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alone, which consists of new matter, invites particular notice. The expressions, "as the course of the war may possibly permit," and "observing, as much as possible, the acknowledged principles and rules of the law of nations," however favourably intended by the British negotiators, will not improbably be construed into a relaxation of the neutral right in favour of belligerent pleas, drawn from circumstances of which belligerent agents will be the judges. The expressions may easily be so varied as to refer simply to the law of nations for the rule, and to the friendship of the parties for the spirit, according to which the search is to be conducted. If such an amendment should be deliberately rejected by the British government, it will be a proof of a lurking danger, that will recommend an omission of what relates to the subject of search, in preference to retaining it.

Articles 14, 15, and 16, call for no particular observa,


Article 17. So much of this article as relates to the admission of ships of war, would be advantageously exchanged for a general stipulation, allowing on this subject the privilege granted to the most favoured nation. It would then be in the power of the United States to limit the number admissible at one time, whereas such an indefinite admission of British ships imposes on our neutrality a like indulgence to the fleets of other nations. Such an alteration of the article is the more reasonable and impor tant, as there will be little reciprocity in its operation; the United States having but few ships, and the incon veniences from British ships in our ports being much greater than those from our ships in British ports.

The engagement to treat officers of the navy with res pect, is not only too indefinite to be enforced by penal regulations, but implies a reproachful defect of hospitality and civility. In this light it was viewed during the discussions of the treaty of 1794. The clause probably grew then out of recent complaints, well or ill founded, of dis respectful conduct on some occasion towards British officers. If latter occurrences were to be consulted, it would * be a more apt provision now to stipulate for the punishment of naval commanders making insulting and ungrate ful returns for the kindness and respect shewn them in our

ports and towns. The President makes almost a point of excluding this part of the article.

Articles 18 and 19, already noticed.

Article 20. Considering the great number of British merchants residing in the United States, with the great means of influence possessed by them, and the very few American merchants who reside in Great Britain, the inconvenience which may be incident to such a protracted right to remain during a state of war, is evidently much greater on our side than on the other. In this view the stipulation is very unequal. The liberal spirit of it is, at the same time, highly commendable. It were only to be wished that the readiness on one side to make sacrifices of this sort to a spirit, which ought to pervade every part of a treaty between the parties, had been less met by an apparent disposition on the other side rather to extort from, than to emulate it.

Article 21. Not agreeable, but not to be an insuperable


Article 22, is altogether proper.

Article 23. This article, granting the privileges of the most favoured nation, seems to require explanation, if not alteration. The terms, "shall continue to be on the footing of the most favoured nation," imply, that the parties are now on that footing. To look no further, the discrimination between exports from Great Britain to Europe and to the United States is a proof that the fact is otherwise.

But may not the expression be construed into a barrier against laws on the part of the United States, establishing a reciprocity with the British navigation act and West India regulations? It might be impolitick to extend such laws to all other nations, as it would be unjust to extend them to such as had not adopted the restrictive system of Great Britain. And yet a discrimination might be arraigned, as not continuing Great Britain on the same footing with other nations.

The object of this article, so far as it is a legitimate one, would be sufficiently provided for by a mutual stipulation of the privileges in trade and navigation, enjoyed by the most favoured nation; and such stipulations moreover ought in justice to import or imply, that where privileges are granted to a third nation, in consideration of privileges

received, the privileges cannot be claimed under the stipu lation without a return of the same or of equivalent privi leges. The condition is certainly not without difficulties in the execution, but it avoids a greater evil. Should Spain or France open her colonies to our ships and productions, on our granting certain privileges to her trade, these could not be claimed or expected by the most friendly nation who would not pay the price of them.

Articles 24 and 25 are entirely proper.

Article 26. It is particularly desirable that the duration of the treaty should be abridged to the term limited in the instructions of the 5th January, 1804.

Having taken this view of the subject with reference to a formal treaty under new modifications, it is necessary to recollect that you were authorized by my letter of February 3 to enter into informal arrangements, and that, before the receipt of my letter of March 18, a plan of that sort may have been definitively settled. In such a state of things it is impossible to do better than to leave your own judgments, aided by a knowledge of circumstances unknown here, and by the sentiments of the President now communicated, to decide how far it may be eligible, or otherwise, to attempt to supersede that informal arrangement by opening the negotiation herein contemplated.

