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and have maintained the whole of the Ionian Islands in a state of perfect peace and tranquillity, notwithstanding the scene of horror and confusion which unhappily still continues to desolate the neighbouring Countries.
Under these circumstances, the Assembly has been enabled to pass the Bill for annulling Martial Law in all the Islands without exception; to which the assent and approval of the Senate and the Lord High Commissioner were immediately given.
In regard to that Bill, it will be in the recollection of the Assembly, that it was His Excellency's intention to have brought it forward immediately after the meeting of the Parliament; but, with the consent of the Assembly, this was laid aside for a short time, owing to the descent from some Vessels of the Greek Fleet (composed of 34 in company) on the Island of Santa Maura, and the ravage committed by them on the property of the Inhabitants.
On this subject, a British Man-of-war was immediately sent to the Island of Idra, to which it appeared the Vessels belonged, who had made this aggression on the Ionian Territory, and violated the general Sanità Regulations, respected by all Governments; and I am happy to say, that, whilst on the one hand, the leading Men at Idra did not attempt either to palliate or deny the outrage, that on the other, they expressed the deepest regret for the occurrence, and evinced the most perfect disposition to make every apology, and offer every satisfaction in their power. And subsequently, too, a Person was sent here from the Greek Chiefs at Corinth, with declarations to the same effect.
The Lord High Commissioner found himself precluded from en. tering into any thing like a formal discussion or agreement with a nominal Government, of which he had no official knowledge, and not recognized by the Protecting Sovereign; but it was highly satisfactory to him to learn, that the territorial aggression had proceeded from the anomalous nature of the Greek Force, and from the impossibility (as the Chiefs themselves confessed) of keeping the Crews of the Greek Vessels under due restraint; but all intention of premeditated insult to the Ionian Government was distinctly disclaimed.
Under this explanation, the matter was no further pushed. On the contrary, the Ionian Government immediately relaxed the measures, to which it had unwillingly resolved to have had recourse, to prevent a recurrence of the same scene, and returned to that system of extreme forbearance, which it has shewn from the first, in the mode in which it has acted under the Neutrality observed to both the Contending Parties; immediately bringing forward before the Assembly the Bill I allude to, for annulling the Martial Law in all the Islands.
We are now, Mr. President and Gentlemen, on the eve of the
natural dissolution of the Parliament, it having completed its constitutional period of 5 Years.
On the Procès Verbal of the Assembly, particularly during the present Session, the sentiments of the Members have been fully expressed, both in regard to the state of these Islands under other Governments, and in former times, and to their present state under the Constitutional Government of 1817, and the exclusive protection of the King, my gracious Master.
It has been shewn by many of the Members, and all have asserted the fact, that, during this first Parliament, held under the Constitution, changes the most salutary and beneficial have been effected. They have acknowledged that the Finances have been rescued from the gripe of those, who seemed to consider the greatest portion of the income of these States as their own private patrimony; and that a prudent management, now practised in the mode of collecting the Revenues, and an equitable economy in dispensing them, have rendered them fully adequate to the whole expenditure of the Government, without the slightest increase of taxation, since the establishment of the Constitutional Government; that the Government Buildings have been restored, from the state of complete dilapidation into which they had fallen, and other Edifices erected for the Publick Service; that the Publick Functionaries are adequately remunerated, and a stop put to that most grievous of all taxation, the levying on the People, in an indirect manner, an arbitrary sum, by means of fees to the Publick Servants of the Government, for the discharge of their official duties.
It has also been repeatedly remarked by this Assembly, that party heats and dissensions, which formerly prevailed in these Islands to such an extraordinary degree, have almost entirely ceased; whilst the discord arising from a rivalship between Island and Island, one of the most serious impediments to the general prosperity of the Ionian States, no longer exists. And lastly, that the administration of Justice has been most essentially ameliorated in all its branches; that the operation of the Laws is equally extended to every class of the Population, whilst the liberty of the Subject, and the security of his person and property, stand on a most improved basis.
Such are the declarations of this Assembly, which appear on its Procès Verbal on several occasions during the present Session of Parliament; and whilst I acknowledge the great pleasure I have derived from this authentick record on a subject of such deep interest, I have to express my perfect conviction, that nothing has been exaggerated; that the opinion entertained on the subject by the Representatives of the People is fully participated by the People themselves, and must be acknowledged by every Individual informed upon
subject, who is not led away by a factious spirit, by wild speculation, or blinded by prejudice.
Mr. President and Gentlemen, the last act of this Assembly has been to make an Address to His Majesty the Protecting Sovereign, in terms the most appropriate.
This Document, which I consider both becoming and well timed, shall be immediately transmitted to the Lord High Commissioner, in order that, through His Excellency, it may reach the King, to whom the loyal expressions contained in it, of duty and affection to his Person, and of confidence in his benevolent intentions, cannot fail to be acceptable, and highly gratifying to those feelings of deep solicitude constantly demonstrated by His Majesty for the interests of the Ionian People.
The sentiments of His Excellency, in respect to the spirit which has universally actuated this Assembly, have been often expressed in the strongest language of praise. Any attempt on my part to enhance the value of the testimony of so competent a judge may appear presumptuous; yet must I declare that, in my humble opinion, you return to your Constituents after the most useful, zealous, and conscientious discharge of your important duties; that the wisdom and moderation which have characterized your proceedings have essentially tended to promote the great object in view, the consolidation of the mutual interests of the protecting and the protected State, and that the remembrance of the first Parliament, under the Charter of 1817, will long be cherished by your patriotick Countrymen with every sentiment of profound gratitude and respect.
