Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/863

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CONSTITUTIOX AND GOVERNMENT 507

di^jseinent ' elects one Deputy, and if its population is in excess of 100,000, it is divided into two or more constituencies. There were 10,446,178 inscribed electors in 1893, and 7,427,354 voted.

The Senate is composed of 300 members, elected for nine years from citizens 40 years old, one-third retiring every three years. The election of the Senators is indirect, and is made by an electoral body composed (1) of delegates chosen by the Muni- cipal Council of each commune in proportion to the population ; and (2) of the Senators, Deputies, Councillors-General, and District Councillors of the department. Besides the 225 Departmental Senators elected in this way, there were, according to the law of 1875, 75 Senators elected for life by the united two Chambers ; but by the Senate Bill of 1884 it was enacted that vacancies arising among the Life Senatorships would be filled by the elec- tion of ordinary nine-years Senators, the department which should have the right to the vacant seat to be determined by lot. The Princes of deposed dynasties are precluded from sitting in either House.

The Senate and Chamber of Deputies assemble every year on the second Tuesday in January, unless a previous summons is made by the President of the Republic, and they must remain in session at least five months out of the twelve. The President is bound to convoke them if the demand is made by one-half of the number of members composing each Chamber. The President can adjourn the Chambers, but the adjournment cannot exceed the term of a month, nor occur more than twice in the same session.

Bills may be presented either in the Chamber or Senate by the Government, or on the initiative of private members. In the first case they are remitted to the bureaux for examination ; in the second, they are first submitted to a commission of parlia- mentary initiative. Financial law s must be first presented to and voted by the Chamber of Deputies.

The President and the Ministers may be impeached by the Chamber of high treason, in which case the Senate acts as a High Court of Justice. The same function is vested in the Senate for all other cases of high treason.

Senators and Deputies are paid 9,000 francs (£360) a year, and the Presidents of the two Chambers receive, in addition, 72,000 francs (£2,840) for the expense of entertainment. Mem- bers of both Chambers travel free on all railways by means of a small annual payment. The dotation of the President of the Republic is 600,000 francs, with a further allowance of 600,000 francs for his expenses.

France has, besides, a special institution under the name of Conseil cV £'taty which was introduced by Napoleon I., and has