« AnteriorContinua »
tacit or express convention. Hence their powers differ very widely in different states. In some they exercise a very extensive jurisdiction over the subjects of the state which appoints them ; but the extent of this jurisdiction is not discretionary, and inust, in all cases, be regulated either by an express convention between the state appointing and the state receiving the consul, or by custom. Consuls established in England have no judicial power; and the British government has rarely stipulated with other powers for mueh judicial authority for its consuls. Turkey, however, is an exception to this remark. English consuls enjoy in that country several peculiar privileges conferred by ancient treaties, and confirmed by that signed at the Dardanelles in 1809. It is there stipulated and agreed upon
“ That if there happen any suit, or other difference or dispute, among the English themselves, the decision thereof shall be left to their own ambassador or consul, according to their custom, without the judge or other governors, our slaves, intermeddling therein.
** That if an Englishman, or other subject of that nation, shall be involved in any lawsuit, or other affair connected with law, (with a Turk,) the judge shall not hear nor decide thereon, until the ambas. sador, consul, or interpreter shall be present; and all suits exceeding the value of 4,000 aspers shall be heard at the Sublime Porte, and nowhere else.
* That the consuis appointed by the English ambassadors in our sacred dominions, for the protection of their merchants, shall never, under any pretence, be iinprisoned, nor their houses sealed up, nor themselves sent away; but all suits or differences in which they may be involved, shall be represented to our Sublime Porte, where their ambassador will answer for them.
" That in case any Englishman, or other person subject to that nation, or navigating under its flag, should happen to die in our sacred flominions, our fiscal and other officers shall not, upon pretence of its not being known to whom the property belongs, interpose any opposition or violence, by taking or seizing the effects that may be found at his death, but they shall be delivered up to such Englishman, who ever he may be, to whom the deceased may have left them by his will; and should he have died intestate, then the property shall be delivered up to the English consul, or his representative who may be then present, and in case there be no consul, or consular representative, they shall be registered by the judge, in order to his delivering up the whole thereof, whenever any ship shall be sent by the ambassador to receive the same."
Conformably to these capitulations, and the by-laws of the Levant Company, Nos. 39, 40, and 41., the consuls were authorised to administer justice in all cases of contention amongst British subjects within the Turkish dominions; and they were further authorised to send to England, in safe custody, any British subject resident in Turkey, who should decline their jurisdiction, or appeal from them to the courts of the Grand Signior, or of any other potentate. And the act 6 Geo. 4. c. 33. § 4., for the abolition of the Levant Company, expressly provides for the continuance to the consuls appointed hy his Majesty, of the same rights and duties of jurisdiction over British subjects in Turkey, that were enjoyed by the consuls appointed by the Company.
At present, therefore, consuls in Turkey enjoy extensive judicial powers; but owing to the freedom of Turkish commerce, and the simplicity of the regulations under which it is carried on, their other functions, with the exception of furnishing statistical details, Mr. Urquhart, whose opinion as to all that respects Turkey is deservedly of considerable weight, seems to think that the judicial powers enjoyed by the European consuls in that country have been productive of much mischief. Still, however, we doubt whether they could be entirely dispensed with in a country so peculiarly situated. But there can be no doubt that it is highly necessary that the greatest care should be taken in the selection of the individuals to whom such powers are intrusted.
Other states have occasionally given to consuls similar powers to those conceded to them in Turkey. Thus, in the treaty between Sweden and the United States of America, ratified on the 24th of July, 1818, it is stipulated that the consuls appointed by either government to reside within the dominions of the other, or their substitutes, *shall, as such, have the right of acting as judges or arbiters in all cases of differences which may arise between the captains and crews of the vessels of the nation whose affairs are intrusted to their care. The respective governments shall have no right to interfere in these sort of affairs, except in the case of the conduct of the crews disturbing public order and tranquillity in the country in which the vessel may bappen to be, or in which the consul of the place may be obliged to call for the intervention and support of the executive power, in order to cause his decision to be respected; it being, however, well understood, that this sort of judgment or arbitration cannot deprive the contending parties of their rights of appealing on their return to the judicial authorities of their country.”
Duties of Consuls. The duties of a consul, even in the confined sense in which they are commonly understood, are important and multifarious. It is his business to be always on the spot, to watch over the commercial interests of the subjects of the state whose servant he is; to be ready to assist them with advice on all doubtful occasions; to see that the conditions in commercial treaties are properly observed ; that those he is appointed to protect are subjected to no unnecessary or unjustifiable demands in condueting their business ; to represent their grievances to the authorities at the place where they reside, or to the ambassador of the sovereign appointing him at the court on which the consulship depends, or to the government at home; in a word, to exert him. self' to render the condition of the subjects of the country employing him, within the are brought together for their mutual advantage, ancient prejudices are obliterated, and mankind are civilised and enlightened.” - (Vol. i. p. 366.) i
COMPOSITION, in commerce, commonly implies the dividend or sum paid by an insolvent debtor to his creditors, and accepted by them in payment for their debts.
CONEY WOOL (Ger. Kaninchenwolle ; Du. Konynhair; Fr. Poil de lapin ; It. Pelo di Caniglio ; Sp. Conejuna), the fur of rabbits. This article is extensively used in the hat manufacture; and besides the large supplies raised at home, a great deal is imported. The imports usually range from about 300,000 to about 500,000 skins a year.
