the funeral ceremony in the manner now proposed.
According to La Presse , the British and French Commissioners had agreed on the basis of a commercial treaty between England and France. Several articles of English manufacture (cutlery, woollens, stone pottery, &c.) which now labour under a prohibition in France, are to become admissible, subject, however, to the payment of high duties. In return, "England is to reduce from 30 to 15 per cent. the import duties on all the articles of Parisian production, on clocks, watches, and on stained and dyed paper. She will reduce the import duty on French wines from 5s.6d. per gallon, to 2s. per gallon, and that on brandy from 22s. to 14s. per gallon." "Thus," says La Presse , "our wines will pay only an import duty of eight or nine sous in England, while the custom's duty on its entry into Paris is six sous; and we may hope to furnish for British consumption good vin ordinaire at 1f.25c. (1s.) a bottle."
The Constitutional has a new article, reasserting that a Chinese commissioner, accompanied by the nephew of Governor Lin, and by an Archimandrate of the Russian mission to Pekin, had arrived in Antwerp, and that he had already delivered 20 letters of marque against English vessels. The Brussels Indépendant treats the whole story as a hoax.
Mr. Turnbull, the author of "Travels in the West," Mr. J.H. Tredgold, Secretary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, and the Rev. Dr. Wright, of St. Germain-en-laye, formerly Colonial Chaplain at the Cape of Good Hope, had a private audience of the King of the French on Friday, to present an address, imploring his Majesty to take the earliest and most effective means of securing the abolition of the odious traffic in slaves, and the extinction of slavery itself. His Majesty expressed the utmost abhorrence of the system, arising from the scenes he had himself witnessed in Cuba 40 years ago. With regard to the continuance of slavery in the French West Indies, he spoke with the reserve rendered imperative by the position of the questions with which it is connected in the Chambers, at the same time admitting that an early amelioration of the legal condition of the slaves had become indispensable, but seemed of the opinion that an intermediate state, resembling that of the adscripti glebae of ancient Rome, or the serfs of the north of Europe, might be a convenient preliminary to the enjoyment of complete freedom.
On Saturday, the 9th inst., the Minister of Finance presented to the Chamber of Peers the project of law for the conversion of the Five per Cent. Stock, already adopted by the Chamber of Deputies.
Considerable uneasiness prevailed in Paris for some days, in consequence of the delay in the publication of authentic accounts of the affairs known to have occurred in the neighbourhood of Algiers. On Tuesday evening a telegraphic despatch from Toulon was published, but, owing to the meagreness of its contents, did not remove the apprehensions previously existing.
SPAIN. Our accounts from the French frontier enumerate several advantages gained by the Queen's generals over those of Don Carlos. The most important of these appears to be the capture of Alcala la Selva, the only Carlist fort between Ternel and Cantavieja. The fall of Morella was expected to follow in a few days, the garrison having sent emissaries to the camp of the Duque de la Vittoria, promising to surrender the place to the first summons of a body of the Queen's troops that would present itself.
GERMANY. The King of Prussia had so far recovered from his late illness, as to be able to leave Berlin for Potsdam, on the 4th instant.
Letters from Berlin of the 5th inst. state that the Archbishop of Posen was dangerously ill at Colberg.
The King of Hanover, according to the Suabian Mercury , an authority on which we would advise our readers not to repose too implicit a confidence, has been negociating both at London and Berlin, on the subject of the regency which will become necessary on the succession of the Crown Prince. The king is anxious, in such a case, that the regency should be placed in the hands of the Prince of Solms, but such a plan is stated to experience great opposition from the collateral branches of the family in London.
Advices from Vienna of the 2d inst. state that the Archduke Palatine published at Presburg on the 30th ult. a full amnesty in favour of all political offenders, a measure which had excited the greatest joy in that city. The Emperor intended to close the Hungarian Diet in person on the 11th or 12th inst., and to proceed afterwards to Dalmatia and Illyria.
The Grand Duke of Hesse officially announced to the states, on the 4th inst., the approaching marriage of his daughter with the Imperial Crown-Prince of Russia. Both house, on receipt of this message, appointed deputations to congratulate the Grand Duke on the happy event, and Prince de Wittgenstein was to leave Darmsdat in a few days for Warsaw, to meet the Emperor Nicholas, who was to accompany the Empress to Berlin.
NAPLES. We learn from the Semaphore de Marseilles of the 9th inst., that the Pharamond steamer, which arrived from Naples at Marseilles on the 8th inst., brought no intelligence of interest. All was tranquil, however, in that capital on the 4th (the day of her departure). The embargo on British vessels and merchandize had been removed, but the English had not yet restored the prizes they had made, and the king was said to have expressed his discontent at their conduct in most indignant terms. Four French ships of war, Le Genereux, the Marengo, the Brigadier, and the Etna, were anchored in the roads with an equal number of English vessels.
The Duke de Montebello had not yet arrived in Naples.
