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tees; but as we have already seen, their responsibility in the parliamentary sense is delusive. It may be added that the elaborate procedure for impeachment 2 has never been used. The bureaucracy, or

The bureaucracy,

body of civil officials, demands, on the other hand, especial notice on account of its extraordinary power. As a rule, its members enjoy a stable tenure of office, and can be dismissed only for crime, or by means of disciplinary proceedings. A large proportion of them are Germans, but the bureaucracy seems to bring politics very little into its work. Count Taaffe, the late prime minister of Austria, who was himself trained in the administrative service, steadily refused to use it as a party tool, and made few appointments or removals for party purposes; and this although the Germans were generally opposed to him in Parliament." The absence of the



spoils system is all the more creditable, inasbut corrupt. much as corruption appears to be deep seated in Austrian public life. I say appears to be, because there is nothing so difficult to determine in any country as the probity of the public officials, and the loudest

1 Law of May 12, 1873, on the Order of Business in the Reichsrath (R. G. B. 94; Geller, Bd. I. p. 114), § 7.

2 Law of July 25, 1867, on Ministerial Responsibility (R. G. B. 101 ; Geller, Bd. I. p. 873).

3 Cf. Kais. Verord., March 10, 1860 (R. G. B. 64; Geller, Bd. II. p. 124); Gumplowicz, pp. 190-91. This does not, of course, apply to the high national or provincial positions.

4 Cf. "Les Partis Politiques et la Situation Parlementaire en Autriche," Karel Kramar, Ann. de l'Ecole Lib. des Sci. Pol., 1889, p. 342.

5 See "Politik und Verwaltung in Oesterreich," Anon., Unsere Zeit, 1888, vol. ii. p. 444.

outcry by no means indicates the greatest venality. There is, however, one piece of evidence in Austria that is directly in point. Some years ago, when the manager of a railroad was prosecuted for making profitable contracts with himself, and taking a percentage on the gains of other contractors, a former Minister of State declared on the witness stand that the Trinkgeld, or tip, was peculiarly an Austrian institution, extending from servants and waiters to the very members of the cabinet. If this is a fair statement, it makes one shudder to think what will happen in Austria if the parties ever get control of the bureaucracy, with its enormous power to interfere in every man's affairs.

The bureaucracy has, indeed, almost unlimited power for, although the fundamental laws purport Its enormous to guarantee certain personal rights, and one power, of them is framed for that especial object, yet in fact the guarantee is by no means thoroughly effective. Not only do these laws fail to impose a legal restraint on legislation, or render void a statute that infringes their provisions but some of their clauses are mere statements of general principles that still await legislation to carry them into effect, while others are limited and qualified, if not actually contradicted, by statutes which rob them of most of their value. Thus the

1 Rogge, Oesterreich seit der Katastrophe Hohenwart-Beust, vol. i. pp. 420-21. A similar revelation was made at the trial of the customs fraud cases in September, 1892. Sidney Whitman, The Realm of the Habsburgs, pp. 235–36.

2 The courts of law can pass upon the validity of ordinances, but are especially forbidden to inquire into the constitutionality of statutes. St. G. Richterlichegewalt, § 7.

8 Cf. Ulbrich, p. 38 et seq.

fundamental laws speak of a right to sue officials for injuries done in the exercise of their office,' but no law making this possible by providing a method of procedure has yet been passed. Again the right of over associa meeting and forming associations is recognized tions, in principle; but, except for trading societies and religious bodies belonging to particular sects, an association cannot in fact be formed without an official certificate, which may be refused in case its objects are illegal or dangerous to the state. Copies, moreover, of the by-laws of societies," of their reports to the members, of their meetings,' of the business transacted, of the officers elected, and in the case of a political 'society even of the names of new members,10 must be given to the government; and, in order to prevent any possible conspiracy, all correspondence between political societies is specially forbidden." The police 1 St. G. Regierungsgewalt, § 12.

