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portion of the duty levied on American rough rice, imported since the passing of the Act of 6 and 7 William IV, chap. 60, in August, 1836, was paid by 4 firms, all British merchants-that is to say, Messrs. Lucas and Ewbank, and Messrs. Forster and Smith, of this port; and Messrs. Simpson and Co., and Messrs. Hill and Smith, of Liverpool. And it is to be observed that, on the debentures for granting the drawback to all these parties, they declared that they were the real owners of the rice in respect of which such drawback was claimed.

Now, it can scarcely be supposed that, of a cargo of rough rice imported, the portions of rice which were cleared and exported belonged exclusively to British subjects, while those portions which were sold for home consumption belonged partly to British and partly to American subjects. But, whether British or American, both have been reimbursed the amount of duty paid, inasmuch as they obtained the drawback on the quantity exported; and as regards the quantity retained for home use, they obtained from the consumer the price of the article, including the duty.


It is a curious and instructive fact, and tends to throw no small light on the subject of the claims now advanced on the part of The United States citizens, that, in the month of May last, the Board of Customs received a notice from the solicitor of certain parties, intimating that Messrs. Lucas and Ewbank had assigned to the said parties all sums of money which they claimed, and which might become payable to them, in respect of the duty paid by them on rough rice. On this fact it is not necessary to make any comment.

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Another important feature in the consideration of this question is, that, subsequently to the passing of the Act 6 and 7 William IV, chap. 60, one parcel only of rough rice has been imported into this country from a foreign place on the West Coast of Africa. That parcel consisted of 2,352 quarters only. Therefore, to that amount only could any prejudices be affirmed to have accrued to the rice imported from The United States.

On the above-stated grounds alone, exclusive of those set forth in the former part of this note, the Undersigned conceives that he is completely justified in declining to accede to the demand of restitution or compensation advanced by The United States Minister on behalf of the American merchants who affirm themselves to have been the owners of the cargoes of rice for which such compensation is claimed. The Undersigned, &c.

Edward Everett, Esq.


No. 8.-Mr. Everett to Mr. Webster.


London, November 18, 1842.

I HAVE been desired by Mr. Barry, the agent of the parties interested in the claim for reimbursement of the duties levied on rough

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rice imported from The United States, to transmit to you a copy of a letter addressed by him to me, containing his remarks in reply to Lord Aberdeen's note to me on that subject, of August 11. He has not yet furnished me the copy, but I expect it in season to be forwarded with this despatch. I have delayed my answer to Lord Aberdeen's note, partly to afford opportunity for any instruction you might think proper to send me on the subject, (as intimated in my despatch No. 20,) and partly to arrive at a satisfactory explanation of some of the matters of fact asserted by Mr. Barry, and controverted by Lord Aberdeen. The Hon. Daniel Webster. EDWARD EVERETT.


(Inclosure.)—Mr. Barry to Mr. Everett.

London, September 26, 1842.

I HAVE perused with attention the note addressed on the 11th ultimo, to your Excellency, by Lord Aberdeen, respecting the delivery of the Exchequer bills, and return of the higher duty levied in this Country on rough ride the produce of The United States, than on rough rice imported from the West Coast of Africa.

I have the honour, now, of submitting to your Excellency the following remarks thereon:

The question is, I conceive, simply whether the following clause in the Treaty with The United States of July 3, 1815, was, or was not, infringed by the enforcement of the differential duty alluded to, via: 198. 11d. per quarter more on rough rice the produce of The United States, than on rough rice from the West Coast of Africa; the former having been charged with 17., and the latter with 1d. per quarter.

"No higher or other duty shall be imposed in The United Kingdom upon the importation of any article the growth or produce of The United States, than are or shall be payable on the like article being the growth, produce, &c., of any other foreign country."

I contend that the Treaty has been infringed, because the case comes directly within the intention of the same, as well as within the letter of the clause. Were it not so, The United States would be liable to every inroad which inadvertent legislation or revenue regulations might occasion; while one main object of, the Treaty was to put an end to all changes and vacillations in the commercial policy of the 2 countries, and to place the trade and intercourse between them on impartial and permanent footing.

It is, however, impossible to reach the justice of the case by reasoning it upon the ground upon which it is attempted to be placed by Lord Aberdeen, who treats it as a matter to be determined by the prát or loss, and nationality of the importers; whereas it strikes me itse considerations are quite beside the subject, which resolves itself to a violation of a vested interest which the people of The United (1844-45.]


States have for their produce in our markets, under the Treaty, in return for a similar interest of the people of this country in the markets of The United States; which the latter have enjoyed, are enjoying, and, from the nature of The United States laws, will enjoy, without hindrance or curtailment. I apprehend, therefore, that the Government of The United States can only deal with this infringement of the Treaty as a national matter, affecting the rights of its citizens at large.

If the Treaty had been made part and parcel of the laws of this country (as is the case in The United States), this infringement would not have happened; and I submit it to your Excellency, whether the British Government be not bound to place this matter on the same footing as if the Treaty had been made the law of the land; it being inadmissible to plead the counteraction by means of any law, in justification of the violation of a Treaty with a foreign Power.

