- Introduction to the Third Edition.
- On Civil Liberty and Self-government.
- Chapter I.: Introductory.
- Chapter II.: Definitions of Liberty.
- Chapter III.: The Meaning of Civil Liberty.
- Chapter IV.: Ancient and Modern Liberty.—Ancient, Medieval, and Modern States.
- Chapter V.: Anglican Liberty.
- Chapter VI.: National Independence—Personal Liberty.
- Chapter VII.: Bail.—Penal Trial.
- Chapter VIII.: High Treason.
- Chapter IX.: Communion.—Locomotion, Emigration.
- Chapter X.: Liberty of Conscience.—Property:—Supremacy of the Law.
- Chapter XI.: Quartering Soldiers.—The Army.
- Chapter XII.: Petition.—Association.
- Chapter XIII.: Publicity.
- Chapter XIV.: Supremacy of the Law.—Taxation.—Division of Power.
- Chapter XV.: Responsible Ministers.—Courts Declaring Laws Unconstitutional.—Representative Government.
- Chapter XVI.: Representative Government, Continued.—Basis of Property.—Direct and Indirect Elections.
- Chapter XVII.: Parliamentary Law and Usage.—The Speaker.—Two Houses.—The Veto.
- Chapter XVIII.: Independence of the Judiciary.—The Law Jus, Common Law.
- Chapter XIX.: Independence of Jus, Self-development of Law, Continued.—Accusatorial and Inquisitorial Trials.—Independence of the Judge.
- Chapter XX.: Independence of Jus, Continued.—Trial By Jury.—The Advocate.
- Chapter XXI.: Self—Government.
- Chapter XXII.: American Liberty.
- Chapter XXIII.: In What Civil Liberty Consists, Proved By Contraries.
- Chapter XXIV.: Gallican Liberty.—Spreading of Liberty.
- Chapter XXV.: The Institution.—Its Definition.—Its Power For Good and Evil.
- Chapter XXVI.: The Institution, Continued.—Institutional Liberty.—Institutional Local Self-government.
- Chapter XXVII.: Effects and Uses of Institutional Self-government.
- Chapter XXVIII.: Dangers and Inconveniences of Institutional Self-government.
- Chapter XXIX.: Advantages of Institutional Government, Farther Considered.
- Chapter XXX.: Institutional Government the Only Government Which Prevents the Growth of Too Much Power.—Liberty, Wealth, and Longevity of States.
- Chapter XXXI.: Insecurity Op Uninstitutional Governments.—Unorganized Inarticulated Popular Power.
- Chapter XXXII.: Imperatorial Sovereignty.
- Chapter XXXIII.: Imperatorial Sovereignty, Continued.—Its Origin and Character Examined.
- Chapter XXXIV.: Centralization.—Influence Of Capital Cities.
- Chapter XXXV.: Vox Populi Vox Dei.
- Appendix I.: A Paper On Elections, Election Statistics, and General Votes of Yes Or No.
- Appendix II.: A Paper On the Abuse of the Pardoning Power.
- Appendix III.: A Paper On Subjects Connected With the Inquisitorial Trial and the Laws of Evidence.
- Appendix IV.: Magna Charta of King John, Fifteenth Day of June, In the Seventeenth Year of the King's Reign, A.d. 1215.
- Appendix V.: The Petition of Right. 1
- Appendix VI.: An Act For the Better Securing the Liberty of the Subject, and For Prevention of Imprisonments Beyond the Seas, Commonly Called “the Habeas Corpus Act.” 1
- Appendix VII.: Bill of Rights, Passed 1 William and Mary, Sess. 2, Ch. 2, 1689.
- Appendix VIII.: A Declaration By the Representatives of the United States of America In Congress Assembled.
- Appendix IX.: Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Between the States.
- Appendix X.: Constitution of the United States of America.
- Appendix XI.: The French Constitution, Adopted and Proclaimed On the Twenty-fourth of June 1793. the First Republican Constitution
- Declarations of the Rights of Man and of Citizens.
- Constitution of the Twenty-fourth of June, 1793.
- Appendix XII.: French Charter of Louis XVIII. And That Adopted In the Year 1830.
- Appendix XIII.: Constitution of the French Republic. Adopted November, 1848.