2 Ulbrich, p. 67.

8 "Die österreichischen Staatsbürger haben das Recht, sich zu versammeln und Vereine zu bilden. Die Ausübung dieser Rechte wird durch besondere Gesetze geregelt." St. G. All. Rechte der Staatsbürger, § 12.

4 Act of Nov. 15, 1867 (R. G. B. 134; Geller, Bd. II. p. 610). On appeal, the Reichsgericht is called upon to decide, not whether the objects are dangerous to the state, but only whether there are any grounds on which the officials could so consider them. (Dec. of R. G. Apr. 30, 1874, cited by Geller, Bd. II. p. 611.) On this subject of associations and meetings, see, also, Ulbrich, pp. 51-52; Gumplowicz, §§ 192–93.

Act of Nov. 15, 1867, §§ 4–10.

• Id., § 13.

" Id., § 15.

8 If demanded. Id., § 18.

9 Id., § 12.

10 Id., § 32.

" Id., § 33.

have also a right to be present at the meetings of associations,' with power to dissolve them or even break up the society itself, if anything is done which does not fall within its objects as stated in its by-laws. As for public meetings held for any purpose by persons who do not belong to a regular association, the officials can virtually forbid them or disperse them at pleasure, so strongly does the dread of a free expression of opinion still maintain its hold.

over the

We find signs of this feeling in most of the countries on the Continent, but nowhere outside of Russia in a more marked form than in press, etc. Austria. It crops up again in the restrictions on the press; for although the fundamental laws guarantee the right to express one's opinions, and declare that there shall be no censorship of the press, yet the statutes provide that the business of printing shall not be carried on without a license, and that every number 1 Act of Nov. 15, 1867, § 18.

2 Id., §§ 21, 24.

8" Versammlungen, deren Zweck den Strafgesetzen zuwiderlauft, oder deren Abhaltung die öffentliche Sicherheit oder das öffentliche Wohl gefärdet, sind von der Behörde zu untersagen." Act of Nov. 15, 1867 (R. G. B. 135; Geller, Bd. II. p. 616), § 6. On appeal, the Reichsgericht decides not whether the public order or public weal were in danger, but only whether the officials had reasonable ground for supposing that they might be. (Dec. of R. G., April 30, 1875, and July 13, 1881, cited by Geller, Bd. II. p. 617.)

4 "Jedermann hat das Recht, durch Wort, Schrift, Druck, oder durch bildliche Darstellung seine Meinung innerhalb die gesetzlichen Schranken frei

zu aussern.

"Die Presse darf weder unter Censur gestellt, noch durch das Concessionssystem beschränkt werden. Administrative Postverbote finden auf inländlische Druckschriften keine Anwendung." St. G. All. Rechte der Staatsbürger, § 13.


of a periodical must be submitted to the police before publication, so that it may be confiscated if it contains anything contrary to law. Moreover periodicals issued fortnightly or oftener cannot be started until a deposit has been made with the government to secure the payment of fines, and they can be suppressed if this is not kept good, a provision which hinders the publication of small newspapers, and gives the government a strong hold over the daily press. Finally the constitutional right can be temporarily suspended altogether by a proclamation of the state of siege issued by the ministry.2


Other instances of statutory encroachment on the constitutional rights of the citizen might be given, but those already cited are enough to show how small is the restraint really placed by the fundamental laws on the power of the bureaucracy. In short, the Austrian police is one cannot say the most vexatious, because that implies that its conduct is disliked by the people but the most inquisitorial, the most minutely and severely vigilant in the world. It frequently orders a newspaper to leave out of its columns an article which it deems offensive, and it is even in the habit of giving notice to the daily press that some particular subject had better not be touched upon for the present. It keeps up a careful supervision over

1 Ulbrich, pp. 52-54; Gumplowicz, § 194. These provisions about the press are contained in the Act of Dec. 17, 1862; and in fact it is noticeable that all the statutes referred to in the text as limiting the constitutional rights of association, of meeting, and of the press, antedated the fundamental laws, but remained in force in spite of those laws.

2 Cf. Ulbrich, pp. 115–16.

3 See a letter of J. M. Vincent in the Nation, Dec. 10, 1891.

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