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science with a view to the common good of the country and of the King.

ART. 133. At the opening of the Assembly the King's speech sets forth the condition of the country and indicates the bills and proposals which are to be submitted to the consideration of the Assembly.

ART. 134. In reply to the royal specch, the Assembly presents an address to the King.

Art. 135. After convening the Assembly, the King may prorogue the session for two months at most. A further prorogation in the course of the same session may not take place except with the consent of the Assembly itself.

Art. 136. The King may dissolve the Assembly and order new elections.

ART. 137. The new elections must take place within two months at most and the new Assembly must be opened within not more than four months from the date of the dissolution of the preceding National Assembly.

ART. 138. The members of the National Assembly may not meet in session unless they are convened by the King; neither may they meet after the adjournment, closure, or dissolution of the Assembiy.

ART. 139.1 All representatives receive per diem compensation. Traveling expenses, however, are not allowed except to those who do not reside in the locality where the National Assembly meets.



Art. 110. The Grand National Assembly is convened by the King, by the Regency, or by the Council of Ministers. Art. 141. The King convenes the Grand National Assembly:

1. To discuss questions of the session or exchange of some part of the territory of the Kingdom.

2. To pass upon the case provided for by Article 7 of the Constitution.

3. To modify or revise the Constitution. There must be a vote of two thirds of all the members of the Assembly.

ART. 142. The Grand National Assembly may not be convened by the Regency except for the purpose of considering questions of the alienation or exchange of some part of the Kingdom.

These questions are decided by a majority of the members of the Assembly present.

1 As amended 15/27 May 1893.

ART. 143. The Council of Ministers convenes the Grand National Assembly:

1. To elect a new King in case the reigning King dies without leaving an heir. The election is decided by a majority of two thirds of the members of the Assembly present.

2. To elect regents during the minority of the King. The election is decided by a majority of the Assembly present.

ART. 144.1 The Grand National Assembly is composed of representatives elected directly by the people. The number of these deputies must be double that of the members of the Ordinary National Assembly, in the ratio of two representatives to every twenty thousand inhabitants of both sexes. The elections shall take place in accordance with a special electoral law.



Art. 145. The president, the vice-presidents and the required number of secretaries are elected by the Assembly from among its members. Until these elections have taken place the senior member occupies the presidential chair.

ART. 146. The Grand National Assembly may take up only the questions enumerated in Articles 141-143, for which it has been convened according to the Constitution, and it is dissolved immediately after it has decided them.

ART. 147. Articles 87, 90, 93, 104, 114, 115, 131 and 132 of the present Constitution are applicable also to the Grand National Assembly. CHAPTER XXI.—THE GRAND BODIES OF THE STATE: The Council OF


ART. 148. The grand bodies of the State are:

1. The Council of Ministers.

2. The Ministries, Art. 149. The executive power, under the high supervision and direction of the King (Article 12), belongs to the ministers and their Council.

Art. 150. The Council of Ministers is composed of all the ministers; one of them is appointed President of the Council by the King.

ART. 151. Aside from their regular duties in ordinary times, the Council of Ministers in certain cases set forth below is vested with the following rights and duties:

1. In case the King should die without issue, the Council of Ministers assumes the government of the Kingdom and convenes

1 As amended 15/27 May 1893.

within one month the Grand National Assembly to elect the new King.

2. The Council of Ministers assumes the government also in case the King should not have appointed a Regency before his death. The Grand National Assembly must be convened within one month for the election of regents (Paragraph 1).

3. If the Queen widow is pregnant at the leath of the King, the Kingdom is governed by the Council of Ministers until the Queen's delivery.

t. If one of the regents should die, the Council of Ministers conrenes the Grand National Assembly for the election of a successor to the deceased regent, in accordance with the provisions of Paragraj h 2.

:). The Council of Ministers, on assuming the government of the country in the cases mentioned in the present article (Paragraphs 1-1), makes this fact known to the nation by a proclamation.

6. As long as the Council of Ministers is in charge of the gorernment of the Kingdom, there can be no change of ministers.

7. The members of the Council of Ministers, when they are provisionally in charge of the government of the country, receive only their salaries as ministers.

Art. 152. Ministers are appointed and dismissed by the King.