- Appendix XIV.: The Present Constitution of France.
- Appendix XV.: Report of the French Senatorial Committee On the Petitions to Change the Republic Into an Empire, In November, 1852, 1 and the Senatus-consultum Adopted In Conformity With It.
- Appendix XVI.: Letter of the French Minister of the Interior, Mr. De Morny, Addressed to the Prefects of the Deparments In the Year 1852.
the present constitution of france.
When I wrote the article Constitution for the Encyclopædia Americana, which was before the French revolution of 1830, I classed constitutions under three general heads: 1. Those established by the sovereign power, real or so called. These were subdivided into constitutions established by a sovereign people for their own government, as ours are; and into such as are granted, theoretically at least, by the plenary power of an absolute monarch; such as the then existing French charter was, a fundamental law called by the French octroyed. 2. Constitutions formed by contracts between nations and certain individuals whom they accept as rulers on distinct conditions. 3. Constitutions forming a compact between a number of states. The present constitution of France is not included in either of these classes. Its genesis, as the reader well knows, was that, first, an individual acquired absolute power by a conspiracy or coup d'état, then caused the people to vote whether they would grant him plenary power to prescribe a constitution; he received the power by above seven millions of votes, and issued the following document, copied from the constitution which Napoleon the First had prescribed at the beginning of this century. If, then, the reader insists upon calling this a constitution—we certainly do not call France at present a constitutional country—we may call it a constitution per saltum, for it was in former times one of the different ways of electing a pope, or the head of a great society, such as the Templars, to elect one individual with the right of appointing the chief, and this was called electing per saltum, by a leap. I also divided constitutions into cumulative constitutions, such as the constitution of England, or that of ancient Rome, and into enacted (or written) constitutions, such as ours are. The present constitution of France can again be classed neither under the one nor the other head. It may, perhaps, be called decreed, or by any name the reader prefers. It is difficult to find an appropriate name for a thing which is the result of a confused mixture of ideas, of absolutism, popular sovereignty, violence, of breaking of oaths and prescribing of others, of coup d'état, and ratification by those whose work was destroyed by the soldiery, and by the idea of the “incarnation” of popular absolute power in one person. Louis Napoleon has been called the incarnation of a great principle. I do not pretend to find a philosophical name for this product. Probably the whole constitution belongs to the “Napoleonic ideas,” of which we read so much at this moment; or we may call it in future an imperatorial or Cæsarean constitution.
The following, then, is the present French Constitution, as it appeared in the official paper, the Moniteur, of January 15, 1852, preceded by the proclamation of Louis Napoleon.
president of the republic.
In the name of the French People.
Frenchmen! When, in my proclamation of the 2d of December, I stated to you in all sincerity what were, according to my ideas, the vital conditions of government in France, I had not the pretension, so common in our days, of substituting a personal theory for the experience of ages. On the contrary, I sought in the past what were the best examples to follow, what men had given them, and what benefit had resulted therefrom.
Having done so, I considered it only logical to prefer the precepts of genius to the specious doctrines of men of abstract ideas. I took as model the political institutions which already, at the beginning of the present century, in analogous circumstances, strengthened society when tottering, and raised France to a high degree of prosperity and grandeur.
I selected as model those institutions which, in place of disappearing at the first breath of popular agitations, were overturned only by all Europe being coalesced against us.
In a word, I said to myself, since France has existed for the last fifty years only in virtue of the administration, military, judicial, religious, and financial organization of the consulate and the empire, why should we not adopt likewise the political institutions of that period? As they were created by the same mind, they ought to bear in themselves the same character of nationality and practical utility.
In fact, as I stated in my proclamation, our present society, it is essential to declare, is nothing else than France regenerated by the revolution of ‘89 and organized by the emperor. Nothing remains of the old régime but great reminiscences and great benefits. But all that was then organized was destroyed by the revolution, and all that has been organized since the revolution, and which still exists, was done by Napoleon.
We have no longer either provinces, or pays d'état, or parliaments, or intendants, or farmers general, or feudal rights, or privileged classes in exclusive possession of civil and military employments, or different religious jurisdiction.
