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II. OF R.]
Presentation of Memorials.
(JUNE 23, 1834.
this subject. I desired to have laid before the country seen at a glance by those who understand its various and the views and principles which have governed the admin- ramified operations. The deposites and circulation of istration of the bank, as they are developed in the re- such an institution must necessarily be great in such & port of the 1st of April. I find, however, I cannot do it country, with such a population, and such extensive combetter than it is already done by that report itself. I there. mercial resources. fore append it to my remarks, and ask for it a candid con In addition to this general outline, we beg leave to sideration. (See Appendix to speech.)
state that the banking capital employed in this district of With this, Mr. Speaker, I close. I believe, solemnly country is, by far, inadequate to its wants. We feel a and conscientiously believe, that in this great contest are confidence in stating that from two to five hundred thouinvolved every right dear to freemen, and every interest sand dollars more might be employed with profit to the connected with the happiness and welfare of the people. stockholders, and advantage to the country at large. I have opposed the encroachments of executive power, We have, it is true, one bank, and the branch of another because in them I see the ruin of my country, and the more west, in operation here; but their capital is not corruption of all sound, moral, and political sentiment. I great, and they bave always divided nine per cent., and have been startled at the influence of executive patronage, more than once have divided fifteen per centum per and have seen the most unquestionable principle of na- annum. tional policy abandoned at its bidding. I warn my coun As we suppose that your honorable board will not entrymen to look to it in time.
ter into the measure of establishing a branch here, or at I have sustained the Bank of the United States as a any other place, without making particular inquiries into great conservative principle of national policy; as such, every fact and circumstance which may bear upon the confined by patriotic agents within the sphere of her le- subject, we do not at present enter into greater detail. gitimate Cuties, she has no influence; she can command We cannot forbear, however, to press upon your attennone; she is lost, simply because she neither can nor will tion the following points: That this place, being the local command any. What, however, cannot the Executive centre of the State, and from its fourishing condition command and effect? Need I warn my countrymen? now, containing about six thousand inhabitants, and from Let them carefully weigh the events of the last two years. its rapid progress in population and wealth, there is Let them look to the conduct of the majority of this every reason to believe it will be fixed upon, ere long, House, in reference to the votes on the sufficiency of the as the seat of the State Government; that, from its situaSecretary of the Treasury's reasons. Let them ask them- tion and capital, it cannot but continue to draw within its selves why this House has constantly refused to look into focus the mercantile business of a great surrounding the affairs of the Post Office Department; and then let country; that, from these and other circumstances, the them say to themselves, “Shall we for ever suffer our circulation of the bills of the United States bank must be selves to be hoodwinked by this cry about the bank, the very extensive in every quarter, except the East, from monster, while every principle dear to us is successively this centre; that a branch here may be particularly subdestroyed, and all the institutions of the country given up servient to the transactions of the General Government to the spoiler?"
on an extensive frontier, and in offering a safe place of Sir, they will no longer be deceived. I rely upon their deposite for its funds, whether to be employed or collectintegrity, their patriotism, and their love of order. The ed in this section of the United States. country is in danger, the constitution is assailed, the law We hope and trust that this slight view will draw the is trampled under foot, and they will fly to the rescue. attention of your honorable board to this place, in select
ing a proper position in this State for another branch
bank; and we think we may safely refer you for informa. APPENDIX TO MR. WATMOUGII'S SPEECU. tion on this subject to all the enlightened and disisterest
ed bankers and merchants in the State of New York. UTICA, September 1, 1826.
Hoping to receive, in convenient time, a favorable anTo the honorable the President and Directors of the Bank swer to ibis application, we would subscribe ourselves, of the United States:
most respectfully, your obedient servants, GENTLEMEN: The undersigned, inhabitants of the town William Williams, James Donell, S. Beardsley, J. S. of Utica, in the State of New York, would respectfully Porter, Moses Bogg, Kellogg Hurlburt, Alex. Seymour, solicit your attention while they lay before your board William Clarke, Robert Shearman, Charles E. Hardy, some of the grounds which present themselves in favor of B. B. Lansing, Joseph Kirkland, N. Williams, John C. locating a branch of the United States Bank in this place. Devereux, G. Bacon, Samuel Stocking, Ab. Varick, R.
