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tried, the members of which are both Christians and Mussulmans, and which holds its sittings at Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus; and, secondly, the Medjlis el Tijaret, sitting at Larnaca where commercial suits are heard, the members of which consist of equal numbers of Europeans and natives, each important Consulate sending a delegate, and the natives being half Christian and half Mussulman, making a total of twelve. Thus fair guarantees of justice are afforded to the population of this commercial town, where, too, the several Consulates are able to watch the proceedings of the Court. At the capital the Medjlis el Tahkik cannot adequately attend to the criminal jurisdiction of the whole island, the majority of cases being disposed of by the District Courts where Christian testimony is inadmissible.
“Another grievance of which the Greeks have to complain is the unequal distribution of the personal tax called “verghi,” of which they pay in most villages more than their fair share ; but this is an evil which .# be quickly remedied could they make themselves heard in the Central Medilis.
“Though they have just cause then to complain of the inferior position which they hold in the eye of the law in the instances already mentioned, both Mussulmans and Christians have equal cause to be dissatisfied with the mal-administration which, in these days of commercial activity, arrests the development of the resources of the island. The government derives a revenue of £230,000 from Cyprus, and the expenses of administration amount at most to £30,000, the surplus of £200,000, finding its way to the Treasury at Constantinople. Nothing whatever is spent on the improvement of the country, no roads are constructed, no bridges thrown across the winter torrents. But these and other instances of a careless or vicious administration which could be enumerated are not exclusively detrimental to the interests of the Greek population, and, therefore I refrain from dwelling on them here. But I think that there can be no doubt that the evils which press equally upon Turks and Greeks are more intolerable than those of which the Greeks alone have cause to complain.”
Consul Lang, during his nine years' residence in Cyprus, appears to have gained considerable knowledge of the working of the administration; he considered that the representatives of the people were assigned an important position in the councils of the island, and that it was partly from servility and partly from incapacity on the part of the elected members, that so little advantage was reaped by the people, but this was a defect, not in the system, but in its execution. lt seems that in Cyprus, it is not so much the laws themselves, but rather the administration of the laws which needs reform. The Ottoman Government is noted for publishing innumerable firmans, laws, and ordinances, which leave but little room for improvement as regards either completeness or natural equity; and it has been either the disregard or the mal-administration of these laws, which has done so much injury in the country. It is said that there is a code of commercial law based upon the Code Napoléon; also that the criminal code is both comprehensive and sensible; the property laws appear to be somewhat complicated, but it is believed that when they have been thoroughly investigated, a clear system will be found to pervade them. The foundation of Turkish law is the sheri, a religious compilation comprising the Koran and a series of maxims. This law cannot be altered by the secular power, but supplementary and elucidatory enactments suited to modern requirements, may be, and have been, added; these are known as the destour, or Ottoman secular law. The annex of the recent convention between Great Britain and Land tenure. Turkey (see page 27) seems to recognise four different ownerships
of land—State land, Crown land, Church land, and private land;
• IV. That the Sublime Porte may freely sell and lense all lands and other property in Cyprus belonging to the Ottoman Crown and State, the produce of which i." not form part of the revenue of the island referred to in Article III.
+ This question, which is of great importance, is further explained in letters from the “Times” correspondent in Cyprus, contained in the issues of that newspaper of September 9th, and October 9th, 1878.
law of which they are the instruments, They will have to be properly clothed and fairly paid, so that their position may be raised in the estimation of the natives. It is believed that amongst the Zaptiehs are to be found the materials for the formation of an excellent police force, which will naturally now be thrown open to Christians, instead of being, as hitherto, confined only to Mussulmans.
The following Order in Council, dealing with the administration of the government in Cyprus under British rule, has been promulgated.
“At the Court at Balmoral, the 14th day of September, 1878.
The QUEEN's Most Excellent Majesty.
Mr. Secretary Cross.
