Hungary Government

Hungary Government and Finance

Political order. – The Hungarian constitution is founded on the constitutional law of 1222 (golden bull), and on the additional laws of February 28, 1920, August 14, 1925, November 14, 1926, June 18, 1933. Hungary is a monarchy (Királyság) with a throne vacant and in which the monarchical functions are exercised by a regent (Kormányzó). The regent, elected by the national assembly on 1 March 1920, has, with some exceptions (granting of the nobility, right of Catholic ecclesiastical patronage), the same prerogatives as the king. It exercises the right of veto against the laws, a right which is however limited since, if the laws are approved by the chambers a second time, it cannot be exercised. The regent receives and accredits the ambassadors, represents the state in its external relations, cannot declare war or conclude peace treaties without the approval of the parliament; according to the law of June 18, 1933, he has the right to extend the parliament or to dissolve the chamber.

The parliament (Országgyülés) consists of two chambers which exercise legislative power. Of the upper house (felsoház), of 242 members, by virtue of their dignity and functions are part of 42 supreme state or ecclesiastical authorities (this number includes four members of the Habsburg-Lorraine family domiciled in Hungary and aged 24); 150 elected members (38 representatives of princely, council and baronial families; 76 representatives of committees and municipalities, 36 of professional associations and academies) and 45 members appointed by the head of state (of which 5 proposed by universal suffrage). The Chamber of Deputies (Képviselohaz) is made up of 245 members elected for 5 years by universal suffrage. The suffrage is publicly given in the countryside, it is secret only in the cities; list voting is only allowed in and around Budapest and in a few other major cities. Men who have reached the age of 24 and women who have reached the age of 30 and who possess other certain requisites of education, residence, etc. are voters. All voters over 30 years of age are eligible. The distribution of the parties in the elected chamber on April 27, 1935 is as follows: national union party, 169; Christian-social union, 14 Socialists, 11; Independent agricultural party, 24 other parties, 16; independent, 11. other parties, 16; independent, 11. other parties, 16; independent, 11.

The territory is divided into 25 committees (vármegye) and 11 urban municipalities, at the head of which districts is a f ő ispán (“superior count”) appointed by the government, assisted by an alispán (“viceconte”) in the committees and by a biró (burgomaster) in the municipalities, both elective; in addition there is a committee commission, whose members are half elected by secret suffrage for 6 years, and half virilist (people who pay the highest taxes); some government officials sit there by right; in the municipal committees of the elected members form the 3 / 5, the other 5 arevirilists, as well as government officials. Committees and municipalities enjoy a great deal of autonomy. The committees are divided into 154 circles and committee cities; the circles include 3385 villages, divided into large municipalities and small municipalities, with different organization.

In matters of religion, the state professes the widest tolerance (see below). The judiciary comprises a supreme court (in Budapest) which is the highest court of last resort competent in civil and criminal matters. Courts of first instance are committee courts (tórvényszékek) with collegial judge, district courts (járásbiróságok) with single judge, assize courts (sajtóbiróságok) with popular jury, for press crimes, in addition to the special military court.

Finance. – The finances of Hungary after the war. – Lacking liquid capital and many essential raw materials, politically isolated from its main suppliers and pre-war customers, burdened with debts and in the need to face mandatory extraordinary expenses, Hungary found itself in a very difficult situation after the end of the world war.

The government tried, in every way, to compress the deficit and to curb the devaluation, so much so that towards the end of 1922 the crown seemed to have stabilized, without foreign intervention, around the ratio: 10,000 crowns per pound. However, the reserve in gold and currencies of the state issuing institution (Magyar Király Allami Jegyntézet, created in 1921, following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Bank) and the economic-financial situation, both internally and in neighboring countries, is still too chaotic for the Hungarian crown to avoid the collapse; in fact, circulation soon began to increase again, reaching, at the end of 1923, 931 billion (from 74 at the end of 1922), while the exchange rate against the pound officially rose to 92,000 crowns and in fact to 146,000. Only in 1924, having consolidated the internal political situation and obtained through the intervention of the League of Nations a foreign reconstruction loan, guaranteed by customs and monopoly revenues, did Hungary succeed in definitively stopping inflation and rebalancing its budget. An autonomous issuing bank was established in the same year to replace the state institution and immediately began to lay the foundations for monetary reform; the new unit, thepeng ő, however, entered into force only on December 27, 1926. However, Hungary was able to enjoy the equilibrium with difficulty achieved for a short time, since, due to its predominantly agrarian structure, it was particularly exposed to the effects of the world economic crisis, and when the crisis itself also became financial and the Credit AnstaltAustrian was forced to close the branches, it was necessary to resort to a new control of the exchange rate and to suspend its international payments. A slight improvement in the general Hungarian economic situation and correspondingly in the trend of public finances only began to emerge at the end of 1933; an improvement which in part also occurred in 1934-35 and in 1935-36, albeit severely hampered by the poor trend of agricultural production. For Hungary political system, please check

Budgets and public debt. – The trend of budget revenue and expenditure (in million peng ő) confirms what has been said:

Direct taxes, the tobacco monopoly and business taxes constitute the main income of this first and most important section of the budget (called the Administration), of which the main expenses are those for national defense, for the public education and for the service of pensions. Railways, post offices, telegraphs and telephones, postal savings banks, as well as forests, coal mines and other state industries fall under a second section of the budget (Public enterprises), which from 1930-31 is constantly in deficit. At 30 June 1936 the public debt amounted to 1.749 billion of pengő, of which 1272 foreign debt (for 3 / 4about long-term) and 477 of domestic debt (for 3 / 4 about short-term).

Money and credit. – The monetary unit is the pengő, divided into 100 fillers and containing 0.263158 gr. of fine gold, which was established by law 6 November 1925 and replaced the old crown from 1927 (based on the conversion ratio of 12,500 paper crowns for one pengő and one gold crown for 1.158536 pengő). By 1927 gold coins in the amount of 24.7 million pengö were minted; however, the circulation is essentially made up of notes from the National Bank of Hungary, guaranteed by a reserve of at least 24%. As of February 7, 1936, notes in circulation amounted to 365 million and the reserve in gold and foreign currencies was 127 million.

In addition to the issuing privilege, the National Bank of Hungary (1924) is assigned the control of credit and exchanges, the service of international payments and that of public debt and treasury. Another important state financial institution is the Pénzintézeti Központ, founded in 1916 and reorganized in 1920 and 1926, which brings together all the joint-stock and savings banks and is authorized to supervise them, subsidize them and proceed, if necessary, to their liquidation. and merger. Among the ordinary credit banks the main ones are the Hungarian Commercial Bank of Pest (1841), the Hungarian General Bank of Credit (1867), the Hungarian Bank of Discount and Exchange (1869).

Hungary Government