In the first place we would mention, what cannot have R. Lansing, A. Cooper, T. H. Hubbard, John Williams, escaped your observation, that this town has the advan- Edward Vernon, James Platt. tage of being situated in the centre of the State, in the midst of a fertile country, and surrounded by a great, a To the Directors of the Bank of the United Stales: the
memorial of the subscribers, in behalf of themselves growing, and a rich population; and although this people, in the main, are occupied in agriculture, yet there
and their fellow-citizens in Albany, respectfully show.
eth: are among them a great many who employ their capital wholly in mercantile and manufacturing operations. That, since the completion of the northern and westThe towns and villages in this great western district, and ern canals of this state, such facilities are given to transespecially on the line of the canal, are thriving and en- portation that the quantities of country produce brought terprising in a very great degree; and we think we may to this market from the interior of the State are increassay, without exaggeration, that Utica by far exceedsed to an immense amount, and when to this is added the them all in the enterprise of their merchants and me- produce which will be brought to this market from the chanics, and in the amount of capital employed in busi- fertile regions of the northwestern parts of Pennsylvania,
the State of Ohio, and the Territory of Michigan, some Nor can it be overlooked that this country is surround- idea may be formed of the amount of business which ed by water communications, which extend its commerce might be done in this place, were a sufficient moneyed and moneyed circulation into the Canadian British domin- capital located here to give countenance and support to ions, the Michigan Territory, and several of the States commercial enterprise. The capital of the banks located bordering upon the great western waters--advantages to a here, under State incorporations, is entirely insufficient banking institution in extensive credit, which must be to afford those facilities to commercial enterprise which
the business of the place would warrant, and which the
SENATE CHAMBER, January 29, 1811. most cautious prudence would justify. The limited capi
Sir: The committee of the Senate to whom has been tal of our banks forbids the extension of our trade. Mer- referred the memorial of the president and directors of chants of moderate fortune are discouraged from taking the Bank of the United States, praying for a renewal of up their abode amongst us, from a knowledge that the their charter, have directed me to request you to state to banking capital of the place is not adequate to the de- the committee, whether, in your opinion, the renewal of mands which are made upon it, for the prosecuting of a the said charter will greatly facilitate the collection of the sufficiently extensive business to render it profitable; and revenue, and promote the public welfare. In complying instances are not wanting of active, intelligent, aud enter with this request, it is expected that you will furnish the prising merchants removing from this place to the city of committee with the facts and reasoning upon which your New York, to participate in the benefits of the increased opinion has been formed, together with such information has been continued with the interior of this state. The upon this subject as may be in your possession. western world is pouring its treasure into the market at
I am, sir, respectfully,
Your most obedient and very humble servant, Albany; but its citizens are doomed, with tantalized feel
WM. H. CRAWFORD, ings, to behold a rich and profitable trade float past them The Hon. ALBERT GALLATIN. to the city of New York, solely for the want of a sufficient banking capital located amongst them. Could the pro
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 30, 1811. duce brought to this place be purchased here, such por Sir: Having already, in a report to the Senate of the tion of it as is not wanted for home consumption might 2d of March, 1809, expressed my opinion in favor of a be exported directly from here to a foreign market, (as renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United States, far as the navigation of the Hudson would permit,) and an opinion wbich remains unchanged, I can only add a return cargoes, calculated for the inerior of the country, few explanatory remarks in answer to the inquiries of the might be imported, without being subjected to the ex- committee, as stated in your letter of yesterday, pense of transhipment at New York, or the profits of the The banking system is now firmly established, and, in importing merchant there. These considerations have its ramifications, extends to every part of the United induced ihe citizens of Albany once more to ask for the States. Under that system, the assistance of banks ap. establishment of a branch or office of discount and de- pears to me necessary for the punctual collection of the posite of the Bank of the United States in this city. revenue, and for the safe-keeping and transmission of
It is hoped this application will be favorably received, public moneys. That the punctuality of payments is as the same causes which render it desirable to the citizens principally due to banks, is a fact generally acknowledg. of Albany to have a branch of the United States Bank es- ed. It is, to a certain degree, enforced by the refusal of tablished there conclusively show that it would be a source credit at the custom-house, so long as a former revenue of profit to the present institution. Indeed, it is believed bond, actually due, remains unpaid. But I think, neverthat a branch here would be more profitable, in reference theless, that, in order to ensure that precision in the colto the extent of business done, than several of the lection, on which depends a corresponding discharge of branches located in seaport towns. The local situation of the public engagements, it would, if no use was made of Albany renders it an entrepot between the Eastern banks, be found necessary to abolish, altogether, the States and the Western countries, between the South and credit now given on the payment of duties--a measure the North; and, consequently, a very extensive currency which would affect the commercial capital, and fall heavily would be given to the bills issued from a branch here; and on the consumers. That the public moneys are safer by the nature of the trade which would be prosecuted here being weekly deposited in banks, instead of accumulating would, in a great measure, render the bills of a branch, in the hands of collectors, is self-evident. And their established at this place, the circulating medium of the transmission, whenever this may be wanted, for the purextensive regions whose produce would be brought to this pose of making payments in other places than those of market.