In so many things incompatible with itself had the revolution effected a radical reform, but without founding anything definitive. The first consul alone re-established the unity, the various ranks, and the veritable principles of government. They are still in vigor.
Thus, the administration of France was intrusted to prefects, sub-prefects, and mayors, who substituted unity for the commissions of the directory; and, on the contrary, the decision of business given to councils from the commune to the department. Thus, the magistracy was strengthened by the immovability of the judges, by the various ranks of the tribunals; justice was rendered more easy by the delimitation of attributions, from the justice of peace to the court of cassation. All that is still existing.
In the same way our admirable financial system, the bank of France, the establishment of budgets, the court of accounts, the organization of police, and our military regulations, date from the same period.
For fifty years it is the code Napoléon which had regulated the interests of citizens amongst themselves; and it is still the concordat which regulates the relations between the state and the church.
In fine, the greatest part of the measures which concern the progress of manufactures, commerce, letters, sciences, and the arts, from the regulations of the Théâtre Française to those of the Institute— from the institution of the prud’hommes to the creation of the legion of honor—were fixed by decrees of that time.
It may then be affirmed that the framework of our social edifice is the work of the emperor, and that it has resisted his fall and three revolutions.
Why, with the same origin, should not the political institutions have the same chances of success?
My conviction was long formed on the point, and it is on that account that I submit to your judgment the principal bases of a constitution, borrowed from that of the year 8. When approved by you, they will become the foundation of our political constitution.
Let us examine what the spirit of them is.
In our country, monarchical as it has been for eight hundred years, the central power has always gone on augmenting. The royalty destroyed the great vassals; the revolutions themselves swept away the obstacles which opposed the rapid and uniform exercise of authority. In this country of centralization, public opinion has unceasingly attributed to the head of the government benefits as well as evils. And so, to write at the head of a charter that that chief is irresponsible, is to be against the public feeling—is to want to establish a fiction, which has three times vanished at the noise of revolutions.
The present constitution, on the contrary, declares that the chief whom you have elected is responsible before you; and that he has always the right to appeal to your judgment, in order that, in solemn circumstances, you may continue to him your confidence, or withdraw it.
Being responsible, his action ought to be free and unshackled. Thence the obligation of his having ministers who may be the honored and puissant auxiliaries of his thought, but who no longer form a responsible council, composed of mutually responsible members, a daily obstacle to the particular impulse of the head of the state, the expression of a policy emanating from the chambers, and by that very circumstance exposed to frequent changes, which prevent all spirit of unity and all application of a regular system.
Nevertheless, the higher a man is placed the more independent he is, and the greater confidence the people have placed in him the more he has need of enlightened and conscientious councils. Thence the creation of a council of state, henceforward a veritable council of the government, first wheel in our organization, a collection of practical men, elaborating bills in special commissions, discussing them with closed doors, without oratorical ostentation in general assembly, and presenting them afterwards for acceptance to the legislative body.
Thus, the government is free in its movements and enlightened in what it does.
What is now to be the control exercised by the assemblies?
A chamber, which takes the title of legislative body, votes the laws and the taxes. It is elected by universal suffrage, without scrutin de liste. The people, selecting each candidate separately, can more easily appreciate the merits of each.
The chamber is not to be any longer composed of more than about 260 members. That is a first guaranty of the calm of the deliberations, for only too often the inconsistency and ardor of passions have been seen to increase in assemblies in proportion to their number.
The report of the sittings, which is intended to inform the nation of what is going on, is no longer, as formerly, delivered to the party spirit of each journal; an official publication, drawn up by the care of the president of the chamber, will be alone permitted.
The legislative body discusses freely each law, and adopts or rejects it. But it cannot introduce all of a sudden those amendments which often disarrange the whole economy of a system and the ensemble of the original project. Still more, it does not possess that parliamentary initiative which was the source of such grave abuses, and which allowed each deputy to substitute himself at every turn for the government, by presenting projects the least carefully studied and inquired into.
The chamber being no longer in presence of the ministers, and the various bills being supported by speakers belonging to the council of state, time is not lost in vain interpellations and passionate debates, the only object of which was to overturn the ministers, in order to place others in their stead.
