Page images
PDF
EPUB

taire d'Etat au Département des Affaires Etrangères de Sa Majesté le Roi de Sardaigne, &c.

Lesquels, munis de Pleins-pouvoirs, sont convenus des stipulations suivantes :

Art. I. Le Corps Auxiliaire Autrichien stationné en Piémont évacuera, dans le courant du mois de Décembre, les Villes de Verceil et Vigevano, et tous les postes militaires situés sur la rive gauche du Pô; le nombre des Troupes qui doivent quitter les Etats de Sa Majesté à cette époque est fixé à 4,000 hommes ; leur sortie sera effectuée avant le 1er Janvier, 1823.

II. Avant le 1er. Avril, 1823, le Corps Auxiliaire sera de nouveau diminué de 3,000 hommes : il évacuera à cet effet les Villes de Casal, Voghera, Tortone, Castel-nuovo, ainsi que tous les postes de correspondance militaire sur la rive droite du Pô dans les Etats de Sa Majesté.

III. Les 5,000 hommes restans seront, à l'époque précitée du le Avril, concentrés à Alexandrie et Valence; la remise de ces deux Places, et l'évacuation totale du Piémont par les Troupes Autrichiennes, sera effectuée avant le 1er. Octobre, 1823.

IV. A dater du 1er. Avril, 1823, la correspondance ordinaire du Corps d'occupation sera établie par la grande route de Valence à Pavie. Les Commissaires respectifs règleront de commun accord les stations des postes, nécessaires à cet effet, jusqu'à l'entière évacuation.

V. Les changemens de garnison, prévus par l'Article 1er. de la Convention de Novare, se feront par la route de Voghera, Tortone, et Alexandrie.

VI. Afin de concilier les intérêts de Sa Majesté le Roi de Sar. daigne avec la latitude qui doit être laissée au Général-en-Chef de l'Armée du Nord de l'Italie, pour fixer la proportion des Troupes des différentes armes qui devront successivement évacuer le Piémont aux époques précitées, il a été convenu, que les 300,000 francs, payables chaque mois, ainsi que le maximum de 13,000 rations en vivres, chauffage, éclairage, etc. et les 4,000 rations de fourages que Sa Majesté le Roi de Sardaigne s'est engagée à fournir en vertu de la Convention de Novare, seront réduites de quatre douzièmes à partir du 1er. Janvier, 1823, de trois autres douzièmes à partir du 1er. Avril, même année, et cesseront tout-à-fait à dater du 1er. Octobre, 1823.

VII. L'artillerie, les armes, et autres effets militaires, ainsi que les munitions de guerre et de bouche qui existaient dans la Citadelle d'Alexandrie lors de son occupation par les Troupes Autrichiennes, ou qui ont été introduits depuis des Arsénaux ou Magasins de Sa Majesté le Roi de Sardaigne, continueront à rester sous la garde des Employés Sardes. Ces objets seront, ainsi que la Place, remis le 29 Septembre aux Troupes et Commissaires Sardes selon les formes usitées en pa reille circonstance.

VIII. Toutes les dispositions de la Convention de Novare du 24 Juillet, 1821, auxquelles il n'a pas été dérogé par la présente Convention, continueront à être exécutées jusqu'à l'entière évacuation du Piémont.

IX. La présente Convention sera ratif.ée dans l'espace de 6 semaines, ou plutôt si faire se peut.

En foi de quoi les Plénipotentiaires respectifs ont signé la présente Convention, et y ont apposé le Cachet de leurs Armes.

Fait à Vérone, le 14 Décembre, 1822. (L. S.) METTERNICH. (L.S.) NESSELRODE.

(L. S.) De La TOUR. (L. S.) BERNSTORFF.

MESSAGE of the Executive Power, on the Opening of the First Constitutional Congress of Colombia. 17 April, 1823.

(Translation.)