collection, cannot with any convenience be effected on a Inasmuch, therefore, as the establishment of a branch large scale, in an extensive country, except through the here would not only be highly advantageous to this city, medium of banks or of persons acting as bankers. but be a source of profit to the parent institution, we hope
The question, therefore, is, whether a bank, incorpo. that the directors of the United States Bank will establish rated by the United States, or a number of banks, incoran office of discount and deposite in this place.
porated by the several states, be most convenient for McMillan & Bagley, William Cook, Ino. J. Godfry, those purposes. T. W. Rathbone, Charles E. Dudley, M. Van Buren,
State banks may be used, and must, in case of a nonWood, & Acres, J. & H. Meacham, Andrew Lightbody, renewal of the charter, be used by the Treasury. PreJ. Stilwell & Co., F. Backus, Webb & Dummer, J. st. paratory arrangements have already been made to that Smith, Corning & Norton, W. & J. G. White, wm. effect; and it is believed that the ordinary business will McHarg, Hickcox & Lagrange, Wilder, Hastings & Co., be transacted, through their medium, with less conven. Spencer Stafford, 8. & 8. Stafford, G. & S. Bluckey, J. ience, and, in some respects, with perhaps less safety, Prayn, Haroni & Raymond,
Daniel Steele, A. & S. Light-than at present, but without any insuperable difficulty. body, Gerrit L. Dox, Samuel Pruyn, Humphrey & Co., The difference with respect to safety results from the Mancuis, & Le Bretord, John L. Wendell, G. McPherson, organization of the Bank'of the United States, by which Wm. c. Miller, Tilly Allen, Lyman Root, Joseph Deni it is responsible for the money deposited in any of its son, Jobn Dons, W. S. & E. c. McIntosh, Samuel Steel, branches, whilst each of the State banks which may be James Stevenson, B. F. Butler, J. J. Hamilton, W. L. employed will be responsible only for the sums in its own Marcy, s. De Witt, Isaac Denniston, J. J. Townsend, hands. Thus, the Bank of the United
States is now answerElisha Jenkins, Charles R. Webster, James La Grange, able for the moneys collected at New Orleans, and deposited K. K. Van Rensselaer, Christian Miller, C. Humphreys, there in its branch--a security which will be lost under a Walter Clark, Alexander Marvin, R. 11. King & Co., S. different arrangement. Nor will the United States have Van Rensselaer, Nathan; Sanford, R. M. Meigs, Richard any other control over the manner in which the business Marvin, C. & E. Egbuts, Chandler Starr, Isaac w. Stools, of the banks may be conducted than what may result from E. Baldwin, Cor. Van Antwerp.
the power of withdrawing the public deposites; and they
will lose that which a charter, or a dependence on the ALBANY, July 10, 1826.
General Government for a charter, now gives over the
H. OF R.]
Presentation of Memorials.
(JUNE 23, 1834.