Thus, then, the deliberations of the legislative body will be independent, but the causes of sterile agitations will have been suppressed, and proper time and deliberation given to each modification of the law. The representatives of the nation will, in fact, maturely perform their serious functions.
Another assembly takes the name of senate. It will be composed of the elements which, throughout the whole country, create legitimate influences—an illustrious name, fortune, talent, and services rendered.
The senate is no longer, like the chamber of peers, the pale reflection of the chamber of deputies, repeating, at some days' interval, the same discussion in another tone. It is the depository of the fundamental compact, and of the liberties compatible with the constitution; and it is only with respect to the grand principles on which our society is based that it examines all the laws, and proposes new ones to the executive power. It intervenes, whether to resolve every grave difficulty which might arise during the absence of the legislative body, or to explain the text of the constitution, or to insure what is necessary for its being acted on. It has the right to annul every arbitrary and illegal act, and, thus enjoying that consideration which belongs to a body exclusively occupied with the examination of great interests, or the application of grand principles, it occupies in the state the independent, salutary and conservative position of the ancient parliaments.
The senate will not be, like the chamber of peers, transformed into a court of justice; it will preserve its character of supreme moderator; for disfavor always reaches political bodies, when the sanctuary of the legislators become a criminal tribunal. The impartiality of the judge is often called in doubt, and he loses a portion of his prestige in public opinion, which sometimes goes the length of accusing him of being the instrument of passion or of hatred.
A high court of justice, chosen from amongst the higher magistrates, having for jurymen members of the councils-general throughout all France, will alone decide in cases of attentats against the head of the state and public safety.
The emperor used to say to the council of state: “A constitution is the work of time; and too large a margin cannot be left to ameliorations.” Consequently, the present constitution has fixed only what it was impossible to leave uncertain. It has not inclosed within an impassable circle the destinies of a great people; it has left to change a margin sufficiently wide to allow, in great crises, other means of safety to be employed than the disastrous expedient of revolutions.
The senate can, in concert with the government, modify all that is not fundamental in the constitution; but as to the modifications effected in its primary bases, sanctioned by your suffrages, they cannot become definitive until after they have received your ratification.
Thus the people remains always master of its destiny, as nothing fundamental can be effected independently of its will.
Such are the ideas and principles which you have authorized me to carry into application. May the constitution confer on our country calm and prosperous days! May it prevent the return of those intestine struggles, in which the victory, however legitimate it may be, is always dearly purchased! May the sanction, which you have bestowed on my efforts, receive the benediction of heaven! In that case, peace will be insured at home and abroad, my prayers will be granted, and my mission accomplished!
Constitution made in virtue of the powers delegated by the French People to Louis Napoleon Bonaparte by the vote of the 20th and 21st of December, 1851.
The president of the republic—
Considering that the French people has been called on to pronounce its opinion on the following resolution:
The people wish for the maintenance of the authority of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, and give him the powers necessary to make a constitution, according to the bases laid down in his proclamation of the 2d December.
Considering that the bases proposed to the acceptance of the people were:
1. A responsible chief appointed for ten years.
2. Ministers dependent on the executive power alone.
3. A council of state, formed of the most distinguished men, to prepare the laws and support the discussion of them before the legislative body.
4. A legislative body, to discuss and vote the laws, elected by universal suffrage, without scrutin de liste, which falsifies the election.
5. A second assembly, formed of the most illustrious men of the country, as an equipoising power (pouvoir ponderateur,) guardian of the fundamental compact and of public liberties.
Considering that the people have replied affirmatively by seven million five hundred thousand votes,
Promulgates the constitution, the tenor of which is as follows:
Art. 1. The constitution admits, confirms, and guarantees the great principles proclaimed in 1789, and which are the bases of the public right of Frenchmen.
forms of the government of the republic.
Art. 2. The government of the French Republic is confided for ten years to Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, the actual president of the republic.
Art. 3. The president of the republic governs by means of ministers, of the council of state, of the senate, and of the legislative body.
Art. 4. The legislative power is exercised collectively by the president of the republic, the senate, and the legislative body.
of the president of the republic.
Art. 5. The president of the republic is responsible to the French people, to whom he has always the right to make an appeal.