Should, on another hand, the negotiation be found in the state authorized by my letter of March 18th, that is to say, matured provisionally only, and consequently leaving the door open for the experiment now provided for, it must equally remain with your own judgments, guided by a comparison of the terms of the provisional arrangement with the present instructions, to decide how far it may be best to close the former, or to pursue the objects of the latter, with a view, in case of failure, to return to, and close the former..

Whatever may be the course recommended by the actual state of things, you will feel the propriety of smoothing the way for it by the explanations which will best satisfy the British government, that the several steps taken on the part of the United States have proceeded from their solicitude to find some ground, on which the difficulties and differences existing between the two countries might be amicably and permanently terminated. You will be equally aware of the importance of transmitting hither, as early

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and as circumstantial information of your proceedings and prospects, as opportunities will permit; and will particularly keep in mind the earnest desire of the President to possess, in due time, every material, preparatory to the communications relating to our affairs with Great Britain, which will be so anxiously expected, on the meeting of Congress, the first Monday in December.

Such are the instructions and explanations under which the task is consigned to you, of renewing the discussions with the British government. The President is well assured that it will be executed with all the advantage which talents and patriotism can contribute; and he is unwilling to believe that that government will finally prefer to the reasonable terms proposed, the serious state of things which will be left by a miscarriage of this ulterior appeal to the motives which ought to govern a just and friendly nation. As it is possible, however, that this favourable calculation may not be verified, and it will necessarily remain to be decided, whether such a state of things can be obviated by any additional proposition, not beyond the justifiable limits of concession, the President has taken the case into his serious deliberation, and has concluded to authorize you, in the event of a rejection of every arrangement already authorized, but in that event only, to admit an article to the following effect:

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"It is agreed, that after the term of puted from the exchange of ratifications, and during a war in which either of the parties may be engaged, neither of them will permit any seaman, not being its own citizen or subject, and being a citizen or subject of the other party, who shall not have been, for two years at least prior to that date, constantly and voluntarily in the service, or within the jurisdiction of the parties respectively, to enter or be employed on board any of its vessels navigating the high seas and proper regulations, enforced by adequate penalties, shall be mutually established for distinguishing the seamen of the parties respectively, and for giving full effect to this stipulation.".

You will observe, that the proposition is so framed as not to comprehend among British seamen those who have been made citizens of the United States, and who must necessarily be so regarded within their jurisdiction, and under their flag. This modification of the article cannot

produce any real objection on the part of Great Britain. 1st. Because the legal pre-requisites to naturalization in the United States imply, what is sufficiently known, that the number of seamen, actually naturalized or likely to be so, is too small to claim attention in any arrangement on this subject.

2d. Because the right of British subjects to naturalize themselves in a foreign trade and navigation, as laid down by the judicial authority of Great Britain, ought to restrain the government from making a difficulty on this point.*

If an attempt should be made to bind the United States to deliver up the seamen to Great Britain, instead of exeluding them merely from their own service, you are to say at once, that it would be inconsistent with our principles, and cannot be acceded to.

It will occur to you that the period of two years has been chosen, in allusion to the period established by Great Britain, as sufficiently incorporating alien, with British seamen. Her own example at least must have weight with her, and the implied appeal to it may be of use in shielding the measures against publick prejudices,to which the government may not wish to expose itself.

If the British government be not predetermined against a friendly adjustment, it is confidently presumed that the concession proposed will not only overcome all obstacles to your success on the essential points, but may be turned to account in promoting the amendment of the other articles.

Should the concession, however, contrary to all expectation, not succeed, even as to the essential objects, the course prescribed by prudence will be to signify your purpose of transmitting the result to your government, avoiding carefully any language or appearance of hostile anticipations; and receiving and transmitting, at the same time, any overtures which may be made on the other side, with a view to bring about accommodation. As long as negotiation can be honourably protracted, it is a resource to be preferred, under existing circumstances, to the peremp

See Durnford and East's Reports, Wilson versus Marriatt; and the same case in Bosanquet and Puller's Reports.

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