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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 a 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 consideration. (See Appendix to speech.)

With this, Mr. Speaker, I close. I believe, solemnly and conscientiously believe, that in this great contest are involved every right dear to freemen, and every interest connected with the happiness and welfare of the people. I have opposed the encroachments of executive power, because in them I see the ruin of my country, and the corruption of all sound, moral, and political sentiment. have been startled at the influence of executive patronage, and have seen the most unquestionable principle of national policy abandoned at its bidding. I warn my countrymen to look to it in time.

In addition to this general outline, we beg leave to state that the banking capital employed in this district of country is, by far, inadequate to its wants. We feel a confidence in stating that from two to five hundred thousand dollars more might be employed with profit to the stockholders, and advantage to the country at large. We have, it is true, one bank, and the branch of another more west, in operation here; but their capital is not great, and they have always divided nine per cent., and more than once have divided fifteen per centum per annum.

As we suppose that your honorable board will not enter 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 duties, 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 flourishing 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 deposite for its funds, whether to be employed or collected in this section of the United States.

Sir, they will no longer be deceived. I rely upon their integrity, their patriotism, and their love of order. The country is in danger, the constitution is assailed, the law is trampled under foot, and they will fly to the rescue.

APPENDIX TO MR. WATMOUGH'S SPEECH. UTICA, September 1, 1826. To the honorable the President and Directors of the Bank of the United States:

We hope and trust that this slight view will draw the attention of your honorable board to this place, in selecting a proper position in this State for another branch bank; and we think we may safely refer you for information on this subject to all the enlightened and disisterested bankers and merchants in the State of New York. Hoping to receive, in convenient time, a favorable answer to this application, we would subscribe ourselves, most respectfully, your obedient servants,

To the Directors of the Bank of the United States: the memorial of the subscribers, in behalf of themselves and their fellow-citizens in Albany, respectfully show. eth:

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 Č. 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 growing, and a rich population; and although this people, in the main, are occupied in agriculture, yet there 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 exceeds ed 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

JUNE 23, 1834.]

Presentation of Memorials.

[H. of R.

SENATE CHAMBER, January 29, 1811. SIR: The committee of the Senate to whom has been

the business of the place would warrant, and which the most cautious prudence would justify. The limited capital 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 banking capital there, although their business principally upon this subject as may be in your possession. I am, sir, respectfully,

Your most obedient and very humble servant,


TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 30, 1811.

has been continued with the interior of this State. The western world is pouring its treasure into the market at Albany; but its citizens are doomed, with tantalized feelings, to behold a rich and profitable trade float past them to the city of New York, solely for the want of a sufficient banking capital located amongst them. Could the produce brought to this place be purchased here, such porSIR: 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 which 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 the citizens of Albany once more to ask for the States. Under that system, the assistance of banks apestablishment 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 acknowledgof 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 market.

Inasmuch, therefore, as the establishment of a branch here would not only be highly advantageous to this city, but be a source of profit to the parent institution, we hope that the directors of the United States Bank will establish an office of discount and deposite in this place.

pose of making payments in other places than those of collection, cannot with any convenience be effected on a large scale, in an extensive country, except through the medium of banks or of persons acting as bankers.

The question, therefore, is, whether a bank, incorporated by the United States, or a number of banks, incorporated by the several States, be most convenient for those purposes.

McMillan & Bagley, William Cook, Jno. J. Godfry,
T. W. Rathbone, Charles E. Dudley, M. Van Buren,
State banks may be used, and must, in case of a non-
Wood, & Acres, J. & H. Meacham, Andrew Lightbody, renewal of the charter, be used by the Treasury. Pre-
J. 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, S. & H. Stafford, G. & S. Bluckey, J.ience, and, in some respects, with perhaps less safety,
Pruyn, 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 is responsible for the money deposited in any of its
son, John 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 answer-
Elisha 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. II. King & Co., S.
Van Rensselaer, Nathan Sanford, R. M. Meigs, Richard
Marvin, C. & E. Egbuts, Chandler Starr, Isaac W. Stools,
E. Baldwin, Cor. Van Antwerp.
ALBANY, July 10, 1826.

different arrangement. Nor will the United States have any other control over the manner in which the business of the banks may be conducted than what may result from the power of withdrawing the public deposites; and they will lose that which a charter, or a dependence on the 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 State; and that loans to the United States are, by many of the charters, forbidden, without a special permission from the State.

As it is not perceived, on the other hand, that a single advantage will accrue to the public from the change, no reason presents itself, on the ground of expediency, why an untried system should be substituted for one under which the Treasury business has so long been conducted with perfect security to the United States, and great convenience, not only to the officers, but also to all those who have had payments of a public nature to make or to receive.

It does not seem necessary to advert to the particular objections made against the present charter, as these may easily be obviated by proper alterations. What has been called a national bank, or, in other words, a new Bank of the United States, instead of the existing one, may be obtained by such alterations. The capital may be extended, and more equally distributed; new stockholders may be substituted for the foreigners, as had been suggested in the report of 2d March, 1809; and any other modifications which may be thought expedient may be introduced, without interrupting the operations of the institution now in force, and without disturbing all the commercial concerns of the country.

Sir, your obedient servant,



Chairman in Senate.

Letter from Mr. Madison to C. J. Ingersoll.
MONTPELIER, June 25, 1831.

