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general on July 1st. His Ma- cient to protect from the insolence jesty declares it to have been in of the ill-disposed the governcompliance with the invitation of ment of a country, in which the his powerful ally, the emperor censorship, arbitrary arrests, and Alexander.
other coercive measures are, and From a royal decree dated July must be, illegal; but as long as 17th, it appears, that the bigotted calmness and probity are the naattachment of the clergy in the tional characteristics, his Majesty Belgian states to the See of Rome sees no reason to fear the conflict has not deterred the King from between truth and error, or to that assertion of the rights of the restrain the expression of opicrown in ecclesiastical affairs, nions relative to the internal gowhich even many Catholic Sove- vernment: that, however, the reigns now openly maintain. He case is different with respect to orders the full and entire execu- insults offered through the metion in his states of the law which dium of the press to neighbourprohibits resorting to the papal ing governments and sovereigns, see for dispensations, briefs, and which abuse has lately increased rescripts in spiritual and ecclesias- to a great degree ; and the nutical matters, without having pre- merous complaints made on that viously obtained the permission head, show that it is high time of the Sovereign; matters of con- to put a stop to it. The law is science being alone excepted. then proposed under the followFurther, all such dispensations, ing articles : &c. granted even after permis- Art. l. Those who, in their sion to solicit them has been given writings, shall have abused or by the king, are to remain null outraged the personal character and void, without the Royal ex- of foreign sovereigns or princes equatar.
with whom we live in peace and The delicate subject of the good understanding, shall have freedom of the press, at this time denied or called in question the a topic of particular interest in legitimacy of their dynasty and every government partaking of their government, or shall have political liberty, was brought be- represented the acts of their adfore the legislature of the Nether- ministration in an odious light, lands in September, by a message shall be, for the first offence, from the King, accompanying the punished by a fine of 500 florins ; plan of a law, for restraining the or, if they are incapable of paying licentiousness of the press in re- it, with 6 months' imprisonment; spect to foreign powers. His and in case of a repetition of the Majesty, in his introduction, ob- offence, with from 1 to 3 years' serves, that the constitution of imprisonment. the country makes all persons re- 2. The same penalties shall be sponsible for what they publish, applicable to printers, publishers, the limits of which responsibility and booksellers, who shall have are to be found in the penal code : printed or published, or caused that some have thought the regu- to be printed or distributed, the lations under this head insuffi- aforesaid writings, provided they shall be incapable of giving up still possesses zealous votaries. the author, so that he may not The restraint, however, appears only be prosecuted, but also con- to have been quietly acquiesced victed of the offence, and punished in by the body of the nation; for accordingly; and the penalt; thus when the plan of the law was inflicted on printers, editors, and discussed in the second chamber, booksellers, shall be accompanied on September 25th, it passed by with the suppression of their pa- a majority of 64 to 4. tent, and the prohibition to print The share taken by the governor publish any work for three ment of the Netherlands in the years, for the first offence, and British expedition against Alfor six years for the second of- giers, has been recorded in our fence, with confiscation, in both relation of that glorious entercases, of the copies of the work prise. Its success produced a printed or published, notwith- treaty of peace between the two standing such prohibition. states, concluded by the Dey, and
3. Neither author's, editors, nor Vice-admiral Capellen, at Alprinters, publishers, nor booksell- giers, on August 28th, the coners, shall be admitted to allege ditions of which were laid before as ground of excuse, that the the States-general on October 1st. writings, or articles, which give Their substance is a declaration occasion to their prosecution, are of peace and friendship between copied, extracted, or translated the two countries, and a renewal from foreign paper's or other and confirmation of all the artiprinted writings.
