Imágenes de páginas

The renunciation of the territories of Kehl and Cassel, which the French plenipotentiaries have pledged in their note of the 3d of O&tober, the deputation of the Empire consider as the most agreeable proof that the French government seriously intends to meet the delire so often manifested by the deputation, of a speedy conclusion of peace. They therefore lose not a moment in accepting with pleasure this renunciation, so long wilhed, of all fortified places and points of contact on the right bank of the Rhine, and they hasten to communicate to the French plenipotentiaries in a detailed note, observations on every point in their note, in the firın hope, that although they differ in some respects from the proposed determinations, yet the new explanations with which this agreement is supported, will be taken into proper consideration by the French ministers, in order to facilitate the great object of absolute conciliation.

1. With regard to the barrier of the Rhine, it has always been understood that the Thalweg would every where form the boundaries of the two states, and that by the Thalweg was to be understood the middle of the principal and navigable course of the Rhine. At the same time, as by this division the Prussian island of Buderich, situated near Wesel, on the Lower Rhine, would belong to France, the court of Prussia has several times formally inlisted on retaining poffeffion of this island, which contributes to the safety of the city and fortress of Wesel, the deputation entertain hopes that the French government will accede to the defire of Pruflia, which coincides so closely with the interest of the Empire, and that it will allow this island to remain attached to the German part.

With regard to the islands in the Rhine, it has already been agreed in notes exchanged, that the islands on the right side of the Thalweg should belong to the Empire ; those on the left side to the French republic. Subsequently likewise, the particular de. mand made in the French note of the 19th July, that the changes which might take place in the Thalweg should occasion no change in the rights of sovereignty over the islands, has also been acceded to. It has been agreed that they shall continue according to their present division of French and German, even although they should happen to be thrown lipon the other side of the Thala, weg: The ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic, in declaring in their last note that the French republic would never cede any possession to the Empire, or any of its members, on the left side of the Thalweg, probably did not intend to recur to what had previously been decided ; and the import of this decla. ration doubtless alludes only to the course of the Rhine from Huninguen 10 the grand bailiwick palatine of Guermersheim, where the Rhine had previously formed the boundary between Germany and France, and where the reciprocal reserve has been made of


France retaining the islands on the right of the Thalweg, which at · present belong to her. But as the actual cellion of the left part

of the Thalweg to the French republic properly begins near the grand bailiwick of Guermersheim, as the first point of the conquered country on the left bank of the Rhine, and not at the point where Germany was previoully contiguous to France, the French government will surely make no difficulty in leaving things in the state in which they stand at present by the treaties and conventions relative to this part of the Rhine and its islands, and particularly to maintain the communes on the right side which possesed any of these isles.on the left side, in the full enjoyment of them, without interrupting their taking such wood as might be necessary to support the bank.

Concerning the free navigation of the Rhine, the deputation had already more than once manifested their consent, by agreeing that it should be free to both nations. This consent was at the fame time accompanied with a wish that an arrangement thould be made jointly with Holland, to secure the navigation of the Rhine to its mouth ; but the French ministers plenipotentiary have lately declared, that they could not at present accede to this desire of the deputation. As such an arrangement with Holland would be of great importance to the Empire in a commercial view, the suppression of the tolls imposed by the Batavian republic may be productive also of some advantage, at least till the Germanic Empire, in the interval of the time fixed for the suppression of the tolls on the Rhine, shall have agreed with the Batavian republic upon some plan for a similar suppression of the tolls on the Rhine.

On the subject of the road used in towing vessels, the deputation may consent to the suppression of this addition proposed, according to what neceflity and the case may require, especially as the road used for this purpose is at present as wide as it used to be.

The consent given on the subject of the transportation of materials from the left bank to the right, cannot apply to the keeping up of the road for towing, but to the support of the bank ; and it is hoped that the internal arrangements of the republic will not prohibit these materials from being obtained for so useful and public a purpose.

It is agreed that the suppression of the tolls of passage of the Rhine fhall be ftipulated in the treaty of peace. It is only defired, that instead of six months, a period too Mort for any new establinment, there should be fixed, at least for the accomplishment of this fuppreslion, the term of a year after the exchange of the rati Scation of a treaty of peace.

2. The French ministers plenipotentiary have, for the first time, deinanded in their note that the toll of Elsfleth, on the Wefer, shall be suppreiled in favour of the French republic. As

this toll belongs to the Counts, now Dukes of Oldenburgh, con. firmed to them by the 10th article of the treaty of Munster, is fituated in a part of Germany not occupied ; and as the deputation of the Empire can decide nothing on this point, it is left to the French republic to make an arrangement with the house of Holstein Oldenburgh.

The French ministers plenipotentiary have at the same time interposed to preseve the constitutional existence of the Imperial cities of Hamburgh, Bremen, and Frankfort. The preservation of these cities, and all other Imperial cities, is of the greatest consequence to the Empire in the way of its commerce. All the free Imperial cities, which form the third body of the Germanic union, are, in virtue of the constitutional connexion, under the prote&tion of the laws with regard to their ancient constitutions.

The deputation of the Empire confiders it as one of their first duties, as much as lies in their power, to watch over the preservation of the states of the Empire and the Germanic body; and to comprehend, in the expression of the wishes of the French ministers, all the states of the Empire and those dependent on it.

