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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, transmitted to congress, with the annual message of the president, December 4, 1876

Switzerland,   pp. 564-568 PDF (388.9 KB)

Page 564

 * Not receivej—Deeombor 1, 1876. 564 FOREIGN RELP~TIONS.
fact that a civil-service commission has been in sessIon here for two or
three years, and at work re-organizing and reforming the service according
to the principles heretofore mentioned. In the office of state treasurer
it reduced the number of employ~s from thirty-five to eighteen! It is now
at work in the administration of prisons.
 * * * * * * *
I have, &c.,
 NOTE FOR THE DEPARTMENT.—Information which I applied for in July about
the civil service of Norway has not, now the 11th of October, been received.
I therefore send my dispatch without it. But I hope to receive the information
so as to be able to send it off in course of a week or ten days.*
STOCKHOLM, October 11.
No. 302.
Mr. Rublee to Mr. Fish.
Berne, &ptember 28, 1875. (Received October 14.)
 SIR: In my dispatch No. 230, of the 2d of July last, relating to the controversy
which had arisen between the federal authorities and the government of the
canton of Berne, on the subject of the continued enforcement of the decree
of the cantonal government expelling certain Roman Catholic cures from the
districts of the Bernese Jura, I informed you that the period originally
fixed by the Federal Council for the revocation of the decree in question
had been extended, in order to allow the canton an opportunity to adopt further
legislation, with a view to the repression of the popular disturbances, which,
it was apprehended, might follow the return of the remittent ecclesiastics.
At the recent session of the grand council of the canton of Berne, a measure
was accordingly adopted having this object in view. It is called a law for
the punishment of disturbances of religious peace.
 As the passage of this act is an incident of considerable importance in
the history of the controversy going on in Switzerland between the civil
power and the Roman Catholic clergy, and the measure itself a somewhat extraordinary
piece of' legislation to have originated in a republic where freedom of speech
and religious toleration have long been cherished, I subjoin a summary of
the proposed law.
 Section 1 provides that whoever shall incite the members of one religous
sect (confession) or religious society to hostility against the mem bers
of another, in such a manner as to jeopardize the public peace, shall be
punished by a fine of not more than 1,000 francs or by imprisonment for not
more than one year.

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