Bank of the United States. The facility of obtaining such the legitimate powers of the General Government, the accommodations as may at times be wanted will, for the continuation of a Bank of the United States has not, in same reason, be lessened, and the national power will, to the view which I have been able to take of the subject, that extent, be impaired. It may be added that, even for appeared to me to be unconstitutional. the ordinary business of receiving and transmitting public I have the honor to be, respectfully, moneys, the use of a State bank may be forbidden by the
Sir, your obedient servant, State; and that loans to the United States are, by many of
ALBERT GALLATIN, the charters, forbidden, without a special permission from Hon. WILLIAM H. CRAWFORD, the State.
Chairman in Senate. As it is not perceived, on the other hand, that a single
Letter from Mr. Madison 10 C. J. Ingersoll. advantage will accrue to the public from the change, no reason presents itself, on the ground of expediency, why
MONTPELIER, June 25, 1831. an untried system should be substituted for one under DEAR Sin: I have received your friendly letter of the which the Treasury business has so long been conducted 18th instant. The few lines which answered your former with perfect security to the United States, and great con- une of the 21st of January last were written in haste and venience, not only to the officers, but also to all those in bad health; but they expressed, though without the at. who have had payments of a public nature to make or to tention in some respects due to the occasion, a dissent receive.
from the views of the President as to a Bank of the United It does not seem necessary to advert to the particular States and a substitute for it, to which I cannot but adhere. objections made against the present charter, as these The objections to the latter have appeared to me to premay easily be obviated by proper alterations. What has ponderate greatly over the advantages expected from it; been called a national bank, or, in other words, a new and the constitutionality of the former I still regard as susBank of the United States, instead of the existing one, tained by the considerations to which I yielded in giving may be obtained by such alterations. The capital may be my assent to the existing bank. extended, and more equally distributed; new stockhold. The charge of inconsistency between my objection ers may be substituted for the foreigners, as had been to the constitutionality of such a bank in 1791, and my assuggested in the report of 2d March, 1809; and any other sentin 1817, turns on the question how far legislative premodifications which may be thought expedient may be cedents, expounding the constitution, ought to guide sucintroduced, without interrupting the operations of the ceeding Legislatures and to overrule individual opinions. institution now in force, and without disturbing all the Some obscurity has been thrown over the question by commercial concerns of the country.
confounding it with the respect due from one Legislature If, indeed, the Bank of the United States could be to laws passed by preceding Legislatures. But the lwo removed without affecting either its numerous debtors, cases are essentially different. A constitution, being de the other moneyed institutions, or the circulation of the rived from a superior authority, is to be expounded and country, the ordinary fiscal operations of Government obeyed, not controlled or varied, by the subordinate auwould not be materially deranged, and might be carried thority of a Legislature. A law, on the other hand, reston by means of another general bank, or of State banks. ing on no higher authority than that possessed by every But the transition will be attended with much individual, successive Legislature, ils expediency, as well as its meanand, probably, with no inconsiderable public injury. It is ing, is within the scope of the latter. impossible that an institution which circulates thirteen The case in question has its true analogy in the oblimillions of dollars, and to which the merchants owe four- gation arising from judicial expositions of the law or sucs teen, should terminate its operations, particularly in the ceeding judges, the constitution being a law to the legislapresent unfavorable state of the American commerce, and tor, as the law is a rule of decision to the judge. after the great losses lately experienced abroad, without And why are judicial precedents, when formed on giving a serious shock to commercial, banking, and nation- due discussion and consideration, and deliberately sancal credit. It is not intended to overrate the extent of an tioned by reviews and repetitions, regarded as of binding evil which there are no certain data to appreciate. And, influence, or rather of authoritative force, in settling the without expatiating on the fatal and unavoidable effects meaning of a law. It must be answered, first, because it on individuals; without dwelling on the inconvenience of is a reasonable and established axiom, that the good of sorepaying, at this time, 1o Europe, a capital of seven mil ciety requires that the rules of conduct of its members lions; and without adverting to other possible dangers of should be certain and known, which would not be the a more general nature, it appears sufficient to state that case if any judge, disregarding the decisions of his prethe same body of men who owe fourteen millions of dol. decessors, should vary the rule of law according to his lars to the bank, owe, also, ten or twelve to the United individval interpretation of it. Misera est servitus ubi States, on which the receipts into the Treasury for this jus est aut vagum aut incognitum. Second, because an year altogether depend; and that, exclusively of absolute exposition publicly made, and repeatedly confirmed by failures, it is improbable that both debts can be punctually the constituted authority, carries with it, by fair inference, paid at the same time. Nor must it be forgotten that the the sanction of those who, having made the law through approaching non-importation will considerably lessen the their legislative organ, appear under such circumstances efficiency of the provision by which subsequent credits to have determined its meaning through their judiciary are refused to importers who have not discharged former organ. revenue bonds. Upon the whole, a perfect conviction is Can it be of less consequence that the meaning of a felt that, in the critical situation of the country, new evils constitution should be fixed and known than the meaning ought not to be superadded, and a perilous experiment be of a law should be so? Can, indeed, a law be fixed in attempted, unless required by an imperious necessity. its meaning and operation, unless the constitution be sa?
