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same sense. Therefore every bill proposed in the Federal Council by the Imperial Chancellor, accepted by the Federal Council without a change, and then submitted to the Imperial Diet by the same man, the Chancellor, appears in law as a Prussian proposal in the Federal Council, but as a bill of the Federal Council with respect to the Imperial Diet. But if we can prove that the Imperial bills are actually prepared, not by Prussia, but by the Imperial government, then we must say that the truth is the Imperial Chancellor, happening to be a Prussian member of the Federal Council, submits the bills of the Imperial government to the Federal Council legally in the name of Prussia only, because he has no constitutional right to submit them directly in the name of the Imperial government, or in the name of the emperor. But it would better correspond to facts when we say that the Imperial Chancellor as the chief of the Imperial government submits the government bills first to the Federal Council and then to the Imperial Diet, as the English government submits its bills to the House of Lords and the House of Commons; the Imperial Chancellor uses his membership in the Federal Council to submit to the Federal Council the bills of the Imperial government which he could not submit legally by any other means.
But is it true, as I have assumed thus far, that the Imperial Chancellor actually submits his bills to the Federal Council in the name of Prussia? The truth on this point is that the Chancellor submits a great many bills to the Federal Council "in the name of the emperor", and the rest only in the name of Prussia. That he submits bills to the Federal Council "in the name of the emperor ", can be seen in the published protocols of the Federal Council on customs and taxation. These protocols are the only ones of the Federal Council that are accessible to the public, the meetings of the Federal Council being secret, as mentioned above. Now these protocols disclose the fact that a great many bills are submitted to the Federal Council in the name of the emperor.
1 Prof. Laband, Ibid., p. 74; Prof. Seydel in "Jahrbuch von v. Holtzendorff und Brentano", Vol. III,
But how can the Imperial Chancellor do that? What right has he to do it? Our answer to this question must be: he has no constitutional right whatever in this respect. The Federal Council consists of representatives of the member states of the empire, of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, etc.' The German Emperor has no representatives in the Federal Council. Therefore bills can be proposed in the Federal Council only in the name of one or another of the member states of the empire, but never in the name of the emperor. Consequently from the standpoint of the written Constitution it is unconstitutional when the Chancellor proposes bills in the Federal Council in the name of the emperor.
However, by this I do not mean to denounce the practice of the Chancellor of proposing bills in the Federal Council in the name of the emperor. On the contrary, it is very honest in the Imperial government for the Chancellor to propose bills in the name of the emperor, since this implies an acknowledgment that the German Constitution has changed, and that Imperial bills are actually prepared now by the Imperial government, that is by a third independent factor besides the Federal Council and the Imperial Diet.
But one might ask: why does not the Chancellor submit all his bills to the Federal Council in the name of the emperor, if all of them are prepared by the Imperial government? Why does he submit part of the government bills in the name of the emperor, and part of them in the name of Prussia? The answer to these questions is that part of the government bills are prepared in "German Imperial offices ", and part of them in "Prussian ministerial departments", and, probably, those bills that are prepared in German Imperial offices are submitted in the name of the emperor, and those prepared in Prussian ministerial departments are submitted in the name of Prussia. That part of the bills are prepared in German Imperial offices and part of them in Prussian ministerial departments is a fact, for which I will quote Prof. Georg Meyer as an authority. On the other hand, that those bills prepared in the German Imperial offices are submitted in the name of the emperor, and those prepared in Prussian
1 Constitution, Article 6.
? Dr. Georg Meyer, Ibid., p. 94.
ministerial departments submitted in the name of Prussia, is only an assumption which, however, has much probability in its favor. Prof. Georg Meyer, for instance, favors this opinion. It might appear strange that one cannot tell definitely in each case, whether a bill was prepared in a German Imperial office or in a Prussian ministerial department; however, as a matter of fact, this is not known publicly, since the Imperial government, as well as the Prussian government, is surrounded by a veil of mystery. But whether any Imperial bill is prepared in a German Imperial office or in a Prussian ministerial department, it is, as a matter of fact, always prepared under the auspices of the Imperial Chancellor.' Substantially, therefore, all Imperial bills are bills of the Imperial government, whether they be prepared in German Imperial offices or in Prussian ministerial depart
What a wide difference is thus disclosed to us between the written Constitution and the actual Constitution of to-day! According to the written Constitution the Imperial bills are bills of the Federal Council; but actually they now are bills of the Imperial government as a third factor of Imperial legislation. Seeing this contrast, we must ask ourselves how has the change been brought about? It seems to me that the change can be explained very well in the following way.