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND OF THE CHAMBER OF

REPRESENTATIVES. The solemn installation of the second Congress of Colombia is one of the most happy events of my political life. Its meeting in the manner prescribed by our Fundamental Laws is both an unanswerable testimony of the acquiescence of the Government in the declared will of the Nation, and a motive for consolation to the Republick, and of grief to its Enemies. This most august Body, uniting in it the most enlightened understandings, the purest patriotism, and the most matured experience, its deliberations cannot fail to be the result of the most ardent desire for the publick prosperity. I am convinced that wise laws, salutary reforms, and measures which, by disseminating universal happiness and good-will, shall consolidate the work of 12 years of sacrifices, will result from your deliberations, and be the abundant fruit which the People will receive with joy and gladness. However great were the exertions and labours of the last General Congress, and however laudable the desire by which it was animated, there is a void in the Republick which you are called upon to fill up. The Constituent Congress could scarcely do more than trace out the line by which succeeding Legislatures could proceed with security. The Executive Government will, by means of its respective organs, lay before the Congress all the information and materials which time and circumstances have permitted it to collect : and you, Gentlemen, selecting from amongst them the best and most proper for the happiness of the Nation, will find a vast field open to your deliberations, and to the fulfilment of your duties.

The Government of Colombia has not omitted any step that could bring our Contest with Spain to an end, in a manner honour. able to both Powers, and with reciprocal advantages. The Government has not been guided by any apprehension of the uncertain issue of the War, but by the desire of saving humanity from the useless sacrifice of fresh victims, and of establishing Peace between the two Nations.

The Government availed itself of the first favourable moment to send a Commission to Madrid, which, being assisted by the progress of our cause, and the change of principles in the political system of Spain, might obtain by reason that which we were otherwise determined to obtain by arms. Our Agents were not heard; imputations, absolutely false, were made against them; they were despatched from the Court upon dishonourable pretences, and the manner in wbich we were regarded was such, that conciliation, on the principle of Independence, was impossible. The Government of the Republick was not surprised at this result, for it never had reason to entertain the idea, that the Government of His Catholick Majesty was disposed to renounce the absurd desire of keeping us in subjection : but it was necessary to accede to the wishes of the Spanish Commissioners, and to give to the World a fresh proof, that our perseverance in the present Contest did not proceed from a spirit of revenge or hatred, but from the most sacred duty of a People anxious for the improvement of its condition. The subsequent conduct of His Catholiek Majesty's Government, in reinforcing the Armament that attacks our Territories, and that of the General of the Expeditionary Ariny, in declaring the Treaty of Trus. illo void, thus disregarding the Rights of Nations, have finally proved to us that our Enemies will henceforth pertinaciously carry on their system of exterminating Warfare against the Independence of the Republick. The Executive Government is firm in its determination not to listen to, nor admit of, any Negociation on the part of Spain, which has not for its basis the explicit recognition of our National Sovereignty.

So well convinced was the Government of Columbia of the determination of the Government of Madrid to prolong the War against America that we hastened to establish solid Relations with the Independent States of the New World, and to fix a secure basis on which, either the continuance of the Contest, or a Negociation with Neutral Powers, and with Spain, should be conducted. The Government of Colombia has been the first to lay the foundation of an American Confederation, which, uniting the Political Interests of the vast Territory that has separated itself from the Mother Country, mutually guaranteeing and respecting each other, shall reciprocally establish a physical and moral power, capable of arresting and annihilating all the attempts of the Government, our Enemy. The Treaties which have been entered into for that purpose, will be forthwith laid before Congress, but I

take the liberty of offering to it, beforehand, my congratulations on the satisfaction with which it will perceive the solidity and consistency thereby given to the Independence of the New World. Great changes have taken place in the Mexican Empire since the Convention made at Cordova between the Chief of the Independents and the Spanish General O'Donoju. Don Avgustin Iturbide has been placed on the Imperial Throne, instead of the Family called to it by the Plan of Iguala and the Treaty of Cordova, in consequence of the Cortes of Madrid having declared the latter to be annulled. The Government of Colombia is not accurately acquainted with the nature and particulars of the events which bave placed the Imperial Crown on the head of Iturbide, and has taken measures to procure such information as it deems indispensable to open and cement the Relations between the Republick and that Empire, on the principle of not interfering with its internal arrangements, and of recognising the decided will of the Mexican Nation, so long as it adheres to the determination of remaining independent of Spain.

