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nity or indemnity for the consequences of acts done through the whole course of his life previous to it; and that the purpose of the formalities insisted on was not to cast a mantle of protection round real criminals, but to secure that no person dwelling under British protection be delivered up to a foreign Government on specious and unreal grounds. But the British Government was bound by the new Act of Parliament; and the only issue from the difficulty was found in concessions by the United States Government, and in the making of a new treaty embodying the provisions of the Act.
(2.) The well-established British doctrine that no person could ever divest himself of the character of British citizenship when once it had attached, had led, in the circumstances of modern colonisation, travel, foreign residence and service, and commercial intercourse, to ambiguities and perplexities, in respect both of rights and of duties, which urgently called for Parliamentary relief. On the recommendation of a Royal Commission, the Naturalisation Act of 1870 was passed,' whicb entirely revolutionised the older doctrines, and established the position of foreigners in this country, and of Englishmen abroad, on a basis conformable to the requirements of civilisation and free international intercourse. By this Act, for the first time, aliens were enabled to own and to convey all kinds of property, excepting British shipping, under no other restrictions than those which apply to British citizens. A British citizen who became voluntarily naturalised in a foreign State was henceforth to cease to be a British citizen,
1 33 and 34 Vict. c. 14.
Lord Palmerston's Conspiracy Bill.
unless within two years he made such a declaration of his wish to remain a British citizen as was required by the Act. Provision was also made for the resumption of British nationality on the performance of the same conditions as were required for the naturalisation of aliens.
(3.) There is no doubt that by the English Common Law it is a misdemeanour for a number of British subjects to combine and conspire together to excite revolt among the inhabitants of a friendly State, or even to subscribe in this country to aid a rebellion against a foreign Government in amity with the Crown. It is remarkable, as an instance of Parliamentary assent to the principle of this doctrine, that when, in 1857, in consequence of the Orsini attempt to assassinate the Emperor of the French on the 14th of January, Lord Palmerston moved the reading for the first time of his Conspiracy Bill, the effect of which was to convert the crime of conspiracy to murder from being a misdemeanour into a felony punishable with penal servitude, the Bill, although strongly opposed, was read a first time by the vote of a majority of no less than two hundred. But between the first reading and the motion for the second reading of the Bill, the nation and the House of Commons had become almost irrationally indignant at a publication in the Moniteur of some assertions of members of the French army, speaking of the English as protectors of assassins,' and uttering threats to the effect that the infamous haunt in which such infernal • machinations were planned should be destroyed for • ever.' Lord Palmerston urged in the House that it
" See Forsyth's Cases and Opinions, p. 236 ; and Lord Lyndhurst in the House of Lords, March 4, 1853.
would be unworthy of the nation to be turned from a course otherwise proper by the idle vapourings of irresponsible swash-bucklers, and upon any paltry feelings • of offended dignity, or of irritation at the expressions • of three or four colonels of French regiments, to act • the childish part of refusing an important measure on • grounds so insignificant and trumpery. Mr. Milner Gibson moved as an amendment to the motion for the second reading, that this House cannot but regret that · Her Majesty's Government, previously to inviting the • House to amend the law of conspiracy at the present time, have not felt it to be their duty to reply to the
important despatch received from the French Govern• ment, dated January 20. This despatch was little more than a request that the British Government would assist the French Government in averting a repetition 6 of such guilty enterprises. In the course of the debate, Mr. Disraeli declared that, while on the first reading the question was between England and France, on this, the second reading, by some strange metamorphosis, it had become one between the House of Commons and the English Minister, and he announced that he sided with the House. This adroit ruse, by which the idea of the House's consistency was maintained, and the pent-up national indignation gratified by being directed against the Government of Lord Palmerston, succeeded in placing that Government in a minority of nineteen, which resulted in its resignation. The details are of some importance from a constitutional point of view, as showing that it was not the principle involved in the legislation proposed that was objected to by Parliament, but the time of and the alleged motives for that legislation."
· Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston, vol. ii. p. 142.
2. The legislation which has taken place of late years with respect to British subjects abroad has to do either with the constitution of Courts of Justice in foreign territory, by the authority of the Government of that territory,-if any organised Government exists; or with the rights and duties of British subjects anywhere outside British territory, as for instance on the high seas, or in districts or islands not subject to a recognised Government.
The right of extra-territorial jurisdiction was claimed in 1847 as being inherent in the Prerogative of the Crown in certain assigned cases. A Royal Warrant of that year, which constituted a Judicial Assessor on the Gold Coast of Africa, recites, that we have, by usage • and sufferance, or by one or other of these, or by other • lawful means, power and jurisdiction within divers • countries and places, not of, but adjacent to, our forts and settlements on the Gold Coast.'?
The Foreign Jurisdiction Act of 1843 ? recites that • whereas by treaty, capitulation, grant, usage, suffer• ance, and other lawful means, Her Majesty hath power ' and jurisdiction within divers countries and places out • of Her Majesty's dominions: and whereas doubts have • arisen how far the exercise of such power and juris• diction is controlled by and dependent on the laws • and customs of this realm, and it is expedient that 6 such doubts should be removed '--the Statute then enacts that it is and shall be lawful for Her Majesty • to hold, exercise, and enjoy any power or jurisdiction • which Her Majesty now hath or may at any time 'hereafter have within any country or place out of · Her Majesty's dominions, in the same and as ample ' a manner as if Her Majesty had acquired such power • or jurisdiction by the cession or conquest of territory.' An important extension of the principle of this Statute was contained in the Foreign Jurisdiction Act of 1878.1 Under this Act (sections 5 and 6), the power and jurisdiction conceded by the earlier Act of 1843 are extended to any country or place out of Her Majesty's • dominions, in or to which any of Her Majesty's subójects are for the time being resident or resorting, and • which is not subject to any Government from whom • Her Majesty might obtain power and jurisdiction by • treaty or any of the other means mentioned in the * Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1843.' The Queen in Council was also empowered to make, by Order in Council, for the government of Her Majesty's subjects being in any vessel at a distance of not more than one hundred miles from the coast of China or of Japan,
"Forsyth's Cases and Opinions, p. 232, and Earl Grey's Colonial Policy, vol.ii. p. 270.
2 6 and 7 Vict. c. 94.
any law that to Her Majesty in Council may seem • meet, as fully and effectually as any such law might be • made by Her Majesty in Council for the government of Her Majesty's subjects being in China or Japan.'
It seems to have been in virtue of the Foreign Jurisdiction Acts, from 1843 to 1878 inclusive, that the British government in Cyprus was organised in the year 1878. According to the London Gazette, a meeting of the Privy Council took place at Balmoral on September 14, 1878. At this meeting an Order in Council was made, the preamble of which runs as follows: • Whereas it is expedient to make provision for the
| 41 and 42 Vict. c. 67.