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continue them as the discriminating duties on American vessels or their cargoes may be modified or discontinued at those Islands. Intimations have been given to the Spanish Government, that the United States may be obliged to resort to such a measure as one of necessary self defence; and there is no reason to apprehend that it would be unfavorably receiv ed. The proposed proceeding, if adopted, would not be permitted, how ever, in any degree to induce a relaxation in the efforts of our Minister to effect a repeal of this inequality, by friendly negociations; and it might serve to give force to his representations, by showing the dangers to which that valuable trade is exposed by the obstructions and burthens which a system of discriminating and countervailing duties neces sarily produces.
The selection and preparation of the Florida archives, for the purpose of being delivered over to the United States, in conformity with the Royal order, as mentioned in my last annual Message, though in progress, has not yet been completed. This delay has been produced, partly by causes which were unavoidable, particularly the prevalence of cholera at Havanna; but measures have been taken which it is believed will expedite the delivery of those important records.
Congress were informed, at the opening of the last session, that, ing, as was alleged, to embarrassments in the finances of Portugal, consequent upon the civil war in which that nation was engaged," payment had been made of only one instalment of the amount which the Portuguese Government had stipulated to pay for indemnifying our citizens for property illegally captured in the blockade to Terceira. Since that time, a postponement for two years, with interest of the two remaining instalments, was requested by the Portuguese Government; and, as a consideration, it is offered to stipulate that rice of the United States should be admitted into Portugal at the same duties as Brazilian rice. Being satisfied that no better arrangement could be made, my consent was given; and a royal order of the King of Portugal was accordingly issued on the 4th of February last for the reduction of the duty on rice of the United States. It would give me great pleasure if, in speaking of that country, in whose prosperity the United States are so much interested, aud with whom a long subsisting, extensive, and mutually advantageous commercial intercourse has strengthened the relations of friendship, 1 could announce to you the restoration of its internal tranquillity.
Subsequently to the commencement of the last session of Congress the final instalment payable by Denmark, under the Convention of the 28th day of March, 1830, was received. The Commissioners for examining the claims have since terminated their labors, and their awards bave been paid at the Treasury as they have been called for. The justice rendered to our citizens by the Government is thus completed, and a pledge is thereby afforded for the maintenance of that friendly intercourse becoming the relations that the two nations bear to each other
It is satisfactory to inform you that the Danish Government have re cently issued an ordinance by which the commerce with the Island of St. Croix is placed on a more liberal footing than heretofore. This change cannot fail to prove beneficial to the trade between the United States and that colony; and the advantages likely to flow from it may lead to greater relaxatios in the colonia' systems of other nations
The ratifications of the Convention with the King of the Two Sicilies have been duly exchanged, and the Commissioners appointed for examining the claims under it have entered upon the duties assigned to them by law. The friendship that the interests of the two nations require of them, being now established, it may be hoped that each will enjoy the benefits which a liberal commerce should yield to both.
A treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and Belgium was concluded during the last winter, and received the sanction of the Senate; but the exchange of the ratifications has been hitherto delayed, in consequence, in the first instance, of some delay in the reception of the treaty at Brussels, and, subsequently, of the absence of Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the important conferences in which his Government is engaged at London.
That treaty does but embody those enlarged principles of friendly policy, which, it is sincerely hoped, will always regulate the conduct of the two nations, having such strong motives to maintain amicable relations towards each other, and so sincerely desirous to cherish them.
With all the other European Powers with whom the United States have formed diplomatic relations, and with the Sublime Porte, the best understanding prevails. From all, I continue to receive assurances of good will towards the United States-assurances which it gives me no less pleasure to reciprocate than to receive. With all, the engagements which have been entered into, are fulfilled with good faith on both sides. Measures have also been taken to enlarge our friendly relations and extend our commercial intercourse with other states. The system we have pursued of aiming at no exclusive advantages, of dealing with all on terms of fair and equal reciprocity, and of adhering scrupulously to all our engagements, is well calculated to give success to efforts intended to be mutually beneficial.