“Whereas it is expedient to make provision for the exercise of the power and jurisdiction vested by Treaty in #. Majesty the Queen in and over the Island of Cyprus:
“Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by virtue of the powers in this behalf by the Foreign Jurisdiction Acts, 1843 to 1878, or otherwise in Her vested, is pleased by and with the advice of Her Privy Council to order, and it is ordered, as follows:—
“I. There shall be a High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief (hereinafter called ‘the High Commissioner’) in and over the said Island of Cyprus (hereinafter called ‘the said island'), and the person who shall fill the said office of High Commissioner shall be from time to time appointed by Commission under. Her Majesty's Sign-Manual and Signet. “II. The High Commissioner shall administer the government of the said Island in the name and on behalf of Her Majesty, and shall do and execute in due manner all things that shall belong to his said command and to the trust thereby reposed in him, according to the several powers and authorities granted or appointed to him by virtue of this Order, and of such Commission as may be issued to him under Her Majesty's Sign-Manual and Signet, and according to such instructions as may from time to time be given to him, under #, Majesty's Sign-Manual and Signet, or by Order of Her Majesty in Council, or by Her Majesty through one of Her Principal Secretaries of State, and according to such Laws and Ordinances as are or shall hereafter be in orce in the said Island. “III. The High Commissioner shall have an Official Seal bearing the style of his office, and such device as one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State from time to time approves, and such seal shall be deemed the public seal of the said Island, and may be kept and used by the High Commissioner for the sealing of all things whatsoever that shall pass the seal of the said Island. And until a 'i. seal shall be provided for the said Island, the seal of the High Commissioner may be used as the public seal of the said Island for og all things that shall pass the said seal. “IV. There shall be in the said Island a Legislative Council, constituted as hereinafter mentioned. “V. It shall be lawful for the High Commissioner, with the advice of the said Legislative Council, to make all such Laws and Ordinances, as may from time to time be necessary for the peace, order, and good government of the said Island, subject, nevertheless to all such instructions as Her Majesty may from time to time issue under Her Sign-Manual and Signet for the guidance of the High Commissioner and of the said Legislative #. therein : Provided, nevertheless, that full authority is hereby reserved to Her Majesty, through one of Her Principal Secretaries of State, to confirm or disallow any such Laws and Ordinances as aforesaid in the whole or in part, and to make and establish from time to time, with the advice of Her Privy Council, all such Laws or Ordinances as may to Her appear necessary for the peace, order, and good government of the said Island as }. as if this Order has not been made. “WI. The Legislative Council for the said island shall consist of the High Commissioner for the time being, and of such other public officers and persons within the same, not being less than four or more than eight in number, as shall be named or designated for that purpose by Her Majesty, by any instruction or instructions, or warrant or warrants, to be by Her for that purpose issued under Her Sign-Manual and o ; or shall be provisionally appointed, subject to Her Majesty's will and pleasure, by the High Commissioner, in pursuance of any instruction or instructions, warrant or warrants, under such Sign-Manual as aforesaid: Provided always that one half of the members of the said Council, other than the said High Commissioner, shall be persons holding public offices in the said Island, who shall be styled ‘official members,’ and the other half shall be inhabitants of the said Island, who shall be styled “unofficial members,' and shall hold their seats at the said Council for a period of two years only, subject to reappointment for a like period as from time to time may seem fit. (c. V. In case any member of the said Council shall be temporarily absent from the said Island, or incapable of acting in the exercise of }. office, or in case he shall die, or from any cause shall cease to be a member of the said Council, it shall be lawful for the High Commissioner by any instrument under the seal of the island to appoint provisionally any fit person to be an official or unofficial councillor (as the case may be) in the place of such member ; and in all cases where such provisional appointment shall be made by reason of the temporary absence or incapacity of such member, so soon as he shall return to the said Island, or shall be declared by the High Commissioner capable of exercising his office of legislative councillor, the person so provisionally appointed shall cease to be a member of thes aid Council. Every such provisional appointment may be disallowed by Her Majesty, through one of Her Principal Secretaries of state, or may be revoked by the High Commissioner, by such instrument as aforesaid. “VIII. Every legislative councillor shall, notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure, and whenever a Councillor shall from any cause cease to hold office, the said Council may continue to transact business, and its proceedings shall be valid, notwithstanding that the proportion between the official and unofficial members may be temporarily altered, pending the appointment, provisionally or otherwise, of a new member in the place of the Councillor ceasing to hold office as aforesaid. * “IX. The oslicial members of the Council shall take precedence of the unofficial members, and shall take rank among themselves in the order of Ho". of their respective public offices, or, in case of any doubt, as the igh Commissioner shall direct. The unofficial members shall take rank according to the date of their appointment, or if appointed by the same instrument, according to the order in which they are named therein, unless the High Commissioner shall, in any case, otherwise direct. “X. The High Commissioner, or in his absence any member of the Council appointed by him in writing, or in default of such appointment the member present who shall stand first in order of precedence, shall preside at ever meeting of the said Council. All questions brought before the Council . be decided by the majority of the votes given, and the High Commissioner or Presiding Member shall have an original vote on all such questions, and also a casting vote if the votes shall be equally divided. | “XI. Until otherwise provided by the Council no business (except that of adjournment) shall be transacted, unless there shall be present three Members of Council besides the High Commissioner or Presiding Member. “XII. The Council shall in the transaction of business and passing of laws conform as nearly as may be to such instructions under Her R. SignManual and Signet as may hereafter be addressed to the High Commissioner in that behalf.