The distinction made in his Lordship's note between an American and a British importer, is wholly untenable, inasmuch as the Treaty applies specifically to the produce of The United States. There is no qualification whatever, either as to the importer or the ship; and, therefore, not to insist on restitution in every case of overcharge, would, in effect, be to surrender the rights of the American agricul turist and commercial community into the hands of the British


What, it may be asked, would be the course pursued by the British Government, if a cargo of British manufactures were refused to be admitted into The United States at the lowest rate of duty paid on similar articles from any other country, on the plea that the importer was not a subject of the United Kingdom, and, consequently, the British Government was deprived of all right of remonstrance and redress, the transaction being held to be out of the pale of the Treaty? The British Government would, no doubt, instruct the Minister at Washington to insist on the admission of the goods, in bona fide conformity with the terms of the Convention, and to treat the question as one involving the general commercial interests of his country. It may be presumed that any arguments used by The United States Minister for Foreign Affairs, calculated, like those of Lord Aberdeen, to fritter away the broad and national operation of the Treaty, would not satisfy the British Government; who, on the contrary, would, of course, insist that the Treaty related to the goods, as well as to the party who was the medium of the importation. It would be superfluous to add, the cases are precisely parallel.

From the year 1815 up to 1835, paddy, or rough rice, imported from all foreign countries, was subject to the same rate of duty; and no parcels of the least moment were, from the former period until 1834, imported from the West Coast of Africa. A mill, however,

having been built at this port, for the express purpose of cleaning African paddy, several parcels, during the last-mentioned year 1834, arrived from British possessions on that coast; and immediately thereon, Messrs. Ewbank and Cordes, being aware that the paddy so imported was of foreign growth, petitioned the Customs, objecting to its admission; whereupon the Government passed the Act dated September 9, 1835, allowing paddy, the produce of the West Coast of Africa, to be imported from any British possession on that coast; and in the following year (1836) a further Act was passed, allowing rough rice, or paddy, to be imported from any part of the said coast: both Acts fixing upon such importations the low duty of 1d. per quarter. Upon reference to the printed documents laid before the House of Commons, it appears that the parties who appealed to Government urged, as a reason for passing the Act in 1835, that, in the event of Encouragement being given to the African, enough paddy would, in the course of a few years, be produced to drive the American paddy

out of the British market.

The duty upon bees-wax from the West Coast of Africa was also reduced by the said Act, passed in 1836, from 30s. to 10s. per cwt.

Mr. Stevenson's note of remonstrance to the Foreign Office was presented in November, 1838, (after the high duty demanded on American paddy had been protested against,) and directions were issued thereon by the Treasury (dated December 29 following) to the Customs, directing them to discontinue charging the high rate; which was done accordingly, and all sums collected on bees-wax, contrary to the Convention, were returned to the parties.

I beg leave to submit to your Excellency that this forms a precedent which embraces precisely the same principle as that on which the return of the Exchequer bills deposited, and restitution of the duties on paddy are claimed; and it is impossible to admit the justice of granting the one, without establishing the injustice of withholding

the other.

Lord Aberdeen remarks that no injury was intended or sustained by the Americans; that only one parcel had been imported from a foreign country on the West Coast of Africa (Mogadore, I presume), and that, consequently the American trade could only have sustained prejudice to the extent of that quantity.

Now, although I consider all such circumstances extraneous, and forming no answer to the complaint of the breach of Treaty, I will just observe that his Lordship should have informed your Excellency that such importation was independent of those made from other parts of the coast (foreign and British) with which the English merchants trade, and for the encouragement of which the Acts of Parliament were expressly passed.

In proof that the American planters and importers have been injured, I beg leave to state the following facts:

In the month of August, 1838, the brig Horwood arrived from Charleston with a cargo of paddy. I had a considerable interest therein, and can attest the fact that such importation was made upon the faith of the Convention, well knowing that by the conditions thereof, only the low rate of duty was due. The cargo alluded to by Lord Aberdeen arrived just after, and was admitted to entry at the low duty of 1d. per quarter, while the broker (Mr. Sutherland) was compelled to pay (which he did under protest) the high duty; and a the result was, that the cargo of the Horwood, instead of producing a moderate and fair profit of 5007, left a loss of 7007.; whereas the African cargo received an advantage over the American of 19s. 11d. per quarter in the home market. The consequence was, that I desisted from being interested in any further importations of paddy from The United States,

From the year 1834, other importations were regularly made from the coast of Africa (vide Parliamentary Papers), a portion thereof from Rio Nunez, a foreign settlement; the remainder from the River Gambia, one house alone having imported 17 parcels, viz.: 7 from Rio Nunez and 10 from the River Gambia; the whole necessarily of foreign growth, as the British Government oecupies merely a small tract round the fort or settlement. It was all admitted at 1d. per quarter, and sold for home consumption in the market, gaining thus, in effect, a bounty of 198. 11d, over the like article imported from The United States. Besides which it is clear that the extra quantity thus brought into the market injured the price of the American article; and if the Act of 1836 had provided, as it should have done, for American paddy to be admitted at the low duty of 1d, per quarter, the American grower and merchant would not only have been put on as good a footing as the African, but the importations from The United States would have been much increased.


In reply to the point which relates to the amount of American interest involved, I may observe (although I deprecate any distinction, as having nothing to do with the case), that the firm of Lucas and Ewbank ceased to exist in 1833, and the present claim has reference only to importations since 1836.

The different claims, and the proportion of American and British interests therein, are precisely as stated to your Excellency per document dated May the 12th last. Mr. Cordes is an American-born citizen of The United States; and as respects the house of C. R. Simpson and Co., Mr. Higham, an American citizen, of the firm of Higham and Fife, of Charleston, is a partner, and with him both

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