cles of the treaty of amity con4. Every official complaint and cluded between them in the year reclamation of a foreign govern- 1757 ; together with an agreement, grounded on writings of ment for the reception at Algiers the kind mentioned in art. 1, of a Dutch consul, upon precisely shall be directly transmitted by the same footing, and with the our Minister for Foreign Affairs same privileges, with the British to our Minister of Justice, in consul. order that the author, editor, Previcusly to the Algerine exprinter, or bookseller whom it pedition, there had been conconcerns, may be, if there is cluded between the kingdoms of ground for it, prosecuted before the Netherlands and Spain, a dea court of justice, at the instance fensive treaty, the object of which of the Attorney-general or other was to protect from piracy the public judicial officer in the place commerce of the powers who where he is domiciliated.
were parties to it. It is obvious whence the com- The union of the Dutch and plaints proceeded, which sug- Flemish provinces under one gogested this restriction of the free vernment, occasioned a difficulty publication of political opinions respecting commercial regulation, relative to foreign courts and go- arising from their different intervernments; it was incleed well ests and policy in that respect. known, that in the Belgian pro- From the era of the independence vinces the cause of Buonaparte of the Seven provinces, the foundation of their prosperity was laid cited by severe losses : its comin extensive foreign commerce ; mercial spirit was pronounced and in order to render their un- exclusive and insatiable ; and at productive country the receptacle Ghent the popular indignation and mart of commodities from was vented in a public bonfire of all parts of the world, the great- British manufactures. est facilities were given to impor- The government took these catation, while domestic products lamities and discontents under its were no further regarded than serious consideration; and on as they supplied the immediate September 3d, Mr. Wickers, diwants of a trading and maritime rector-general of convoys and lipopulation. The Belgian pro- censes, presented to the second vinces, on the other hand, had chamber of the states, on the long attained to great wealth and part of the King, the plan of a distinction by their manufactures, law and tariiť, by which the levywhich they exported largely to all ing of duties on the import, exthe neighbouring countries; and port, and transit of all wares and when the mercantile superiority merchandize in the kingdom, of Holland had reduced to insig- might in future be regulated on nificance the foreign traffic of the an equitable and uniform footFlemings, they still exercised to ing. After an introductory speech advantage their industry and in- by the director, respecting trade genuity in the fabrics of their in general, and the modes in looms, and other products of art. which it may be favoured by the In process of time they encoun- interference of government, the tered rivalry in these branches, principles and grounds of the which greatly reduced them in proposed law were laid before the the scale of general wealth and assembly; and as the matter of population; yet manufactures this exposure appears to us, both were still subsisting in their prin- account of its reasonings, cipal towns, which, if encouraged, and the future commercial prosmight find employment for a pro- pects it affords, well worthy the portion of their remaining inha- attention of our readers, we shall bitants. They were, however, insert it at length. unable to support a competition On these principles it is prowith British goods of a similar posed : kind; and when the inundation Ist. That all the objects of from the warehouses of England great branches of commerce be began to overflow the continent, very moderately charged, on imthe shops and factories of the port, export, and transit. Low-countries were shut up or 2. That very small duties be deserted. Loud complaints of laid on the import of all raw mathe ruinous consequences echoed terials used in our native manuthrough the Belgie provinces, and factures. produced various petitions for re- 3. That upon the import of all dress to the legislative body. The foreign manufactured goods which English name and character even can come into competition with suffered under the irritation ex- home fabrics, such high duties
should be levied as may be suffi- the lesson, that they, in order to cient to favour the sale of our favour internal industry, tax heaown productions; but so as that vily foreign, and, therefore, our foreign commerce may be as little manufactures, on import, or in as possible obstructed.
cases prohibit them ; that 4. That the export of all arti- they in all possible ways favour cles of internal industry should, the export of their own manufacas much as is practicable, be fa- tures, in order to furnish the fovoured and free.