“XIII. Subject to such instructions the Council may make standing rules and orders for the regulation of their own proceedings. “XIV. If any Councillor shall become bankrupt or insolvent, or shall be convicted of any criminal offence, or shall absent himself from the said Island for more than three months without leave from the High Commissioner, the High Commissioner may declare in writing that his seat at the Council is vacant, and immediately on the publication of such declaration, he shall cease to be a Member of the Council. “XV. The High Commissioner may by writing under his hand and seal suspend any Councillor from the exercise of his office, proceeding therein in such manner as may from time to time be enjoined by such instructions under Her Majesty's Sign-Manual and Signet as may be addressed to the High Commissioner in that behalf. “XVI. Any unofficial Councillor may resign his office by writing under his hand, but no such resignation shall take effect until it be accepted in writing hy the High Commissioner, or by Her Majesty through one of Her Principal Secretaries of State. “XVII. No Law or Ordinance made by the High Commissioner with the advice of the said Legislative Council shall take effect until the High Commissioner shall have assented thereto in the name of Her Majesty and on Her behalf, and shall have signed the same in token of such assent. “XVIII. Notwithstanding anything in this Order contained, it shall be lawful for the High Commissioner, in cases of emergency, to make and proclaim, from time to time, Ordinances for the peace, order, and good government of the said Island, subject, however, to the disallowance of the whole or any part thereof by Her Majesty through one of Her Principal Secretaries of State ; and every such Ordinance shall have like force of law with an Ordinance made by the High Commissioner with the advice of the said Legislative Council as by this Order provided, for the space of not more than six months from its promulgation, unless the disallowance of such Ordinance by Her Majesty shall be earlier signified to the High Commissioner by one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, or unless such Ordinance shall be controlled or superseded by a Law or Ordinance made by the High Commissioner with the advice of the said Legislative Council. “XIX. Any Law or Ordinance, or any part thereof, made by the High Commissioner, with the advice of the said Legislative Council, or of his own authority by Proclamation as aforesaid, which shall be disallowed by Her Majesty under the provisions hereinbefore contained, shall cease to be of any force or effect so soon as the disallowance thereof shall be published in the said Island by the High Commissioner. “XX. The High Commissioner may make and execute in Her Majesty's name and on Her behalf, under the public seal of the said Island, grants and dispositions of any lands which may be lawfully granted or disposed of by Her Majesty within the said Island. “XXI. The High Commissioner may constitute and appoint all such Judges, Justices of the Peace, and other necessary officers in the said Island as may o be appointed by Her Majesty, all of whom shall hold their offices during Her Majesty's pleasure. “XXII. The High Commissioner may, as he shall see occasion, in Her Majesty's name and on Her behalf, grant to any offender convicted of any crime in any court, or before any Judge, Justice, or Magistrate within the said Island, a free and unconditional on, or a pardon subject to such conditions as may at any time be lawfully thereunto annexed, or any respite of the execution of the sentence of any such offender for such period as to him may seem fit. “XXIII. The High Commissioner may, as he shall see occasion, in Her Majesty's name and on Her behalf, remit any fines, penalties, or forfeitures which may accrue or become payable to Her, provided the same do not exceed the sum of fifty o: sterling in any one case, and may suspend the payment of any such fine, penalty, or forfeiture exceeding the said sum of fifty pounds, until Her Majesty's pleasure thereon shall i. signified to him. “XXIV. The High Commissioner may, upon sufficient cause to him appearing, suspend from the exercise of his office within the said Island any
made known and