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because the distance between the two countries would have rendered such explanation unavailing in relation to any proceedings of Congress during the pending session, principally because entire reliance was placed on the issue of the negotiations; since the Cabinet of Washington had concluded to withdraw all the propositions which had heretofore prevented an arrangement.

The reasons why not the slightest apprehension was entertained of the determination of the British Government to consider this as no longer a fit subject for negotiations have been repeatedly stated.

At the conclusion of the conferences of the year 1824 between the Plenipotentiaries of the two countries, the negotiations were expressly stated to be suspended by the necessity of referring to Washington on some of the subjects which had been discussed; and the Plenipotentiaries parted under circumstances which prevented, for the present, any further progress in the negotiations.

Indeed, those which have been carried on between His Majesty's Plenipotentiaries and the undersigned, have been so clearly considered as being generally the continuation of the negotiations of 1824, that at their first conference, and in relation to the subject first taken up, the British Plenipotentiaries observed, "that a proposal of settlement on that subject having been offered on the part of Great Britain during the course of the negotiations in 1824, which proposal had been taken by the American Plenipotentiary for reference to his Government, they presumed that Mr. Gallatin was prepared to give an answer to that, or to offer

some new proposal." And the American Plenipotentiary did accordingly substitute another for that which had been made by Mr. Rush in 1824.

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There was, therefore, a perfect understanding between the two Governments, in that respect. His Majesty's Minister at Washington, in conformity with it, announced, in March, 1826, to the Government of the United States, that his own was preparing to proceed in the important negotiations between the two countries; that a new Plenipotentiary had been appointed on the part of Great Britain; and that the negotiations would, therefore, forthwith be resumed.

No exception had been madenone was at the time suggested to be intended on the part of Great Britain, with respect to the colonial intercourse.

Lord Dudley has taken no notice of the circumstances which so naturally induced the Americau Government to rely on the ensuing negotiation, as the means of regulating the intercourse in a manner satisfactory and beneficial to both countries. But, referring to a letter of December, 1825, from Mr. Clay .to a member of Congress, he has expressed his astonishment, that it could have been supposed that the British Government did not mean so to construe the act of July, 1825, as to comprehend the United States within in it; and that, if it had been at first presumed that they would be excepted by a special Order in Council, that expectation should have been unshaken, when after six months, no such order had been issued, nor intimation given to that effect.

It has not been believed by the Government of the United States that, in case an arrangement was not made by treaty, they would nevertheless, by special favour, be permanently exempted from the general operation of the act. But, it was presumed that Great Britain, under the expectation of a favourable issue of the negotiations that were to be forthwith resumed, would suspend the operation of the act in regard to the United States, until the result of those negotiations was ascertained. what manner that suspension would be effected was not known.


Mr. Clay's letter is written entirely in that spirit. He did not believe that it was intended by the British Government that the act of July, 1825, should disturb the trade between the British colonies and the United States; first, and principally, because it would be inconsistent with negotiations between the two Governments, contemplated, if not yet resumed. Had it not been that it had been announced by the authorities of Halifax, that it was intended to close that port against American vessels, he would have been strongly inclined to think that the intercourse was intended to continue to be regulated by the former acts of Parliament. If the Halifax construction should prove to be correct, he was persuaded that an exception in favour of the American trade would be made by a special Order in Council,

It is true, that no such order was issued, and equally true that, after the lapse of a few weeks, neither Mr. Clay nor any other person in America expected that it would be issued. For, the Halifax construction having been abandoned,

and that as well as all the other British colonial ports remaining open to American vessels, after the day when the act of Parlia ment was to take effect, it was concluded, without further investigation, that that act was not intended, at least for a time, to operate on the United States. It has since been made known that the suspension, which in fact took place, was intended by Great Britain, not in reference to negotiation, but in order to ascertain the result of the proceedings in Congress.

Lord Dudley intimates that the Government of the United States set out with a very mistaken opinion of the views of Great Britain respecting her colonies, and more especially respecting the importance to those colonies of a direct intercourse with the ports of the United States; and he seems to think that this is the only principle which would account for some of the proceedings of that Govern


Coinciding entirely in Lord Dudley's opinion, that perfect frankness is not only consistent with friendly feelings, but even essential to a mutual good understanding and confidence, the undersigned will be as explicit on this as on any other subject. The United States do not suppose the direct intercourse between their ports and the British colonies to be necessary to those colonies. They know that the British West Indies have been supplied by other means, and have not materially suffered during those periods when that intercourse was interrupted by war, or has been interdicted by the laws of the two countries.

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But, though not necessary to

either party, that commerce is known to be beneficial to both. The proof is found in the fact that it has always been carried on to a considerable extent whenever it has been permitted; that absolute prohibitions can alone stop it. That Great Britain thinks so herself, cannot be denied. It is believed that, except when the two nations have unfortunately been at war, there has not, to this day, been any time at which the intercourse has not, with certain limitations, been allowed by her, in British vessels.

There are not perhaps, two countries, within the same distance from one another, and with such easy and prompt communications, which have products so essentially different as the West Indies and the United States. There are, therefore, not any, between which commerce is more natural, and the exchange of their respective commodities more mutually beneficial. The laws, which interdict such an intercourse, are an obvious and practical departure from those principles of free trade, which, in other respects, are so ably upheld and vindicated.

It is not at all asserted that the injury arising from a suspension of that commerce, is more heavily felt by one party than by the other. The American Government neither overrates the importance to the West Indies of the direct intercourse, nor denies its great utility to the United States. In both countries the planter or farmer is, by the suspension, deprived of one of the markets for his produce,

and compelled to pay dearer for his supplies; and a positive evil is inflicted on both parties, without any visible advantage to either.

