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CONTENTS OF NO. VII.
I. Letters on the Political and Financial Situation of this country in the year 1814; addressed to the Earl of Liverpool. By F. Percival Eliot, Esq, under the signature of Falkland. II. Narrative of the Journey and Imprisonment of Pius VII. after his departure from Rome, until his return to that city. III. Letter from Sir Philip Francis, Knight of the most Honorable Order of the Bath, to Earl Grey, on the Policy of Great Britain and the Allies towards Norway. IV. Re. port of Lord Sheffield, at the Meeting at Lewes Wool Fair, July 26, 1813. V. A Reply to the most popular Objections to Public Schools, with particular reference to the Tyrocinium of Cowper. VI. The substance of the Speeches of Sir H. Parnell, Bart. in the House of Commons, with additional Observations on the Corn Laws. VII. Sketch for a new Division and Sub-division of Monies, Weights, and Coins. By Mercator. VIII. An Inquiry into the Policy, Efficiency, and Con. sistency, of the Alterations in our Corn Laws, which have been lately proposed to Parliament, in a Letter to Sir H. Parnell, Bart IX. Suggestions on the Slave Trade. By Homo. X. An Appeal to the English Nation in behalf of Norway. By A. Andersen Feldborg. XI. Plan for establishing a Balance of Power in Europe. XII. Table of Finances for 1813, &c.
CONTENTS OF NO. VIII.
1. Substance of the Speech of Mr. Serjeant Onslow, on Wednesday, April 27, 1814, on moving for leave to bring in a Bill, to amend the Statute of 5 Eliz. Chap. 4. intituled “ An Act containing divers Orders for Artificers, Laborers, Servants of Husbandry, and Apprentices.” - II. The History of Toussaint Louverture. A new Edition, with a Dedication to the Emperor of All the Russias. III. Observations on the Report of the Committee of Weights and Measures, &c. &c. &c. By Calculator. [Original.] IV. Judge Fletcher's Charge to the Grand Jury of the County of Wexford, delivered at the Summer Assizes, July, 1814, and containing a comprehensive and important View of the State of Ireland. V. The Speech of Sir Samuel Romilly in the House of Commons, on June 28, 1814, on that article in the Treaty of Peace which relates to the Slave Trade. Vi. Observations on the Brumal Retreat of the Swallow. To which is annexed a copious Index to many passages relating to this bird in the works of ancient and modern Au. thors. By Thomas Forster, F. L. S. VII. Memoir concerning the Commercial Relations of the United States with Great Britain. By M. De Talleyrand. Read at the National Institute. VIII. An Inquiry concerning the Propriety of increasing the Import Duty on Fo. reign Corn. By John Naismith, Esq. Author of “ Elements of Agriculture,” &c. (Original]. IX. Brief Observations on the Punishment of the Pillory. [Original.] X. Why are we still at War? or the American Question Considered, in a Series of Essays rejected by the Journalists, as unpopular, recommended to a candid perusal. By Conciliator. (Original.]
PAGE. 1. Responsibility strictly defined .......... 301 2. The wisdom of the Constitutional Charter
in regard to Responsibility -........... 303 3. The advantages of the definition of Re
sponsibility, in reference to the subordinate
agents of the administration ............ 306 4. Answer to an objection ................ 307 5. On some opinions maintained in the Cham
ber of Deputies .................... 312 6. On Responsibility, properly so termed .. 315 7. On the Declaration, that Ministers are
unworthy of the Public Confidence ...... 317 8., On the Tribunal that is to try the Ministers...............
...... 320 9. On the publicity of the trial of Ministers. . 322 10. On the conduct of the proceedings ...... 325 11. On the punishment of Ministers ......... 327 12. Should the King's privilege of Amnesty be
extended to guilty Ministers? .......... 529 13. Result of the preceding arrangements, in
relation to the effects of Responsibility.... 315* 14. Concluding Reflections on personal Li
berty. ............................ 319*
THÉ responsibility of its ministers is indispensable to every legalised monarchy. By their responsibility, the king moves in a higher sphere, apart from the struggles of the acting administration. By separating the royal power from the executive or ministerial functions, it makes the former a neutral and guardian authority, which decides between the acting powers, when disunited, and which, uniformly serene itself, because never endangered, restores harmony and combination to the inferior system.
But what in fact is Responsibility ? what is its sphere? what are its limits ? what misdemeanours can it call to account? and what are beyond its jurisdiction? • Does it extend to illegal acts,-i. e. to the assumption and exercise of a power unwarranted by law; or does it only implicate the unjust use of power confided by the law, and the acts which it authorises?
If responsibility comprehended iHegal acts, it might take cogni zance of all the private misdemeanours of the ministers. A formal accusation must be made by the representative assembly, to punish murder, rape, or any other crime, although unconnected with the ministerial duties. This hypothesis is too absurd to be dwelt on.
But if Responsibility only applies to the unjust use of power entrusted by the law, it follows, that many of the acts, which in France we consider as subject to Responsibility, are private misdemeanours, for which Ministers should be amenable like other citizens.
For all beyond the ministerial functions, Ministers, as such, are not accountable, but subject to the course of Law, like other individuals. But, all illegal acts are beyond the ministerial functions; for these latter only bestow a legitimate power.
Let us now prove, that responsibility is thus understood in England; and let us consider a part of the English constitution most familiar to us—the habeas corpus.
When the habeas corpus is not suspended, a Minister, who ventures to overpass this bulwark of liberty, is not responsible as minister, i. e. it is not requisite, that the national representatives should accuse him. A culprit towards the law, he is amenable to the ordinary tribunals, before which he may be summoned by the injured individual or his advocates. But a minister who acts in disregard of the law of habeas corpus, while it is suspended, is not responsible to the courts, and cannot be prosecuted by the aga grieved individual; for he has only made use of a legal power. He is accountable before the national representatives, for the application of the power legally vested in him. They may call him to account for his use of that power, and may accuse him, if it seems to have been enployed invidiously, or without advantage."
*As we are on this subject, I should remind my readers, that the suispension of the habeas corpus act has been long annulled in England, and that the law itself is now in full force. It is the more necessary to explain this, as many Frenchmen conceive that the habeas corpus act is still suspegded, and unless I mistake, this argument was urged in the discussion on the liberty of the press. The habeas corpus is not suspended : the English have, for many years past, reinstated all the safeguards of personal liberty: they renewed them, in the midst of war, when the power of the enemy of mankind seemed impregnable; while the continental system dissevered Europe from the only nation that dared oppose him, and while both exterior and internal commotions appeared to claim extraordinary measures. Ministers themselves discovered, that the true mode of subduing these obstacles, of quieting these dissensions, was, to inspire the subject with confidence in the protection of law; that citizens defended their country with a zeal.com