Art. 6. The president of the republic is the chief of the state; he commands the land and sea forces, declares war, makes treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce, appoints to all employs, and makes the regulations and decrees necessary for the execution of the laws.
Art. 7. Justice is rendered in his name.
Art. 8. He alone has the initiative of laws.
Art. 9. He has the right of granting pardon.
Art. 10. He sanctions and promulgates the laws and the senatus consultum.
Art. 11. He presents every year to the senate, and to the legislative body, by a message, the state of the affairs of the republic.
Art. 12. He has the right to declare the state of siege in one or several departments, on condition of referring it to the senate within the shortest possible delay. The consequences of the state of siege are regulated by law.
Art. 13. The ministers depend only on the chief of the state—they are only responsible for the acts of the government as far as they are individually concerned in them; there is no joint responsibility among them, and they can only be impeached by the senate.
Art. 14. The ministers, the members of the senate, of the legislative body, and of the council of state, the officers of the land and sea forces, the magistrates and public functionaries, take the following oath: I swear obedience to the constitution and fidelity to the president.
Art. 15. A senatus-consultum fixes the sum allowed annually to the president of the republic during the whole continuance of his functions.
Art. 16. If the president of the republic dies before the expiration of his term of office, the senate is to convoke the nation, in order to proceed to a fresh election.
Art. 17. The chief of the state has the right, by a secret act deposited in the archives of the senate, to point out to the people the names of the citizens whom he recommends to the interest of France to the confidence of the people and to their suffrages.
Art. 18. Until the election of the new president of the republic, the president of the senate governs with the co-operation of the ministers in functions, who form themselves into a council of government, and deliberate by a majority of votes.
of the senate.
Art. 19. The number of senators shall not exceed 150; it is fixed for the first year at 80.
Art. 20. The senate is composed: 1, of cardinals, marshals, and admirals; 2, of citizens whom the president of the republic may think proper to raise to the dignity of senators.
Art. 21. The senators are appointed for life.
Art. 22. The functions of senator are gratuitous; nevertheless, the president of the republic may grant to senators, on account of services rendered, or of their position with regard to fortune, a personal donation, which cannot exceed 30,000 francs per annum.
Art. 23. The president and the vice-presidents of the senate are named by the president of the republic, and chosen from among the senators. They are appointed for one year. The salary of the president of the senate is fixed by a decree.
Art. 24. The president of the republic convokes and prorogues the senate. He fixes the duration of its sessions by a decree. The sittings of the senate are not public.
Art. 25. The senate is the guardian of the fundamental compact and of public liberties. No law can be promulgated without being submitted to it.
Art. 26. The senate may oppose the promulgation:
1. Of laws which may be contrary to, or be an attack on, the constitution, on religion, on morals, on freedom of worship, on individual liberty, on the equality of citizens in the eye of the law, on the inviolability of property, and on the principle of the immovability of the magistracy.
2. Of those which may comprise the defence of the territory.
Art. 27. The senate regulates by a senatus-consultum:
1. The constitution of the colonies and of Algeria.
2. All that has not been provided for by the constitution, and which is necessary for its march.
3. The sense of the articles of the constitution which give rise to different interpretations.
Art. 28. These senatus-consulta will be submitted to the sanction of the president of the republic, and promulgated by him.
Art. 29. The senate maintains or annuls all the acts which are referred to it as unconstitutional by the government, or denounced for the same cause by the petitions of citizens.
Art. 30. The senate may, in a report addressed to the president of the republic, lay down the bases of bills of great national interest.
Art. 31. It may also propose modifications in the constitution. If the proposition is adopted by the executive power, it must be stated by a senatus-consultum.
Art. 32. Nevertheless, all modifications in the fundamental basis of the constitution, such as they were laid down in the proclamation of the 2d December, and adopted by the French people, shall be submitted to universal suffrage.
Art. 33. In case of the dissolution of the legislative body, and until a new convocation, the senate, on the proposition of the president of the republic, shall provide by measures of urgency for all that is necessary for the progress of the government.
of the legislative body.
Art. 34. The election has for its basis the number of the population.
Art. 35. There shall be one deputy to the legislative body for every 35,000 electors.
Art. 36. The deputies are to be elected by universal suffrage, without scrutin de liste.
Art. 37. They will not receive any payment.