CONSTANTINOPLE, a famous city of South-eastern Europe, formerly the metropolis of the Eastern, as it still is of the Turkish Empire, on a triangular point of land, on the European side of the Sea of Marmara (Propontis), at the point where it unites with the Bosphorus, or channel leading to the Black Sea, lat. 41° 0' 12" N., lon. 28° 59' 2" E. Population variously estimated at from 300,000 to 600,000, but believed, by the best authorities, to be about 450,000. The situation of this renowned city is, in a commercial point of view, one of the finest imaginable. Standing on the narrow straits uniting the Mediterranean and Euxine Seas, she at once commands, and is the entrepót for, the commerce between them. The harbour is most excellent. It consists of an extensive inlet, or arm of the sea, stretching along the north-east side of the city, which it divides from the suburbs of Galata and Pera. It has sufficient depth
The of water to fioat the largest ships, and can accommodate more than 1,000 sail. strong current that sets through the Bosphorus into the sea of Marmara strikes against Seraglio Point -(see Plan); a part of the water, being in consequence forced into the harbour, runs along its south-western side in the direction marked by the arrows (see Plan), till, arriving at its extremity, it escapes by the opposite side. In the middle the water is still. On leaving the port, it is necessary to keep well over to the northern side ; for otherwise the ship might be taken by the current, and driven on Seraglio Point, It may be worth while, however, to remark, that, notwithstanding this inconvenience, the current has been of signal service to the city, by scouring the har. bour, and carrying away the filth and ballast by which it must otherwise have been long since choked up. The distance across from Seraglio Point to the opposite suburb of Scutari, on the Asiatic coast, is rather more than an English mile. Within less than
of a mile of the latter is a rocky islet, upon which is a tower and light house, known by the name of the Tower of Leander. Foreigners reside in Galata, Pera, and the suburbs on the eastern side of the harbour ; and it is there, consequently, that the principal trade of the place is carried on. The quays are good, and ships lie close alongside.
The Bosphorus, or channel of Constantinople, runs in a N. E. by N. direction about 15 miles, varying in breadth from 14 to ļ a mile. It is swept by a rapid current, which it requires a brisk gale to stem, and has throughout a great depth of water. The Hellespont, or strait of the Dardanelles, leading from the Archipelago to the Sea of Marmara, is about 13 leagues in length. Its direction is nearly N. E. Where narrowest, it is little more than a mile across. It also is swept by a strong current, and has deep water throughout.
The subjoined plan of part of Constantinople and its port is copied, without reduction, from the beautiul plan of the city and Bosphorus, drawn and engraved by M. Merzoff Robert of Munich, and published by Mr. Wilde, of this city.
Nothing can be more imposing than the appearance of the city when seen from the sea, but on landing the illusion vanishes. The streets are narrow, dark, ill-paved, and irregular,
Owing to the want of any effective system of police, and of the most ordinary attention to cleanliness, they are extremely filthy; and are infested with herds of dogs, and also with rats, which perform the functions of scavengers.
The houses are mostly built of wood, and fires are very frequent. Most of these happen designedly; the burning of a few hundred houses being deemed the readiest and most effectual means of making the government aware of the public dissatisfaction, and of procuring a Tedress of grievances !
Money. - Accounts are kept in plastres of 40 paras, or 120 aspers. The Turkish coin has been so much derraded, that the piastre, which a few years ago was worth 24. sterling, is now piastres, and a bag of gold (kitse) = 30,000 piastres:
the pik is estimated at of an English yard. 176 drams = 1 rottolo ; 2.279 rottoli = 1 oke; 6 okes = 1 batman ; i batman: =l quintal or cantaro = 124.457. (124 very nearly lbs. avoirdupols = 56.437 kilogrammes = 116-527
Oil and other liquids are sold by the alma or meter = l gal lbs. of livinburg. The quintal of cotton is 45 okes = 127-2 The pik, or pike, is of two sorts, the greater and the less.
The Port Charges on account of English Texcels in the The greatur, called halebi or arechim, used in the measurement
worth little more than 6d.
A bag of silver (kofer) = 500 Wirts and Measures. The corrimercial weights are
of silks and woollens, is very near 28 inches (27.9). Ty called endere, used in the measuring of cottons, carpets, 27 inches. Hence 100 100g piks=77.498 English yar 100 short piks = 75.154 do. But in ordinary corninercial.
Cornis mesured by the kisloz or killor=0.941 of a chester bushel, 8) kisloz = 1 quarter. The fortin = 4 kis
Ibs. apoir lupois.
3 pints English wine measure. The alma of oil should weigh
the direction of the currents. The soundings are in fathoms.
References to Plan. —- A, Seraglio Point; B, Galata; C, Scutari ; D, Tower and light-house of Leander. The arrows show
Trade, fc. – Owing to the vicious institutions of the Turks, and the disorganised state of the empire, the trade of Constantinople is very far from being so extensive as might be supposed from its situation and population. The imports consist of corn, iron, timber, tallow, and furs, principally from the Black Sea ; and of cotton stuffs and yarn, coal, tin, tin plates, woollens, silks, cutlery, watches and jewellery, paper, glass, furniture, indigo, cochineal, &c. from England and other European countries. Corn and coffee are imported from Alexandria; but considerable quantities of Brazil and West India coffee are also imported, particularly in British and American bottoms. Sugar is partly imported from the East, but principally from the West Indies. The exports consist of silk, which is by far the most important article, carpets, hides, wool, Angola goats' hair, yellow berries, boxwood, opium; galls, bullion and diamonds, and a few