reign consumer with them. Articles of foreign manufac- It thus, Gentlemen, requires ture must in this way of course no further proof that our internal become dearer to the consumer. manufactures, which have reached But it should be recollected, that such a measure of perfection, a revenue will thus be raised, cannot remain in that state, unwhich must otherwise have been less care be taken that foreign levied in some more oppressive manufactures be charged with mode ; and that the destruction such a duty as may proportion of our internal manufacturing their price to the consumer, to establishments would, too pro- that of our own products,--a price bably, be the result of a free and which, in consequence of the burunimpeded import of foreign dens and taxes here bearing on goods. The foreign manufac- the manufacturer and workman, turer would then be able to dic- cannot be diminished. tate his own prices, and render Our hatters, our glass-makers, the domestic merchant and con- our tanners, our flax, cotton, and sumer wholly dependent upon wool-spinners and weavers, our him. Besides, would not the manufacturers of arms and ironvalue of our domestic raw mate- smelters, with many others, must rials be in great part lost by the thus be supported by laws, and fall of our manufactures; or, if maintained in their present state. the foreign manufacturer pur- And this, the rather, because no chased them of us, would it not choice remains for us to act on be with a view to send them back certain theoretic principles, but to us in the wrought state; thus in conformity to the actual subcompelling us to pay the price of sistence of so many valuable estathe manufacture?
blishments, whose permanence In fine, what would be the re- can be exposed to no one moment sult, after the fall of our internal of interruption, to not one day of fabrics, when wars arising should discontinued protection, without render our foreign supply of endangering their fall, the disgoods difficult or impossible? charge of industrious workmen,
In fact, if we take counsel from and establishing the triumph of the experience of other nations our enterprising neighbours. on this head; if we look into the It is not, however, meant that recent laws and tariffs of com- the protection and favour afforded mercial and manufacturing na- to our domestic productions, tions in Europe, and even in should cramp and circumscribe America, we may thence derive our extensive and beneficial com
merce. To protect this, the pro. which the liberty of commerce posed law permits the transit of and of every species of industry, all goods and merchandise free has already had on the situation of import and export duties, with of the inhabitants. But neither the payment alone of a moderate this circumstance, nor any of the duty for such transit over our facts from which it is permitted territory. With this view it is to presume the still increasing proposed, that in every town solidity of the public credit, will where any extensive commerce is make me forget the necessity of carried on, an entrepôt should be further economy, and the duty established, where, for a very mo- imposed on me, not to require derate duty, goods should be from my subjects any sacrifices, placed under the inspection and but such as are strictly indispencare of the adıninistration of con- sable to maintain the honour and voys and licenses.”'
safety of the state." The session of the States-ge
On rising, after the delivery of neral, held in turn at Brussels, his speech, the King was saluted opened on October 21st, with a by the repeated acclamations of speech from the throne. It touched the whole assembly; and there is upon various topics relative to reason to suppose, that no sovethe state of the country, one of reign in Europe has better sucwhich was a meditated exchange ceeded in acquiring the general of small portions of territory on confidence of his people in the the Prussian frontier, with equi- sincerity of his declarations of valent portions belonging to that regarding their interests as expower, for mutual convenience. clusively his own. The most interesting topic was A treaty was laid before the that of the finances, concerning States concluded between the which his Majesty spoke in the King of the Netherlands and the following terms : “When the Prince Regent of Great Britain and view of the receipts and the ex- Hanover, the purpose of which penses of the public treasury shall was to abolish the tax called the be communicated to the States- Droit d'Aubaine, and the im.posts general, your High Mightinesses named Gabelle d'Heredité and will see, I hope, with satisfaction, Redevance d'Emigration, when the considerable reduction which, an inheritance passes from the conformably to your wish and States of the King of the Nethermine, has been effected in the lands to the dominions of Hanocharges of the general adminis- ver, and reciprocally; which artration. In consequence, no aug- rangement is extended, not only mentation of the existing means, to the duties and imposts which no creation of extraordinary re- come into the public treasury, sources, will be necessary to but to those levied on account of cover them. At the same time, provinces, towns, corporations, the regularity and the facility of and other public bodies the collection of the revenues The defence of the Netherlands in almost all the provinces, de- against any future attack from a monstrate the salutary influence powerful neighbour, could not