Art. 38. They are named for six years.
Art. 39. The legislative body discusses and votes bills and taxes.
Art. 40. Any amendment adopted by the committee charged to examine a bill shall be sent back without discussion to the council of state by the president of the legislative body. If the amendment is not adopted by the council of state, it cannot be submitted to the discussion of the legislative body.
Art. 41. The ordinary sessions of the legislative body last three months; its sittings are public; but, at the demand of five members, it may form itself into a secret committee.
Art. 42. The report of the sittings of the legislative body by the journals, or by any other means of publication, shall only consist in the reproduction of the minutes of the sitting, drawn up at its conclusion under the direction of the president of the legislative body.
Art. 43. The president and vice-presidents of the legislative body are named by the president of the republic for one year; they are to be chosen from among the deputies. The salary of the president of the legislative body will be fixed by a decree.
Art. 44. The ministers cannot be members of the legislative body.
Art. 45. The right of petition can only be exercised as regards the senate. No petition can be addressed to the legislative body.
Art. 46. The president of the republic convokes, adjourns, prorogues, and dissolves the legislative body. In the event of its being dissolved, the president of the republic must convoke a new one within a delay of six months.
of the council of state.
Art. 47. The number of councillors of state in ordinary service is from forty to fifty.
Art. 48. The councillors of state are named by the president of the republic, and may be dismissed by him.
Art. 49. The council of state is presided over by the president of the republic, and in his absence by the person whom he appoints as vice-president of the council of state.
Art. 50. The council of state is charged, under the direction of the president of the republic, to draw up bills and the regulations of public administration, and to solve the difficulties which may arise in administrative matters.
Art. 51. It supports, in the name of the government, the discussion of bills before the senate and legislative body. The councillors of state charged to speak in the name of the government are to be named by the president of the republic.
Art. 52. The salary of each councillor of state is 25,000 francs.
Art. 53. The ministers have rank, sitting, and deliberative votes in the council of state.
of the high court of justice.
Art. 54. A high court of justice shall try, without appeal, or without recourse to cassation, all persons who may be sent before it charged with crime, attentats, or conspiracies against the president of the republic, and against the internal and external safety of the state. It can only be formed in virtue of a decree of the president of the republic.
Art. 55. A senatus-consultum will determine the organization of this high court.
general and transitory clauses.
Art. 56. The provisions of the codes, laws and regulations, which are not contrary to the present constitution, remain in vigor until they shall have been legally revoked.
Art. 57. The municipal organization shall be determined by law. The mayors shall be named by the executive power, and may be chosen from those not belonging to the municipal council.
Art. 58. The present constitution will be in vigor from the day on which the great bodies of the state shall have been constituted. The decrees issued by the president of the republic, from the 2d December up to that period, shall have the force of law.
Given at the Palace of the Tuileries, this 14th day of January, 1852.
Sealed with the great seal.
The reader must remember that all the decrees, which were issued after the coup d'état, and before its “ratification” by the people, were considered as ratified likewise; for instance, the still existing law by which the government transports members of secret political societies, without trial, and by authority of which many other persons deemed dangerous were transported to Cayenne. The same is to be said of the stringent law of the press according to which every paper exists at the will of the government, with regulations which may become utterly ruinous for the editor and publisher. The minute regulations of the coats and trowsers of the senators and members of the legislative corps need not probably be mentioned here as organic laws; but on March 22d, 1852, appeared the following important decree:
Louis Napoleon, President of the French Republic:
Considering article 4 of the constitution, and seeing that at the moment when the senate and legislative body are about to enter on their first session, it is important to regulate their relations with the president of the republic and the council of state, and to establish, according to the constitution, the organic conditions of their works, decrees:
THIRD DIVISION.—OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY.
meeting of the legislative body, formation and organization of the bureaus, and verification of the powers.
Art. 41. The legislative body is to meet on the day named by the decree of convocation.
Art. 42. At the opening of the first sitting the president of the legislative body, assisted by the four youngest members present, who will fill the functions of secretaries during the session, will proceed to form the assembly into seven bureaus, drawn by lot.
Art. 43. These seven bureaus, named for the whole of the session, will each be presided over by the oldest member, the youngest performing the office of secretary.