The right of Great Britain to regulate the intercourse with her colonies, is not questioned; and it is not usual for nations to make any great sacrifice, for the sake of asserting abstract. principles which are not contested. She is, undoubtedly, the only proper judge of what should be her commercial policy. The undersigned has not been fortunate enough to be able to discover what actual advantages she derives from the measures in which she perseveres in regard to the colonial intercourse. He has apprehended that considerations foreign to the question, might continue to oppose obstacles to a proper understanding. Nothing has been omitted to remove those which might have arisen from misconceptions of the views and proceedings of the American Government. It is gratifying to have received assurances that the decision of Great Britain was not influenced by any unfriendly feelings towards the United States. Their sentiments for Great Britain are those of amity and good will;—and their Government is animated by a sincere desire to improve and strengthen the friendly relations of the two countries.

The undersigned has the honour to renew to Lord Dudley the assurance of his high consideration. ALBERT GALLATIN. October, 3, 1827.



American paper on the Navigation of the St. Lawrence.-18th Protocol.

The right of the People of the United States to navigate the river St. Lawrence, to and from the sea, has never yet been discussed between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain. If it has not been distinctly asserted by the former, in negotiation, hitherto, it is because the benefits of it have been tacitly enjoyed, and because the interest, now become so great, and daily acquiring fresh magnitude, has, it may almost be said, originated since the acknowledgment of the independence of the United States, in 1783. This river is the only outlet provided by nature for the inhabitants of several among the largest and most populous States of the American Union. Their right to use it, as a medium of communication with the ocean, rests upon the same ground of natural right and obvious necessity heretofore asserted by the Government in behalf of the people of other portions of the United States, in relation to the Mississippi River. It has sometimes been said, that the possession by one nation of both the shores of a river at its mouth, gives the right of obstructing the navigation of it to the people of other nations living on the banks above; but it remains to be shown upon what satisfactory grounds the assumption by the nation below of exclusive jurisdiction over a river, thus situated, can be placed. be placed. The

common right to navigate it, is, on the other hand, a right of nature. This is a principle which, it is conceived, will be found to have the sanction of the most revered authorities of ancient and modern times: and, if there have been temporary occasions when it has been questioned, it is not known that the reasons upon which it rests, as developed in the most approved works upon public law, have ever been impugned. As a general principle, it stands unshaken. The dispute relative to the Scheldt, in 1784, is, perhaps, the occasion when the argument drawn from natural right was most attempted to be impeached. Here the circumstances were altogether peculiar. Amongst others, it is known to have been alleged by the Dutch, that the whole course of the two branches of this river, which passed within the dominions of Holland, was entirely artificial; that it owed its existence to the skill and labour of Dutchmen; that its banks had been reared up at immense cost, and were in like manner maintained. Hence, probably, the motive for that stipulation in the treaty of Munster, which had continued for more than a century, that the lower Scheldt, with the canals of Sas and Swin, and other mouths of the sea bordering upon them, should be kept closed on the side belonging to the States. But the case of the St. Lawrence is totally different. cial, also, as seemed the grounds which the Dutch took as against the emperor of Germany, in this


case of the Scheldt, and, although they also stood fupon a specific and positive compact, of long duration, it is, nevertheless, known that the public voice of Europe, on this part of the dispute, preponderated against them. It may well have done so, since there is no sentiment more deeply and universally felt than that the ocean is free to all men, and the waters that flow into it, to those whose home is upon their shores. In nearly every part of the world we find this natural right acknowledged, by laying navigable rivers open to all the inhabitants of their banks; and, wherever the stream, entering the limits of another society or nation, has been interdicted to the upper inhabitants, it has been an act of force by a stronger against a weaker party, and condemned by the judgment of mankind. The right of the upper inhabitants to the full use of the stream, rests upon the same imperious wants as that of the lower; upon the same intrinsic necessity of participating in the benefits of this flowing element. Rivers were given for the use of all persons living in the country of which they make a part, and a primary use of navigable ones is that of external commerce. The public good of nations is the object of the law of nations, as that of individuals is of municipal law. The interest of a part gives way to that of the whole; the particular to the general. The former is The former is subordinate; the latter paramount. This is the principle pervading every code, national or municipal, whose basis is laid in moral right, and whose aim is the universal good. All that can be required under a principal so incontestible,

so wise, and, in its permanent results upon the great fabric of human society, so beneficent, is, that reasonable compensation be made whenever the general good calls for partial sacrifices, whether from individuals in a local jurisdiction, or from one nation considered as an integral part of the family of nations. This is accordingly done in the case of roads, and the right of way, in single communities; and is admitted to be just, in the form of moderate tolls, where a foreign passage takes place through a natural current, kept in repair by the nation holding its shores below. The latter predicament is not supposed to be that of the St. Lawrence at this day, since it is not known that any artificial constructions, looking simply to its navigation, have yet been employ ed, either upon its banks, or in keeping the channel clear. This has been the case, in connexion with other facilities and protection afforded to navigation, with the Elbe, the Maese, the Weser, the Oder, and various other rivers of Europe that might be named : and the incidental right of toll has followed. It may be mentioned, however, as a fact, under this head, that the prevailing disposi tion of Europe defeated an attempt, once made by Denmark, to exact a toll at the mouth of the Elbe, by means of a fort on the Holstein side, which commanded it. The sound dues have been admitted in favour of Denmark, but not always without scrutiny, and only under well established rules. We know that, under some circumstances, and with due precautions, a right is even allowed to armies to pass through

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