3d. On the subject of commercial bridges it is agreed, that those which have hitherto existed on the Rhine, mall continue to be re-established and supported at the charge of those at whose expense they have always been upheld. With regard to those bridges which from this moment only shall become common, such as those between Mentz and Cassel, each bank shall be obliged to maintain that which is situated on their side of the Thalweg of the Rhine. With regard to the commercial bridges, which in future may be constructed according to an arrangement mutually to be made between the opposite banks, it is impossible generally beforehand to give the consent of the Empire necessary for this object, which must ever be regulated by advantage and necessity.

4th. The proposition of the French ministers, that the dependa encies of eccleliaftical establishments situated on the left bank, fhall belong to the Empire, is agreed to; and this disposition is understood to extend to all pious foundations, and particularly to hospitals, charitable establishments, universities, and schools, under reservation of the particular arrangements and treaties existing, or which may be made on this subject. The deputation are convinced, that by these means the difficulties with which every other mode would be attended will be entirely removed. At the same time, however, in order to adhere to the principle which has been adopted in its utmost extent, the moveables of all these corporations Thall belong to the banks of the Rhine on which they are at present placed ; and the active hospitals, which are at present dependencies of them, shall belong to the bank to the use of which they are applied, and where the creditor has at present his fixed refidence. - VOL.VII.

3 T


With regard to the demand, that the state of the Empire in the countries where these dependencies exist, shall have a preference in the acquisition of them, the deputation will make no remark on the subject. It is evident, however, that a state of the Empire cannot gratuitously appropriate these effects, and that all the property, revenue, or capital of ecclesiastical or lay foundations on the left bank (which, according to the constitution of the country, or because they have been destined to the general advantage, cannot be transported to the right bank), shall be applied to other necefsary purposes, and particularly to form a just indemnification for the pious establishments on the right, which proportionably would lose too much of these revenues on the left bank, as well as to particular compensations, and shall for this purpose be consolidated into a mass. Only it would be just and reasonable to make an exception with regard to establishments in favour of widows and orphans; and the French government of itself has resolved to take away nothing from those institutions, but to secure them their reyenues and other property, and accordingly to decree, that establishments of this kind, which exist in the countries ceded, shall be kept up in favour of thofe who derive benefit from them; that with regard to those which are in the countries which thall not be transferred to the French republic, their funds and capitals thall be divided among the sharers in proportion to their number.

They consider it one of their most sacred duties to exert every endeavour in favour of so inany Germans, to whom in general nothing can be objected but their stedfast adherence to their former government and sovereigns. This can the less be objected to Germany as a crime, since they feel the value of that government too well, to be easily captivated by new political institutions. The deputation, therefore, Hatter themselves, that the principle of general inapplicability of the laws relative to emigration will be recognised by the French as far as Germany may be concerned.

8th. It is required that the French republic fall entirely withdraw all her troops from the right bank of the Rhine, rellore the constitutions, and perform without delay the convention respecting the revictualling of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein.

gth. The depuration are ready, in the further conclusion of peace, to rerounce all rights and claims which the Empire may have on the territories which may then be ceded to France, and likewise to extend this renunciation to Savoy and the late Austrian Nether. lands, which, by the treaty with the King of Sardinia and of Campo Formio, are to be given up to: France. With regard to the Frickthal, they must refer them{elves to their former explana. tion of the Toth of August. Previous to any thing of this kind, however, it is necessary that the French government thould come to fome arrangement with the house of Austria, to which the Empire will not refuse its concurrence. The deputies are ready


likewise to give up their titles and pretensions to those lialian territories which, by the treaty of Campo Formio, belong to the Cisalpine republic.

To the oth article it is replied, that it had already been agreed that the fortresses of Kehl and Castel (hould be dismantled, and the deputation would give likewise the further assurance, that on the scite of these places, and within the distance of 3000 toises from the right bank of the Rhiae, no fortification shall be erected. Several details of compensation which this article will occasion; to be settled on the final conclusion of peace. The deputation conclude with the assurance that they will exert every endeavour to attain a speedy and honourable peace, and that they will give no well-grounded cause for the rupture of the negotiation.

Decree of the Imperial Commission to the Deputation of the Empire,

October 17. THE Imperial commiffion, assessors to the deputation of the Empire, approve the conclusum of the 15th, adopted by the deputation of the Empire in answer to the French note of the 3d. The commission fee with real pleasure that, among other things, it contains the new demand made respecting the revictualling of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, agreeably to existing conventions ; and in conforinity with the conclufum, they this day transmitted the counter 'note, a copy of which is annexed, to the French ministers plenipotentiary.

The cominiflion likewise communicate some observations which so intimately concern the pofition of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, that they cannot fail to produce an immediate effect on the extenfion which it may be neceffary to give to the said concluíuin on this point,

Astonished at the absolute silence which the ministers plenipotentiary of the French republic have observed in their iwo lait nofcs on the subject of the demands made with regard to the reestablishment of the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein agreeably to existing conventions ; convinced of the necessity of obtaining an explanation of the reasons of that filence ; the Imperial commission thought themselves bound to hold a conference with the French minifters on the subjecton the 14th, and, if pollible, to obtain complete satisfaction.

In order that the deputation of the Empire may have a perfect knowledge of the application addressed to the above ministers on this point, in order to secure it from every false interpretation, and in order that the reply of the French plenipotentiarics should be equally accurate, the application was made in the form of a vcrbal note, the copy of which is annexed, and to lay it down as she basis of the converfation which took place. 3 T2


« AnteriorContinuar »