Art. 44. They will immediately proceed to the examination of the minutes of the election of the members distributed by the president of the legislative body, appointing one or several of their members to bring up a report thereof in a public sitting.
Art. 45. The assembly examines these reports: if the election be declared valid, the member when present immediately takes the oath prescribed by article 14 of the constitution; if absent, at his first appearance, after which the president of the legislative body pronounces his admission, and the deputy who has not taken the oath within fifteen days of his election is considered as dismissed. In case of absence the oath may be taken by writing, and in this case must be addressed by the deputy to the president of the legislative body, within the delay above mentioned.
Art. 46. After the verification of the returns, and without waiting for the decision on contested or adjourned elections, the president of the legislative body shall make known to the president of the republic that the legislative body is constituted.
presentation, discussion, and vote of bills.
Art. 47. Bills presented by the president of the republic are to be presented and read to the legislative body by councillors of state appointed for that purpose, or transmitted, by order of the president of the republic, by the minister of state to the president of the legislative body, who causes them to be read at the public sitting. These bills will be printed, distributed, and placed on the order of the day of the bureaus, which will discuss them and name by ballot, and by a simple majority, a committee of seven members to report on them.
Art. 48. Any amendment arising from the initiative of one or more members, must be handed to the president, and be by him transmitted to the committee. No amendment can, however, be received after the report shall have been presented at the public sitting.
Art. 49. The authors of the amendment have a right to be heard before the committee.
Art. 50. If the amendment is adopted by the committee, it transmits the tenor of it to the president of the legislative body, who sends it to the council of state, and the report of the committee is suspended until the council of state has pronounced its opinion on it.
Art. 51. If the opinion of the council of state, transmitted to the committee through the president of the legislative body, is favorable, or a new wording proposed by the council of state be adopted by the committee, the text of the bill to be discussed in public sitting shall be modified conformably to the new wording adopted. If the opinion, on the contrary, is unfavorable, or if the new wording proposed by the council of state is not adopted by the committee, the amendment will be considered as not having been offered.
Art. 52. The report of the committee on the bill examined by it shall be read in a public sitting, and printed and distributed at least twenty-four hours before the discussion.
Art. 53. At the sitting fixed by the order of the day, the discussion shall open on the ensemble of the bill, and afterwards on the different articles or chapters, if it be a law on finance. There is never any occasion to deliberate on the question of deciding if the discussion of the articles is to be passed to, as they are successively put to the vote by the president. The vote takes place by assis et levé, and if the result is doubtful, a ballot is proceeded to.
Art. 54. If any article is rejected, it is sent back to the committee for examination. Each deputy then, in the form specified in articles 48 and 49 of the present decree, presents such amendments as he pleases. Should the committee be of opinion that a new proposition ought to be made, it transmits the tenor of it to the president of the legislative body, who forwards it to the council of state. The matter is then proceeded on in conformity with articles 51, 52, and 53 of the present decree, and the public vote which then takes place is definitive.
Art. 55. After the vote on the articles, a public vote on the ensemble of the bill takes place by the absolute majority. The presence of the majority of the deputies is necessary to make the vote valid. Should less than that number be present, the vote must be recommenced. Bills of local interest are voted by assis et levé, unless the ballot be called for by ten members at least.
Art. 56. The legislative body assigns no reasons for its decisions, which are expressed in the following form: “The legislative body has adopted;” or “The legislative body has not adopted.”
Art. 57. The minute of the bill adopted by the legislative body is signed by the presidents and secretaries, and deposited in the archives. A copy of the same, similarly signed, is transmitted to the president of the republic.
messages and proclamations addressed to the legislative body by the president of the republic.
Art. 58. These are brought up and read in open sitting by the ministers or councillors of state named for that purpose. These messages or proclamations cannot be discussed or voted upon unless they contain a proposition to that effect.
Art. 59. The proclamations of the president of the republic, adjourning, proroguing, or dissolving the legislative body, are to be read in public sitting, all other business being suspended, and the members are immediately afterwards to separate.
Art. 60. The president of the legislative body announces the opening and closing of each sitting. At the end of each sitting, after having consulted the members, he names the hour of sitting for the following day, and the order of the day, which are posted up in the assembly. This order of the day is immediately for warded to the minister of state, the president of the legislative body being responsible for all notices and communications being duly forwarded to him.
