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Conduct alone that name can give;
A Brahmana must steadfast live,
Devoid of sin and free from wrong;
For lie who walks low paths along,
Still keeping to the way, shall come
Sooner and safer to his home
Than the proud wanderer on the hill;
And reading, learning, praying, still
Are outwards deeds which ofttimes leave
Barren of fruit minds that helieve.
Who practises what good he knows
Himself a Brahmana he shows;
And if an evil nature knew
The sacred Vedas through and through,
"With all the Srutis, still must he,
Lower than honest Sudra be.
To know and do the right, and pay
The Sacrifice, in peace alway,
This maketh one a Brahmana."
Y. "Right skilfully hast thou my questionings met,
K. "Dead though he be, that mortal lives
Then spake the Yaksha: "Wondrously, oh King!
Ho Yudhisthira said,
"But see where Bhima lies
But Yudhisthira answered: " Faith and Right,
Then the Voice
THE MUNICIPAL ORGANIZATION OF
I.—Its Present State.
IN the debate of the 10th of February on tbe laws against Pretenders, M. Challemel Lacour, our former ambassador in London, was enumerating the various exceptional laws existing in the different countries of Europe. "You will still find/' he added, " in our own rich arsenal of laws, certain exceptional laws which no member on that side," indicating the Right, " will be disposed to abrogate, so long as they are laws which only concern the municipal government of the city of Paris." (Various movements—laughter from the Right.) "Can you deny it, gentlemen, that the city of Paris is under an exceptional regime?"
No one cared to answer the question. In fact, in this overcentralized country, whfcre the whole machinery of government is organized for the purpose of checking local initiative and suppressing every strong and enterprising individuality, it has been found possible to place Paris itself, in the matter of municipal rights, on a lower level than the commune of Blanchefontaine, which numbers twentyfour inhabitants. Blanchefontaine elects her own mayor; Paris has no mayor to elect. Blanchefontaine creates her own rural police, if she wants one; Paris is under a prefect of police. The mayor of Blanchefontaine carries out the decisions of her municipal council; ia Paris, as there is no mayor, the decisions of the municipal council only get carried out if the Prefect of the Seine or the Prefect of Police happens to like them.
This is startling even at first sight; but on a further study of this complicated organization, in which every function is mixed up with every other, surprise gives way to astonishment.
A few figures may be necessary, in the first place, to show the importance of the issues raised as to the Municipal Organization of Paris and of the Department of the Seine. Paris occupies a superficies of 7,802 hectares (about 30 sq. ro.)—of which 714 are covered by the bed of the river—in the centre of the Department of the Seine, which has a superficies of 47,550 hectares (about 183 sq. m.). The population of the department in 1876 was 2,410,000; by the census of 1881 it had reached 2,799,000. Before the passing of the law of June 16, 1859, the city of Paris, properly so called, was bounded by the outer boulevards; the space between these boulevards and the circumvallations' was called the banlieue, and was divided into distinct communes. Since that law, the whole territory comprised within the circumvallations forms a single commune, which had, in 1861, 1,696,000; in 1866, 1,799,000; in 1872, 1,794,000; in 1876, 1,988,000; in 1881, 2,269,000 inhabitants. The population has thus increased in five years by 280,000. All the communes of the Seine, except Paris, have the same right as any other communes. They have the same relations with the Prefect of the Seine that other communes have with the prefects of their respective departments. But it is otherwise with Paris.
While all other communes have a mayor, elected by their municipal council, Paris has no mayor at all, and the functions of the mayoralty are performed by the two Prefects, of the Seine and of Police, both agents of the central executive. Paris has no mayor; and yet she is under a double mayoralty, which in no way represents her, and which is imposed upon her by the Government.
Sometimes this double situation has singular results. The commune of Gennevilliers went to law with the city of Paris. It was necessary, first of all, to obtain the authorization of the Prefect of the Seine to plead against himself as mayor of Paris! By the law of 1837, the decisions of the municipal councils require the approval of the prefect before they can be carried out But in this case the prefect is also mayor; and in no other commune has the mayor any such right.
Let us trace the history of this singular legislation from the time of the Revolution.
On the 15th of June, 1789, Bailly was proclaimed Mayor of Paris, and a provisional municipality was installed. A law of the 21st of May, 1790, provides that the municipality of Paris, based upon election, shall consist of a mayor, sixteen administrators, thirty-two municipal councillors, ninety-six notables, and a procureur of the commune, with two substitutes. "During the two years that this organization lasted/' says M. de Laborde, a former Prefect of the Seine, "the city of Paris was administered with order, equity, and economy.'"
On the 10th of August, 1792, this municipality was replaced by the insurrectionary commune; on the 14th Fructidor of the year 2 the Convention, a centralizing government, itself undertook the administration of Paris. The law of the 11th of October, 1795, broke up the unity of Paris, by dividing it into twelve independent administrations, in such a way as to leave absolute control in the hands of the central power, the Directory.
Bonaparte did not care to restore to Paris its municipal rights. On'the contrary, by the law of the 28th Pluviose in the year 8, he instituted the two prefectures, of the Seine and of Police; and he provided for the administration of Paris by a general council, the members of which were nominated by himself. This council had no other right than that of voting on the matters submitted to it. It had absolutely no initiative. This system lasted till the law of 1834, which restored the elective basis of the council, but made no change in its functions. The law of 1837, on the communal organization of France, did not touch Paris at all, but the report announced that a law would be prepared. Paris is still waiting for that law. The revolution of 1848 instituted a commission at the Hotel de Ville. The law of the 5th of May, 1855, retained the commission. It was nominated by the head of the State.
This commission of sixty members carried on the administration uncontrolled and irresponsible. It had nothing to do but to say Amen to the wishes of the Emperor and the Prefect of the Seine. In 1870 it left the city charged with debt and weighted with burdensome contracts. The law of the 14th of April, 1871, passed during the Commune by the reactionary Assembly of Versailles, gave back to Paris the election of its municipal council. It is this law, in conjunction with the general laws of Pluviose in the year 8, of 1837, of 1855, and of 1867, and, as regards police, the resolution of Messidor in the year 8, which still governs the municipal organization of Paris.
Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements, each subdivided into four quarters. Each quarter, whatever its population, elects one councillor, making a total of eighty. There must be added for each arrondissement a mayor and three assessors—appointed by the head of the Executive, on the nomination of the Prefect of the Seine. These, in reality, are but officers of the civil service, whose duty it is to act as registrars of births, deaths, and marriages, to help in making up the lists of jurymen and electors, and to preside over the electoral registers, the bureaux de bienfaisance, the cantonal delegations of the schools, &c.; they have no commune to govern j they form no part of the municipal council.
The municipal councillors are summoned by the prefect. There arc four ordinary sessions a year, and four extraordinary. The prefect has power to suppress the extraordinary sessions, and he can regulate their order of the day. This last right he actually exercised under certain