The Government of The United States has given a sublime example of its justice, in solemnly recognising the Independence and Sovereignty of the States of South America ; that Nation, the cradle of the Liberty of the World, has seen with satisfaction that this publick act was due to policy and sound reason; and the illustrious members of its Government have, by this conduct, added fresh lustre to the glory of a free People, and to their own. There is now residing in this Capital a Minister from that Government, by whose means we are informed of the friendly sentiments by which it is animated towards us, and of its disposition to commence and to establish Relations with the Republick. The Executive Power bas bastened to manifest the same feelings on its part, by means of a Minister Plenipotentiary, and to prepare the steps which must precede Negociation.

With some of the European Powers we have succeeded in entering upon Diplomatick Relations, which are at present confined to the obtaining an explicit recognition of our National Sovereignty. Our cause appears to have acquired considerable popularity among certain of the most powerful Nations; and although their Governments have not decided on making the desired declaration, they have not given us any cause for complaint. Their acts, relative to Commerce and Neutrality, have arisen out of the principle of recognising us as Governments de facto. That of Colombia has convinced all Nations that good faith and justice are the immutable rules of our conduct, and that we make it our duty to respect the Laws of all States, as well as their rights, and those of their respective subjects. Such will always be the conduct of the Government and Citizens of Colombia, as the means of preserving Peace and good understanding with the rest of the Universe. It is satisfactory to me, that in the course of my administration, during the establishment of a new and difficult system, no questions of difficulty have presented themselves, tending to interrupt the harmony subsisting between us and other Nations.

His Faithful Majesty the King of Portugal has opened the way in Europe to the recognition of the American Governments. That of Colombia had sent a Diplomatick Mission to the Court of Lisbon, which, among other things, was to regulate the boundaries of the Republick adjoining Brazil, but the unexpected death of Señor Echeverria, and the late proceedings in the Provinces of Brazil, with a view to shake off their dependence on Portugal, have frustrated our intentions. I have taken steps to

arrange with the Court at Rome respecting the administration of Ecclesiastical Affairs, in which so many difficulties have been, and are daily experienced, to the manifest detriment of the prerogatives of the Supreme Civil Authority, and of the spiritual wants of the People. The death of Señor Echeverria interrupted this Negociation also, but the Government is already prepared to send a fresh Mission to Rome. In the mean time, Congress will be informed of the manner in which this matter is being conducted, trusting that its wisdom will lay down a certain, although provisional, Regulation, that will remove all scruples and difficulties.

The Government has the satisfaction to announce to Congress, that the free Territory of the Republick of Colombia now comprehends that which was fixed by the Fundamental Law of the State. Three new Departments have increased the number of those recognised by the Law of Organization of the 2d of October : one of them having separated itself from the Mother Country by its own exertions; and the other two having been liberated by the valour of the Army, and the extraordinary ability and success of the President Liberator. Thus, in them, as in the other seven Departments, the political system adoptedby the Constituent Congress of Cúcuta has been established with general applause. The People indulge the best hopes of prosperity, from seeing their Political and Civil Liberty secured by the Fundamental Law. Every Colombian has submitted his own will to that of the Law: the glory of the Warrior, the learning of the Philosopher, the prerogatives of the Miuister of the altar, the influence of merit, of reputation, and of virtue—all have humbled themselves before the Constitution. With the exception of two or three small bodies of men, who wish to live in the midst of disorder, the Governmeut may assert that no sentiments but those of union and fraternity exist in the boson of Colombians. The state of order and internal repose which the Republick enjoys, has not been disturbed, either by the arrogant attempts of the Enemy, by evil suggestions, or the frequent difficulties arising from the embarrassed state of the Treasury, which sometimes offer opportunities for disturbance to those who, during the alteration of a system, experience changes of fortune, or are disappointed in their views of

« PreviousContinue »