In ihese hasty remarks, I have not adverted to the On the contrary, if a particular Legislature, differing question of constitutionality, which is not a subject of dis- in the construction of the constitution from a series of cussion for the Secretary of the Treasury. Permit me, preceding constructions, proceed to act on that differhowever, for my own sake, simply to state that the bank ence, they not only introduce uncertainty and instability charter having, for a number of years, been acted upon, in the constitution, but in the laws themselves, inasmuch or acquiesced in, as if constitutional, by all the constitu- as all laws, preceding the new construction, and incon. ted authorities of the nation, and thinking myself the use sistent with it, are not only annulled for the future, but of banks to be at present necessary for the exercise of (virtually pronounced nullities from the beginning.
TO THE REGISTER OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS.
TWENTY-THIRD CONGRESS-FIRST SESSION.
grown up, befitting their common origin, justifying the OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO hope that, by wise councils on each side, not only unset. BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS,
tled questions may be satisfactorily terminated, but new
causes of misunderstanding prevented. Al the commencement of the First Session of the Twenly. Notwithstanding that I continue to receive the most third Congress.
amicable assurances from the Government of Fronce, and
that in all other respects the most friendly relations exist Fellow-citizens of the Senate
between the United States and that Government, it is to and House of Representatives:
be regretted that the stipulations of the convention conOn your assembling to perform the high trusts which c!uded on the 4th of July, 1831, remain, in some importhe people of the United States have confided to you, of tant parts, unfulfilled. legislating for their common welfare, it gives me pleas. By the second article of that convention, it was stipu. ure to congratulate you upon the happy condition of our lated that the sum payable to the United States should be beloved country. By the favor of Divine Providence, paid at Paris, in six annual instalments, into the hands of health is again restored to us: peace reigns within our such person or persons as should be authorized by ihe borders: abundance crowns the labors of our fields: com Government of the United States to receive it; and by the merce and domestic industry flourish and increase: and same article the first ins'alment was payable on the secindividual happiness rewards the private virtue and enter. ond day of February, 1833. By the act of Congress of prise of our citizens.
the 13th July, 1832, it was made the duty of the Secre. Our condition abroad is no less honorable than it is tary of the Treasury to cause the several instalments, with prosperous at home. Seeking nothing that is not right, the interest thereon, to be received from the French and determined to submit to nothing that is wrong, but Government, and transferred to the United States, in desiring honest friendships and liberal intercourse with such manner as he may deem best; and by the same act all nations, the United States have gained throughout the of Congress, the stipulations on the part of the United world the confidence and respect which are due to a States, in the convention, were, in all respects, fulfilled. policy so just, and so congenial to the character of the Not doubting that a treaty thus made and ratified by the American people, and to the spirit of their institutions.
two Governments, and faithfully executed by the United In bringing to your notice the particular state of our
States, would be promptly complied with by the other foreign affairs, it affords me high gratification to inform party, and desiring to avoid the risk and expense of interyou that they are in a condition which promises the con-mediate agencies, the Secretary of the Treasury deemed tinuance of friendship with all nations.