DEAR SIR: I have received your friendly letter of the 18th instant. The few lines which answered your former one of the 21st of January last were written in haste and in bad health; but they expressed, though without the attention in some respects due to the occasion, a dissent from the views of the President as to a Bank of the United States and a substitute for it, to which I cannot but adhere. The objections to the latter have appeared to me to preponderate greatly over the advantages expected from it; and the constitutionality of the former I still regard as sustained by the considerations to which I yielded in giving my assent to the existing bank.

The charge of inconsistency between my objection to the constitutionality of such a bank in 1791, and my assent in 1817, turns on the question how far legislative precedents, expounding the constitution, ought to guide succeeding Legislatures and to overrule individual opinions. Some obscurity has been thrown over the question by 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 two removed without affecting either its numerous debtors, cases are essentially different. A constitution, being dethe 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, its 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 suc 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, to 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 approaching non-importation will considerably lessen the efficiency of the provision by which subsequent credits are refused to importers who have not discharged former 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 so? In these 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 inconted 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.

the sanction of those who, having made the law through their legislative organ, appear under such circumstances to have determined its meaning through their judiciary organ.





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


At the commencement of the First Session of the Twenty. third Congress.

Fellow-citizens of the Senate

and House of Representatives:

On your assembling to perform the high trusts which the people of the United States have confided to you, of legislating for their common welfare, it gives me pleas ure to congratulate you upon the happy condition of our beloved country. By the favor of Divine Providence, health is again restored to us: peace reigns within our borders: abundance crowns the labors of our fields: commerce and domestic industry flourish and increase: and individual happiness rewards the private virtue and enterprise of our citizens.

Our condition abroad is no less honorable than it is prosperous at home. Seeking nothing that is not right, and determined to submit to nothing that is wrong, but desiring honest friendships and liberal intercourse with all nations, the United States have gained throughout the world the confidence and respect which are due to a policy so just, and so congenial to the character of the American people, and to the spirit of their institutions.

In bringing to your notice the particular state of our foreign affairs, it affords me high gratification to inform you that they are in a condition which promises the continuance of friendship with all nations.

tled questions may be satisfactorily terminated, but new causes of misunderstanding prevented.

Notwithstanding that I continue to receive the most amicable assurances from the Government of France, and that in all other respects the most friendly relations exist between the United States and that Government, it is to be regretted that the stipulations of the convention concluded on the 4th of July, 1831, remain, in some important parts, unfulfilled.

By the second article of that convention, it was stipu lated that the sum payable to the United States should be paid at Paris, in six annual instalments, into the hands of such person or persons as should be authorized by the Government of the United States to receive it; and by the same article the first ins'alment was payable on the second day of February, 1833. By the act of Congress of the 13th July, 1832, it was made the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to cause the several instalments, with the interest thereon, to be received from the French Government, and transferred to the United States, in such manner as he may deem best; and by the same act of Congress, the stipulations on the part of the United States, in the convention, were, in all respects, fulfilled. Not doubting that a treaty thus made and ratified by the two Governments, and faithfully executed by the United States, would be promptly complied with by the other party, and desiring to avoid the risk and expense of intermediate agencies, the Secretary of the Treasury deemed it advisable to receive and transfer the first instalment by means of a draft upon the French minister of Finance. A draft for this purpose was accordingly drawn in favor of the cashier of the Bank of the United States, for 'the amount accruing to the United States out of the first instalment, and the interest payable with it. This bill was not drawn at Washington until five days after the instal ment was payable at Paris, and was accompanied by a special authority from the President, authorizing the cash

With Great Britain the interesting question of our Northeastern boundary remains still undecided. A negotiation, however, upon that subject, has been renewed since the close of the last Congress, and a proposition has been submitted to the British Government, with the view of establishing, in conformity with the resolution of the Senate, the line designated by the treaty of 1783. Though no definitive answer has been received, it may be daily look ed for, and I entertain a hope that the overture may ulier, or his assigns, to receive the amount. The mode timately lead to a satisfactory adjustment of this important


thus adopted of receiving the instalment, was officially 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 23d day of March, the erection of light-houses on the Bahamas 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 political relations. It is grat was at an advanced period of the session, and the subifying 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 extensive, and that sentiments of mutual good will have VOL. X.-A


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 Govnot be carried into effect without an appropriation by the ernment of Spain has 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 has 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 late 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. It could to obtain the necessary appropriation. not fail to strengthen the sentiments of amity and goodwill between the two nations which it is so much the wish of the United States to cherish, and so truly the interest of both to maintain.

It is necessary to state, however, that the documents, except certain lists of vessels captured, condemned, or burnt at sea, proper to facilitate the examination and 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 arrivFrance engaged to communicate to the United States bying from the 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 20th October, 1817, being five cents per ton. That tions 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 disprevent the completion of the duties assigned to the com-criminating duties of tonnage were to be abolished 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 to 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, 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 alguished citizen for this purpose, who proceeded on his luded 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 of 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 sum 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. be early considered and satisfactorily disposed of at the next meeting of the Chambers.

As the arrangement referred to, however, did not embrace the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico, discriminating duties, to the prejudice of American shipping, continue As this subject involves important interests, and has to be levied there. From the extent of the commerce attracted a considerable share of the public attention, 1 carried on between the United States 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 the 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 benefilast, 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 sescured, a flourishing and increasing commerce, yielding sion-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 modimotives for that mutual friendship which the two coun-fied or discontinued at those islands. Intimations have es have hitherto cherished towards each other. been given to the Spanish Government that the United

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