The wars, of which the Southern part of this continent was so long the theatre, and which were carried on either by the inother country against the States which had formerly been her colonies, or by the States against each other, having terminated, and their civil dissensions having so far subsided, as, with few exceptions, no longer to disturb the public tranquillity, it is earnestly hoped those States will be able to employ themselves without interruption in perfecting their institutions, cultivating the arts of peace, and promoting, by wise counsels and able exertions, the public and private prosperity which their patriotic struggles so well entitle them to enjoy.
With those States our relations have undergone but little change during the present year. No re-union having yet taken place between the States which composed the Republic of Colombia, our Charge d'Affaires at Bogota has been accredited to the Government of New Granada, and we have therefore no diplomatic relations with Venezuela and Equator, except as they may be included in those heretofore formed with the Colombian Republic. It is understood that Representatives from the three States were about to assemble at Bozota to confer on the subject of their mutual interests, particularly that of their union; and if the result should render it necessary, measures will be taken on our part to preserve with each that friendship and those liberal commercial connex ions, which it has been the constant desire of the United States to culti
vate with their sister republics of this hemisphere. Until the important |question of re-union shall be settled, however, the different matters which have been under discussion between the United States and the Republic of Colombia, or either of the States which composed it, are not likely to be brought to a satisfactory issue.
In consequence of the illness of the Chargé d'Affaires appointed to Central America at the last session of Congress, he was prevented from proceeding on his mission until the month of October. It is hoped, however, that he is by this time at his post, and that the official intercourse, unfortunately so long interrupted, has been thus renewed on the part of the two nations so amicably and advantageously connected by engagements founded on the most enlarged principles of commercial reciprocity. It is gratifying to state that since my last annual message, some of the most important claims of our fellow-citizens upon the Government of Brasil have been satisfactorily adjusted, and a reliance is placed on the friendly dispositions manifested by it that justice will also be done in others. No new causes of complaint have arisen; and the trade between the two countries flourishes under the encouragement secured to it by the liberal provisions of the treaty.
It is cause of regret, that, owing probably to the civil dissensions which have occupied the attention of the Mexican Government, the time fixed by the treaty of limits with the United States for the meeting of the Commissioners to define the boundaries between the two nations, has been suffered to expire without the appointment of any Commissioner on the part of that Government. While the true boundary remains in doubt by either party, it is difficult to give effect to those measures which are necess ary to the protection and quiet of our numerous citizens residing near that frontier. The subject is one of great solicitude to the United States, and will not fail to receive my earnest attention.
The treaty concluded with Chili and approved by the Senate at its last session, was also ratified by the Chilian Government, but with certain additional and explanatory articles of a nature to have required it to be again submitted to the Senate. The time limited for the exchange of the ratifications, however, having since expired, the action of both Governments on the treaty will again become necessary.
The negotiations commenced with the Argentine Republic, relative to the outrages committed on our vessels engaged in the fisheries at the Falkland Islands, by persons acting under the color of its authority, as well as the other matters in controversy between the two Governments, have been suspended by the departure of the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States from Buenos Ayres. It is understood, however, that a Minister was subsequently appointed by that Government to renew the negotiation in the United States, but, though daily expected, he has not arrived in this country.
With Peru no treaty has yet been formed, and with Bolivia no diplomatic intercourse has yet been established. It will be my endeavor to encourage those sentiments of amity and that liberal commerce which belong to the relations in which all the independent States of this continent stand towards each other.
I deem it proper to recommend to your notice the revision of our Consu lar System. This has become an important branch of the public service,
inasmuch as it is intimately connected with the preservation of our national character abroad, with the interest of our citizens in foreign countries, with the regulation and care of our commerce, and with the protection of our seamen. At the close of the last session of Congress I communicated a report from the Secretary of the State upon the subject, to which I now refer, as containing information which may be useful in any inquiries that Congress may see fit to institute with a view to a salutary reform of the system.
It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you upon the prosperous condition of the Finances of the country, as will appear from the report which the Secretary of the Treasury will, in due time, lay before you. The receipts into the Treasury during the present year will amount to more than thirty-two millions of dollars. The revenue derived from customs will, it is believed, be more than twenty-eight millions, and the public lands will yield about three millions. The expenditures within the year for all objects, including $2,572,240 99 on account of the public debt, will not amount to twenty-five millions: and a large balance will remain in the Treasury after satisfying all the appropriations chargeable on the revenue for the present year.