it advisable to receive and transfer the first instalment by With Great Britain the interesting question of our North. means of a draft upon the French minister of Finance. A eastern boundary remains still undecided. A negotiation, drast for this purpose was accordingly drawn in favor of however, upon ihal subject, has been renewed since the the cashier of the Bank of the United States, for the close of ibe last Congress, and a proposition has been sub. amount accruing to the United States out of the first inmitted to the British Government, with the view of es- stalment, and the interest payable with it. This bill was tablishing, in conformity with the resolution of the Senate, not drawn at Washington until five days after the instal, the line designated by the treaty of 1783. Though no ment was payable at Paris, and was accompanied by a definitive answer bas been received, it may be daily look. special authority from the President, authorizing the cashed for, and I entertain a hope that the overture may ul. ier, or ebis assigns, to receive the amount. The mode timately lead to a satisfactory adjustment of this important thus adopted of receiving the instalment, was officially patter.
made known to the French Government by the AmeriI have the satisfaction to inform you that a negotiation can chargé d'affaires at Paris, pursuant to instructions which, by desire of the House of Representatives, was from the Department of State. The bill, however, though opened, some years ago, with the British Government, for not presented for payment until the 230 day of March, the erection of light-liouses on the Babamas has been was not paid, and for the reason assigned by the French successful. Those works, when completed, together minister of Finance, that no appropriation had been made with those which the United States have constructed on by the French Chambers. It is not known to me the western side of the Gulf of Florida, will contribute that, up to that period, any appropriation had been reessentially to the safetyof navigation in that sea. This joint quired of the Chambers; and although a communication participation in establishments interesting to humanity and was subsequently made to the Chambers by direction of beneficial to commerce, is worthy of two enlightened na the king, recommending that the necessary provision tions, and indicates feelings which cannot fail to have a should be made for carrying the convention into effect, it happy influence upon their poli'ical relations. It is grat. was at an advanced period of the session, and the sub. ifying to the friends of both to perceive that the inter- ject was finally postponed until the next meeting of the course between the two people is becoming daily more Chambers. extensive, and that sentiments of mutual good will bave Notwithstanding it has been suppos by the French
23d Cong, 1st Sess.]
Message of the President of the United States. ministry that the financial stipulations of the treaty can It affords me peculiar satisfaction to state that the Gov. not be carried into effect without an appropriation by the ernment of Spain bas at length yielded to the justice of Chambers, it appears to me to be not only consistent with the claims which have been so long urged in behalf of the character of France, but due to the character of both our citizens, and bas expressed a willingness to provide Governments, as well as to the rights of our citizens, to an indemnification as soon as the proper amount can be treat the convention, made and ratified in proper form, agreed upon. Upon this latter point, it is probable that as pledging the good faith of the French Government for an understanding had taken place between the minister its execution, and as imposing upon each department an of the United States and the Spanish Government before obligation to fulfil it; and I have received assurances the decease of the lale King of Spain; and, unless that through our chargé d'affaires at Paris, and the French event may have delayed its completion, there is reason to minister plenipotentiary at Washington, and more recent. hope that it may be in my power to announce to you, early ly through the minister of the United States at Paris, that in your present session, the conclusion of a convention the delay has not proceeded from any indisposition on upon terms not less favorable than those entered into for the part of the King and his ministers to fulfil the treaty, similar objects with other nations. That act of justice and that measures will be presented at the next meeting would well accord with the character of Spain, and is due of the Chambers, and with a resonable hope of success, to the United States from their ancient friend. I could to obtain the necessary appropriation.