The Gazzetta Piemontese of the 8th inst. publishes the proclamation issued by the Governor-general of the Ionian Islands on the 16th ult., directing that an embargo be laid on all the Neapolitan vessels lying at the time in the harbours of the Seven Islands. Five vessels of that nation captured by an English frigate, in virtue of the above proclamation, had been brought into Corfu.
TURKEY. Letters from Constantinople, to the 22d ult., were received in town on Friday (yesterday), stating that the Viceroy of Egypt had caused to be arrested and shot those officers who, furnished with passports and the means of passage from the British consulate, had attempted to make their escape to Constantinople. Several others whom he suspected of entertaining the idea of making a like attempt, he had degraded from their rank, and in order to prevent the possibility of its occurrence for the future, he had ordered the crews of all the Turkish vessels to be disembarked and encamped at some distance from Alexandria. It was also stated at Constantinople, that Ibrahim Pacha was concentrating his forces in the neighbourhood of the passes of the Taurus, and was hastening his preparations for a forward movement. The strength of his army was said to be upwards of 40,000 men. This latter intelligence is exaggerated, doubtless, by the fears of the Turks.
Letters from Persia contained nothing further respecting the movements of the Shah's army. It was supposed to be then encamped outside Ispahan, but no official accounts had been received. A report had been circulated by the agent of Russia in Persia of the capture of Khiva by the emperor's troops, and of the delivery of 15,000 Persians who had been in slavery there, and who were said to be then on their way to their native country. The falsehood of this was known at Constantinople from the official intelligence received there of the final retreat of the relics of the Russian army to Orenburg.
Preparation for the illuminations and rejoicings on a most brilliant scale were making in Constantinople, and, in fact, throughout the empire, in honour of the birth of the first child of Sultan Abdul Medgid, whose appearance in this world was hourly and anxiously looked for. In the event of its proving a son, the illuminations were to continue seven nights, and for three only if a daughter. If all the children of his Highness are to receive the same honours at their birth, we may expect a constant succession of these amusements, as it is stated that no less than five of the sultanas are already near their confinement.
Great excitement appears to have prevailed at Adrianople against the Christian residents, in consequence of the murder of a Turk, in which it was alleged some Franks assisted. The Vice-consults of the Christian powers waited on the Governor, and, by his exertions, the riot was appeased.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. There have been several arrivals from America during the week, bringing the dates from New York to the 20th of April.
In the Senate of the United States, on the 14th ult., the committee for foreign affairs made a report in answer to the Executive, and other communications referred to the committee on the subject of the north-eastern boundary. The committee state, that they have had the same under consideration, and give their reasons for not then reporting at length. These reasons briefly are - that the subject is now before the British Government for its consideration. The proposition, they say, will doubtless settle, or lead to the settlement, of the question at issue. The difficulties in the way of amicable adjustment will not be found to be so great as have been anticipated. The report adds, that a reply to the proposition was expected early in May, and it would, they hoped and believed, be satisfactory to all parties. The committee, after briefly stating the facts as they exist, conclude by expressing the opinion that the question of peace or war will depend, in a great measure, on the answer of the British Government to the propositions submitted to that Government by the United States. A debate followed the reading of the report, which was adopted, and 10,000 copies ordered to be printed.
Some days previously (on the 9th) an interesting and important debate sprung up in the House of Representatives, on a resolution submitted by Mr. Hand, calling on the Secretary at War for a statement of the defences necessary for the northern and north-eastern frontier. Mr. Wise offered, as a substitute, to call for a general system of defence, including steam and other vessels of war, floating batteries, national foundries, &c., with estimates of the expense. Mr. Hand accepted the substitute. Mr. John Quincy Adams spoke at considerable length on the Maine boundary dispute. He expressed his belief, and his opinion is of much importance, that not only was there no danger of a war now, but that there would be no danger of a war for many years to come. His reasons for this belief were, briefly that the President of the United States designed that the nation should not go to war - a point which was clear from his message at the opening of Congress; and that the offer to refer the question to a third, provided the principals did not agree, evinced the continued desire of the President to promote an amicable settlement.
The first teller of the Bank of Virginia had been discovered to have robbed the bank of 500,000 rix dollars. He had absconded, and the Governor of the State had offered a large reward for his apprehension.
On the 16th, just as the legislature of Pennsylvania was about to adjourn sine die, according to the joint resolution of the two houses, they received a message from Governor Porter, requesting the members to convene an extra session on the following day. The reason assigned for this proceeding was that they had not made any provision for the interest due, or to become due on the state debt before the next regular meeting of the Legislature, nor for certain expenditure of the indispensable necessity.
SOUTH AMERICA. Letters from Laguayra of the 24th of March state, that information had been received from Bogota of General Obando having raised an insurrection against the government. He had been charged with having instigated the murder of General Sucie, and judicial proceedings were in progress against him, when he took up arms with his followers, and had appeared before Popayan, but had not succeeded in getting the inhabitants there to join in the revolt. The Government at Bogota were raising troops to send against him.