Art. 153. Ministers are jointly responsible to the King and the National Assembly for all measures taken in common, and each one is personally responsible for his acts within the limits of his attributions.

ART. 154. Every official act signed by the King must be countersigned, according to its character, either by all the ministers or by the minister concerned.

Art. 155. Charges may be brought against ministers by the Sational Assembly for treason against the country or the King, for violations of the Constitution, for corruption in office or injuries to the Kingdom in the furtherance of personal ends.

ART. 136. Every accusation against a minister must be presenter in rriting, with an enumeration of all the charges, and must be signed by at least one fourth of the members of the National Assembly.

Art. 157. A majority of two thirds of the members of the As-embly present is necessary in order to place a minister on trial.

ART. 158. Ministers are tried by a special court of the State, the composition of which shall be determined by a law.

ART. 159. The King may not pardon a minister without the consent of the National Assembly.

Art. 160. The execution of the laws is entrusted to the grand berlies of the State called the ministries.

ART. 161.1 The ministries are ten in number:

1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship. 2. The Ministry of the Interior and Public Health. 3. The Ministry of Public Instruction. 4. The Ministry of Finance. 5. The Ministry of Justice. 6. The Ministry of War. 7. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labor. 8. The Ministry of Agriculture and Domains of the State. 9. The Ministry of Public Works. 10. The Ministry of Railways, Posts and Telegraphs. Art. 162. A minister is placed at the head of each ministry.

Art. 163. The King has the right of appointment to all the offices of the State.

Art. 164. Every official takes an oath of fidelity to the King and the Constitution.

Art. 165. Every official is responsible for acts pertaining to his duties.

Art. 166. All officials appointed by the government are entitled to a pension, the basis and amount of which shall be determined by a special law.



ART. 167. Proposals for the modification or revision of the Constitution are made in the manner prescribed for the making of laws (Articles 108 and 109).

Art. 168. In order to be adopted, the proposals referred to in the preceding article must receive a majority of more than two thirds of all the members of the National Assembly present.

ART. 169. The Grand National Assembly is convened to examine the proposals mentioned in Article 167 and decides, by a two-thirds majority of its members present, questions concerning the modification or revision of the Constitution.

1 As amended 11/24 July 1911.


On 12 February 1912, as the result of a revolution, the oldest of monarchies became a republic. The settlement at the close of the revolution, which united the northern and southern provinces into the Republic of China, included among its terms the permanent union of North and South China and the abdication of the Emperor. Deiegates from seventeen provinces met in Nanking and drafted a Prorisional Constitution, which was promulgated by the Provisional President, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, on 11 March 1912. This Provisional Constitution, consisting of 56 articles, made provision (Article 53) for a National Assembly, which first met on 8 April 1913 as a bicameral body and initiated the drafting of a permanent Constitutioni. Before the completion of the draft, Articles 56-62, respecting the election of a President and Vice President, were passed by the Assembly and Yuan Shih-k'ai was elected President. The entire draft Constitution of 113 articles was completed and submitted on 3 November 1913 to the two houses of the National Assembly, but, before it could be adopted, Yuan, because he suspected complicity in the rebellion along the Yangtse River, unseated the Kuo-ming-tang members or Democrats—a fact which destroyed the quorum of both houses and in effect dissolved the National Assembly. Yuan thereupon appointed a Council of State (Ts'an Chêng Yuan), which in turn appointed a committee to draw up a new constitution. This is the Constitutional Compact of the Chung Hua Min Kuo of 68 articles, promulgated on 1 May 1914,1 by which Yuan became it virtual dictator. Attempts to revert to a monarchy were checked only by the death of Yuan on 6 June 1916. The Provisional Constitution of 11 March' 1912 was then revived, and in September the National Assembly was reconvened. The revision of the draft Constitution was immediately taken up and was nearly completed when the National Assembly was suddenly dissolved in June 1918.2

1C1, The China Year Book, 1916, pp. 437-443.

* These introductory paragraphs are based upon MIN-CH'IEN T. Z. TYAU, China's New Constitution and International Problems (Shanghai, 1918), which gives a brief history of the constitutional development, an analysis of the permanent Constitution so nearly adopted in 1918 and an estimate of the latter in comparison with the Provisional Constitution and the constitutions of other countries. Cf. also The Statesman's Year Book (1917 and 1918) and The China Year Book (1916).


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