not fail to strengthen the sentiments of amity and goodIt is necessary to state, however, that the documents, will between the two nations which it is so much the wish except ceriain lists of vessels captured, condemned, or of the United States tu cherish, and so truly the interest burnt at sea, proper to facilitate the examination and of both to maintain, liquidation of the reclamations comprised in the stipula. By the first section of an act of Congress passed on the tions of the convention, and which, by the sixth article, 13th July, 1832, the tonnage duty on Spanish ships arris. France engaged to communicate to the United States by ing from ibe ports of Spain was limited to the duty payathe intermediary of the legation, (though repeatedly ap- ble on American vessels in the ports of Spain, previous to plied for by the American chargé d'affaires under instruc- the 2011 October, 1817, being five cents per ton. That iions from this Government,) have not yet been commu. act was intended to give effect, on our side, to an arrange. nicated; and this delay, it is apprehended, will necessarily ment made with the Spanish Government, by which Jisprevent the completion of the duties assigned to the com-criminating duties of tonnage were to be abolisbed in the missioners within the time at present prescribed by law. ports of the United States and Spain on the vessels of the
The reasons for delaying io communicate these docu-two nations. Pursuant to that arrangement, which was ments have not been explicitly stated, and this is the carried into effect, on the part of Spain, on the 20th of more to be regretted as it is not understood that the May, 1832, by a royal order dated the 29th April, 1832, interposition of the Chambers is in any manner required American vessels in the ports of Spain have paid five for the delivery of those papers.
cents per ton, which rate of duty is also paid in those Under these circumstances, in a case so important to ports by Spanish ships; but, as American vessels pay no the interests of our citizens and to the character of our tonnage duty in the ports of the United States, the duty country, and under disappointments so unexpected, 1 of five cents payable in our ports by Spanish vessels, undeemed it my duty, however I might respect the general der the act above mentioned, is really a discriminating assurances to which I have adverted, no longer to delay duty, operating to the disadvantage of Spain. Though the appointment of a minister plenipotentiary to Paris, no complaint has yet been made on the part of Spain, we but to despatch him in season to communicate the result are not the less bound by the obligations of good faith to of his application to the French Government at an early remove the discrimination; and I recommend that the act period of your session. I accordingly appointed a distin- be amended accordingly. As the royal order, above al. guished citizen for this purpose, who proceeded on his luiled to, includes the ports of the Balearic and Canary mission in August last, and was presented to the King, islands, as well as those of Spain, it would seem that the early in the month of October. He is particularly in provisions of the act Congress should be equally extenstructed as to all matters connected with the present pos- sive, and that, for the repayment of such duties as may ture of affairs, and I indulge the hope that, with the rep- have been improperly received, an addition should be resentations he is instructed to make, and from the dis- made to the sun appropriated at the last session of Conposition manifested by the King and his ministers in their gress for refunding discriminating duties. recent assurances to our minister at Paris, the subject will As the arrangement referred io, however, did not embe early considered and satisfactorily disposed of at the brace the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico, discriminating next meeting of the Chambers.
duties, to the prejud.ce of American shipping, continue As this subject involves important interests, and has to be levied there. From the extent of lhe commerce attracted a considerable sbare of the public attention, I carried on between the United Siates and those islands, have deemed it proper to make this explicit statement of (particularly the former, ) this discrimination causes seriits actual condition; and should I be disappointed in the ous injury to one of those great national interests which it hope now entertained, the subject will be again brought has been considered an essential part of our policy to to the notice of Congress in such a manner as ibe occa- cherish, and has given rise to complaints on the part of sion may require.
our merchants. Under instructions given to our minister The friendly relations which have always been main at Madrid, earnest representations have been made by tained between the United States and Russia have been him to the Spanish Government upon this subject, and further extended and strengthened by the treaty of navi. there is reason to expect, from the friendly disposition gation and commerce concluded on the 6th of December which is entertained towards this country, that a benefi. Jast, and sanctioned by the Senate before the close of its cial change will be produced. The disadvantage, howlast session. The ratifications having been since exchan-ever, to which our shipping is subjected by the operation ged, the liberal provisions of the treaty are now in full of these discriminating duties, requires that they be met force; and, under the encouragement which they have se- by suitable countervailing duties during the present ses. cured, a flourishing and increasing commerce, yielding siun-power being, at the same time, vested in the Presits benefits to the enterprise of both nations, affords to ident to modify or discontinue them as the discriminating each the just recompense of wise measures, and adds new duties on American vessels or their cargoes may be modi. motives for that mutual friendsbip which the two coun. fied or discontinued at those islands. Intimalions have fog bave hitherto cherished towards each other. Ibeen given to the Spanish Goveroment that the United