No. 312.
Mr. Maynard to Mr. Fish.

No. 94.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on Thursday last, the 7th instant, occurred the grand inaugural ceremony of girding the new Sultan with the imperial sword. The act of investiture appears to have been a simple affair, performed by a high religious official from Koniah, (the ancient Iconium,) hereditary to this function, in presence of but few, and they of the faithful, to the exclusion of all non-Mussulmans, and within the little mosque of Eyoub on the Golden Horn, just beyond the old walls of Stamboul. From this point the Sultan, now emperor de [Page 585] jure as well as de facto, rode in the procession, entering the city by the Adrianople gate, the same, according to tradition, entered originally by his conquering ancestor, and following his course quite through the city to the seraglio. The way on both sides was lined by a countless multitude: men, women, and children, of all ages and conditions. Handsome accommodations were provided by the ministry of foreign affairs for the Diplomatic Corps. * * *

The inaugural hatt was read with the usual solemnities at the Sublime Porte on the 10th, Sunday last. An official translation appeared in the papers last evening, of which a copy is inclosed.

It will be observed that the former ministry is retained, indicating that for the present, at least, public affairs will keep in the accustomed channel.

I am, &c.,


The Imperial “Hatt.”

[From the Daily Levant Herald of September 12, 1876.]

The following is the text of the inaugural address of the new Sultan’s reign, read at the Porte on Sunday last, of which we gave the chief points in our impression of yesterday:

My Illustrious Vizier, Mehemet Rushdi Pasha: My beloved brother Sultan Murad V having, by the will of Providence, had sovereign power and the khalifate withdrawn from him, I have ascended the throne of my ancestors in conformity with the prescriptions of Ottoman law.

Considering your known experience, integrity, and zeal, and your long acquaintance with state affairs, I confirm you in the post of grand vizier and president of the council of ministers, and I maintain all the members of the cabinet and the other state functionaries in their respective posts. In placing my full and entire confidence in God, I firmly hope that all the ministers and public functionaries of the empire will aid and co-operate with me in carrying my intentions into execution. Those intentions have exclusively in view the consolidation and glory of my empire and the complete enjoyment, by all my subjects, without distinction, of freedom, of the benefits which result from public tranquillity and the good and even-handed administration of justice.

All the world knows that the present situation of the Ottoman Empire is critical. The multifarious causes which have brought about this sad state of things all spring chiefly from one source, namely, the insufficient and inequitable execution of the laws, based upon the prescriptions of the sheri, (the public and sacred law,) as also the fluctuating diversity and want of uniformity in the administration of the affairs of the country. Irregularities and illegalities have crept into the administration for some years past. Mistrust has taken possession of the public mind on the subject of our finances, and the failure of our credit has been the consequence. The working of the tribunals has been defective, and they have not succeeded in insuring the rights of the public. Our industry, commerce, agriculture, and all the elements which contribute to the prosperity of a people have lacked development, although our country, as all the world admits and recognizes, is well placed for the enjoyment of these advantages. All that has been attempted hitherto for the prosperity of the nation and for individual liberty, for the tranquillity and well-being of all our subjects, natives and foreigners, without exception; all the endeavors hitherto made to accomplish these ends have not been crowned with success; and this has chiefly arisen from frequent changes in the administration and the failure to follow out steadily a uniform system. This general regrettable result, in fine, is traceable to the fact that the laws and regulations of the country have not been adhered to in letter or in spirit in a stable and persistent manner.

The great object to be aimed at is, therefore, to adopt measures for placing the laws and regulations of the country upon bases which shall inspire confidence in their execution. For this purpose it is indipensable to proceed to the establishment of a general council, or national assembly, (the original Turkish expression is medjiliss oumoumi,) whose acts will inspire every confidence in the nation, and will be in harmony with the customs, aptitudes, and capabilities of the populations of the empire. The mission and duty of this council will be to guarantee, without exception, the faithful execution of [Page 586] the existing laws or of those which shall be promulgated in conformity with the provisions of the sheri, in connection with the real and legitimate wants of the country and its inhabitants, as also to control the equilibrium of the revenue and expenditures of the empire.

The council of ministers is called upon to devote itself to a thorough consideration of this important question, and to submit to me the result of its deliberations.

Another impediment to the good execution of the laws and regulations has arisen out of the facility with which public functions are often confided to incompetent hands, and from the fact of public servants and employés being subject to frequent changes, unjustified on legitimate grounds, which entails very serious inconvenience upon the state and the transaction of public affairs. Henceforward every public function and employment will constitute a special career. To employ in the service of the state capable and competent persons; not to allow of any dismissal or transfer without valid cause; to establish ministerial responsibility, as well as the graduated responsibility of all public functionaries of every rank, each in what concerns his own duties: this is the invariable rule which it is advisable to adopt.

The material and moral progress which all the world is at one in acknowledging in European nations has been accomplished, thanks to the diffusion of public instruction, science, and the fine arts. Now as my subjects of all classes have, I am happy to declare, by their intelligence and natural capacity, special aptitudes for progress, and as the propagation of education constitutes in my eyes a pressing and vital question, you will consider without delay the best means of insuring this important result, by raising the aggregate amount allotted to public instruction in the budget in a sufficient proportion and as far as possible.

Moreover, immediate reform must be effected in the provinces—administrative, financial, and judicial reform—in order to create throughout the provinces a really normal state of things, and one in conformity with the bases adopted for the central organization.

To the disturbances which broke out last year in the Herzegovina and Bosnia, at the instigation of evil-intentioned people, the rebellion of Servia has been since superadded. Considering that the blood spilt on one side and the other is that of sons of a common country, I am profoundly afflicted at the continuation of this state of things. It behooves you, therefore, to take the most effectual measures for putting an end to so deplorable a situation.

I confirm all the treaties concluded with friendly powers. While maintaining their faithful execution, you will endeavor to draw still closer the amicable relations which we entertain with these powers.

Such are, in substance, my wishes, such my intentions! May the Almighty deign to crown our efforts with success!