Art. 61. No member can speak without having asked and obtained leave of the president, and then only from his place.
Art. 62. The members of the council of state appointed in the name of the government to support the discussion of the laws are not subject to the formality of speaking in their turn, but whenever they require it.
Art. 63. The member called to order for having interrupted cannot be allowed to speak. If the speaker wanders from the question, the president may call him back to it. The president cannot allow any one to speak on the call to the question. If the speaker twice called to the question in the same speech shall continue to wander from it, the president consults the assembly to ascertain whether the right of speaking shall not be interdicted to the speaker for the rest of the sitting on the same question. The decision takes place by assis et levé without debate.
Art. 64. The president alone calls to order the speaker who may interrupt it. The right to speak is accorded to him who, on being called to order, submits and demands to justify himself; he alone obtains the right to speak. When a speaker has been twice called to order in the same speech, the president, after having allowed him to speak to justify himself, if he demands it, consults the assembly to know if the right of speaking shall not be interdicted to the speaker for the rest of the sitting on the same question. The decision is taken by assis et levé without debate.
Art. 65. All personalities and all signs of approbation or disapprobation are interdicted.
Art. 66. If a member of the legislative body disturbs order, he is called to order by name by the president; if he persists, the president orders the call to order to be inscribed in the minutes. In case of resistance, the assembly, on the proposition of the president, pronounces, without debate, exclusion from the house for a period which cannot exceed five days. The placarding of this decision in the department in which the member whom it concerns was elected may be ordered.
Art. 67. If the assembly becomes tumultuous, and if the president cannot calm it, he puts on his hat. If the disorder continues, he announces that he will suspend the sitting. If calm be not then re-established, he suspends the sitting during an hour, during which the deputies assemble in their respective bureaus. On the expiration of the hour the sitting is resumed; but, if the tumult recommences, the president breaks up the sitting and postpones it to the next day.
Art. 68. The demands for the order of the day, for priority, and for an appeal to the standing orders, have the preference over the principal question, and suspend the discussion of it. Orders of the day are never motivés. The previous question—that is to say, that there is no ground for deliberation—is put to the vote before the principal question. It cannot be demanded on propositions made by the president of the republic.
Art. 69. The demands for secret sittings, authorized by article 14 of the constitution, are signed by the members who make them, and placed in the hands of the president, who reads them, causes them to be executed, and mentioned in the minutes.
Art. 70. When the authorization required by article 11 of the law of the 2d February, 1852, shall be demanded, the president shall only indicate the object of the demand, and immediately refer it to the bureaus, which shall nominate a committee to examine whether there be grounds for authorizing a prosecution.
Art. 71. The drawing up of the minutes of the sittings is placed under the high direction of the president of the legislative body, and confided to special clerks nominated by him, and liable to dismissal by him. The minutes contain the names of the members who have spoken, and the résumé of their opinions.
Art. 72. The minutes are signed by the president, read by one of the secretaries at the following sitting, and copied on two registers, signed also by the president.
Art. 73. The president of the legislative body regulates, by special order, the mode of communicating the minutes to the news-papers, in conformity with article 42 of the constitution.
Art. 74. Any member may, after having obtained the authorization of the assembly, cause to be printed and distributed, at his own cost, the speech he may have delivered. An unauthorized printing and distribution shall be punished by a fine of from 500f. to 5000f. against the printers, and of from 5f. to 500f. against the distributors.
We read in the Constitutionnel: “It is, as already stated, at the Tuileries, in the Salle des Maréchaux, that the sitting of the senate and legislative body on the 29th will be held. The prince-president, surrounded by his aides-de-camp, his orderly officers, his ministers, and the council of state, will be placed on a raised platform; opposite the president of the republic will be, on one side the senate, and on the other the legislative body. The prince-president will deliver a speech. A form of an oath will then be read, and each member of the senate and of the legislative body, on his name being called over, will pronounce from his place the words Je le jure! The clergy, the magistracy, and the diplomatic body will be represented at this solemnity. A small number of places will be reserved in an upper gallery for persons receiving invitations.”