EXPLANATION OF THE CHANGE.
Although the written Constitution makes the Federal Council the representative of the Imperial sovereign, and although Article 7, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution pronounces the right of every member of the union, of every member state, to propose bills, nevertheless it was tacitly understood among the governments which formed the union that Prussia should have the leadership of the union. Prussia made war with Austria in 1866 with the end in view to form a union of German states under the leadership of 2 Compare Prof. Laband, Ibid., p. 74.
Prussia with the exclusion of Austria. This is a well known historical fact. It is true that what Prussia wanted in the first place was to get the control of the foreign policy and the military affairs of Germany; but as Prof. Georg Meyer says, "There was no doubt that the union * * * was to be under the leadership of Prussia". And the connection in which Prof. Meyer uses that phrase shows that he means that there was no doubt that the legislation of the union. would be under the control of Prussia. And to expect that was only natural, when one considers the overwhelming importance of Prussia over against all other member states of the union together. This explains the fact that, from the foundation of the North German Federation, it was Prussia that proposed almost all bills within the Federal Council. However, that does not mean that Prussia was a third factor of Imperial legislation besides the Federal Council and the Imperial Diet; but it means that an inner circle of the Federal Council, the representatives of Prussia in it, prepared the Imperial bills within the Federal Council.
But what was the relation between Prussia and the Imperial administration at the time immediately after the foundation of the North German Federation? That federation was formed July 1st, 1867. At that time Count Bismarck was the Prussian prime minister. But less than two weeks after the foundation of the federation, on July 14th, 1867, King William I. of Prussia, as president of the federation, appointed Count Bismarck Chancellor of the North German Federation. To be Chancellor of the federation or empire means two distinct things: first, according to Article 15 of the Constitution, to be a member and at the same time the chairman of the Federal Council; and secondly, according to Article 17, to be the only responsible minister of the federation or empire. Having thus been made Chancellor, Count Bismarck united the following four different positions in his hands. He was first the Prussian prime minister, secondly a Prussian member of the Federal Council, thirdly the chairman of the Federal Council, and fourthly the chief of the Imperial administra
1 Dr. Georg Meyer, Ibid., p. 64.
tion. In his latter quality as head of the Imperial administration he has simply to supervise the execution of the Imperial laws according to Article 17, he being the assistant of the emperor in this respect, but has nothing to do with Imperial legislation. He could influence Imperial legislation, and he did influence it, only in his quality as Prussian member of the Federal Council, and he above all other Prussian members of the Federal Council, since he was at the same time as Prussian prime minister the leading statesman of Prussia. It was thus in his quality as Prussian prime minister that Count Bismarck controlled the Imperial legislation, he settling the policy to be followed either alone or together with the other members of the Prussian ministry. The business of Imperial administration did not amount to much within the first few years after the foundation of the North German Federation.
But the business of Imperial administration has increased step by step, steadily, and beyond all expectations, as Imperial legislation extended its domain over more and more spheres of interest. Soon it became necessary for the original Chancellor's office to differentiate, and to develop separate and independent organs for different administrative functions, the so-called "Imperial offices". To-day there exist about half a dozen of these Imperial offices, each of them being under a Secretary of State. These Secretaries of State may be called responsible Imperial ministers since the Imperial law of March 17th, 1878, each of the Secretaries being responsible for his department. That means, in other words, that an Imperial ministry has grown up which consists of the Imperial Chancellor, the Secretaries of Stateand, I venture to add, the Prussian minister of war; for the Prussian minister of war practically acts as the Imperial minister of war. Now, as I mentioned above, a great many Imperial bills are prepared in these Imperial offices. And I think that we are entitled to the assumption that now the Imperial policy is no longer settled in the Prussian ministry, but in the Imperial ministry, by the Imperial Chancellor with the advice of the Imperial Secretaries of State.