The measures taken by the Secretary of the Treasury will probably enable him to pay off, in the course of the present year, the residue of the exchanged four-and-a-half per cent. stock, redeemable on the 1st of January next. It has, therefore, been included in the estimated expenditure of this year, and forms a part of the sum above stated to have been paid on account of the public debt. The payment of this stock will reduce the whole debt of the United States, funded and unfunded. to the sum of $4,760,082 08. And as a provision has already been made for the fourand-a-half per cent. abovementioned, and charged in the expenses of the present year, the sum last stated is all that now remains of the national debt; and the revenue of the coming year, together with the balance now in the Treasury, will be sufficient to discharge it, after meeting the cur rent expenses of the Government. Under the power given to the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, it will, I have no doubt, be purchased on favorable terms within the year.
From this view of the state of the finances, and the public engagements yet to be fulfilled, you will perceive that, if Providence permits me to meet you at another session, I shall have the high gratification of announcing to you that the national debt is extinguished. I cannot refrain from expressing the pleasure I feel at the near approach of that desirable event. The short period of time within which the public debt will have been discharged, is strong evidence of the abundant resources of the country, and of the prudence and economy with which the Government has heretofore been administered. We have waged two wars since we became a nation, with one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world— both of them undertaken in defence of our dearest rights-both successfully prosecuted and honorably terminated-and many of those who par took in the first struggle, as well as the second, will have lived to see the last item of the debt incurred in these necessary but expensive conflicts, faithfully and honestly discharged-and we shall have the proud satisfaction of bequeathing to the public servants who follow us in the administration of the Government, the rare blessing of a revenue sufficiently
abundant-raised without injustice or oppression to our citizens, and unincumbered with any burthens but what they themselves shall think proper to impose upon it
The flourishing state of the finances ought not, however, to encourage us to indulge in a lavish expenditure of the public treasure. The receipts of the present year do not furnish the test by which we are to estimate the income of the next. The changes made in our revenue system by the acts of Congress of 1832 and 1833, and more especially by the former, have swelled the receipts of the present year far beyond the amount to be expected in future years upon the reduced tariff of duties. shortened credits on the revenue bonds, and the cash duties on woollens which were introduced by the act of 1832, and took effect on the 4th of March last, have brought large sums into the Treasury, in 1833, which,| according to the credits formerly given, would not have been payable until 1834, and would have formed a part of the income for that year. These causes would of themselves produce a great diminution of the receipts in the year 1834, as compared with the present one, and they will be still more diminished by the reduced rates of duties, which take place on the 1st of January next, on some of the most important and productive articles. Upon the best estimates that can be made, the receipts of the next year, with the aid of the unappropriated amount now in the Treasury, will not be much more thau sufficient to meet the expenses of the year and pay the small remnant of the national debt which yet remains unsatisfied. I cannot, therefore, recommend to you any alteration in the present tariff of duties. The rate as now fixed by law on the various articles was adopted at the last session of Congress as a matter of compromise with unusual unanimity, and unless it is found to produce more than the necessites of the Government call for, there would seem to be no reason at this time to justify a change.
But, while I forbear to recommend any further reduction of the duties, beyond that already provided for by the existing laws, I must earnestly and respectfully press upon Congress the importance of abstaining from all appropriations which are not absolutely required for the public interests, and authorized by the powers clearly delegated to the United States. We are beginning a new era in our Government. The national debt, which has so long been a burthen on the Treasury, will be finally discharged in the course of the ensuing year. No more money will af terwards be needed than what may be necessary to meet the ordinary expenses of the Government. Now then is the proper moment to fix our system of expenditure on firm and durable principles: and I cannot too strongly urge the necessity of a rigid economy, and an inflexible determination not to enlarge the income beyond the real necessities of the Government, and not to increase the wants of the Government by unnecessary and profuse expenditures. If a contrary course should be pursued, it may happen that the revenue of 1834 will fall short of the demands upon it: and after reducing the tariff in order to lighten the burthens of the people, and providing for a still further reduction to take effect hereafter, it would be much to be deplored if, at the end of another year, we should find ourselves obliged to retrace our steps and impose additional taxes to meet unnecessary expenditures.
It is my duty, on this occasion, to call your attention to the destruc