By Command of His Excellency,
FRED. HANKEY, Secretary of the Lord High Commissioner.
DECREE of the Emperor of Brazil, containing Regulations relative to the Equipment, &c. of Privateers against Portugal. 30th December, 1822. (Translation.)
I, THE Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of the Empire of Brazil, make known to those who shall see this Decree of Regulation, that, having taken into consideration how just and necessary it is, to repel by every possible means the attacks which the Government of Portugal, instigated by its demagogue Congress, seems resolved, in the most manifest and perfidious manner, to direct against the publick and private property of this Empire; I have resolved, after having heard my Council of State on a matter of such great importance, to grant to all my Subjects, and to Foreigners, the power to equip
Privateers, which, during the present Conflict with that Kingdom, may employ themselves as such against the property thereto belonging; following, however, and scrupulously observing, what is contained in the 5 Chapters, and respective Articles, of this Regulation, hereinunder written.
OF PRIVATEERS, and of the Formalities unDER WHICH THEY MUST BE EQUIPPED FOR SAILING.
ART. I. Every National or Foreign Ship may become a Privateer against the Portuguese Flag, and the publick and private property under it.
II. The Commanders, Officers, and Sailors, who wish to engage in such undertakings, must prove that they embark with the consent of the Owners, and the knowledge of the competent Authorities.
III. As it belongs to my authority to grant Privateer Patents, I command that, in this Province of Rio de Janeiro, they be issued through the Secretary of State for the Affairs of the Marine; and that, in the other Maritime Provinces of the Empire of Brazil, the respective Governments do distribute the Patents, which shall be transmitted to them by the said Secretary of State of the Marine, through whom they will inform me of the number issued, and of the Names of the Owners of the Ships to whom they have been granted.
IV. The applications for Privateer Patents shall contain, in very clear terms, the name of the Ship, its tonnage in Portuguese tons, the number and weight of the Cannons mounted, and the number of Persons composing the Crew. To this must be added, the legal Contract between the Owner and the Crew of the Privateer; the Captain, 2 Officers, and the Clerk of the Ship, signing for them.
V. The fitting out being completed, and security having been given for the proper use of the Patent, the Privateer must be registered, in the Intendancies of Marine, in a book to be kept for that purpose, which shall contain the particulars expressed in the application, and, after depositing the original Contract, the Parties shall receive a Certificate thereof in due form. In Foreign Countries, all these formalities, which are indispensable, shall be observed, before the Agents or Consuls of the Empire of Brazil.
VI. All Ships furnished with these Patents, are authorized to become Privateers, in the manner specified in the First Article, and shall enjoy the privileges of War, the same as the Ships of War of the National Marine.
VII. The Prizes which they shall capture from the Enemy, shall enjoy these privileges till the moment of their sale. Neither they nor the Privateers shall pay higher Port Dues than those paid by Ships of War.
VIII. Should these Privateers require any military equipments, or arms, or stores, of which there may be an abundance in the National Arsenals or Depôts, they may make application for them, giving security for the eventual restoration of those which belong to the Department of Artillery, and paying for all the rest, including powder, gun carriages, &c., at the price which they cost the State.
IX. These articles shall be paid for by the National Privateer Owners in Bills at 12 Months; but should they prefer to pay for them on delivery, a discount of half per cent. per month shall be allowed to them.
X. The articles to be restored shall be paid for, in case of loss, at the prices stipulated at the time of their delivery, and, in case of damage, at a valuation made by competent Persons, with a deduction for Natives of 5 per cent.
XI. The National Privateer Owner, in case of loss, shall not be required to restore the articles received.
XII. Damage received in action with Ships of War, Troop Transports, or hostile Forts, shall not be required to be made good, in the case either of Foreigners or Natives.
OF PRIZES, AND OF THEIR LEGALITY AND SALE, IN BRAZILIAN AND FOREIGN PORTS.
ART. I. No Prize shall be considered as legal, until Sentence be pronounced by the competent Authority.
II. Prizes, in the Port of Rio de Janeiro, shall be adjudged by the Supreme Military Council; in the Ports of the other Provinces, by a Commission, composed of the Intendant of Marine, of the Magistrate residing there, highest in authority, of the Military Commandant, and of 2 of the most intelligent Seamen. Should a Vessel be adjudged a good Prize, the Captor may sell it how and where he thinks best. Should any of the Parties interested wish to appeal from the Sentence pronounced, they may do so through the Supreme Military Council, but without suspension, in case of its being adjudged a good Prize; the Captor giving security equivalent to its total value, that the Parties interested may be indemnified by the Owner of the capturing Ship, in the event of their succeeding in the appeal instituted.
III. Should the Captor conduct the Prize to any Foreign Port, the Commission shall be composed of the Consul of the Empire of Brazil, of 2 Arbitrators for the Captor, and as many more for the Captain of the captured Vessel. Should this ruie, however, be contrary to the Law established by that Nation to whose Port he may have come, the Captor shall submit to the Laws established for such cases, he having recourse to the Consul of Brazil to direct him.
IV. In order to establish the legality of a Capture, the Privateer Patent held by the Captor must be produced in Court, together with