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Albans. I assume, then, that it concerns our foreign relations, and therefore, according to the usages of the Senate, should be referred to the committee having that subject in charge.
This is all I have to say on the question of reference; but the Senate will pardon me, if I glance for one moment at the outrage to which the Senator referred. Only a few weeks ago, the village of St. Albans, in Vermont, was disturbed by a band of murderers, highwaymen, house-breakers, horse-thieves, and bank-robbers, from Canada. After breaking open the banks and obtaining a certain amount of spoil, attended by the mur
of a citizen, they succeeded in making their way back to Canada, where they declared themselves agents of the Rebel Government. Such are the main facts. Now, Mr. President, does any one suppose that these agents of the Rebel Government were moved to this criminal enterprise merely by considerations of plunder?--that they risked life and everything merely to rob a bank? No such thing. Their object was much higher and more comprehensive. It was to embroil the Government of the United States with the Government of Great Britain. I cannot doubt that such was their object. To my mind it is plain as noonday.
These agents, or rather the men behind who set them on, knew the sensitiveness of our people, and how naturally they would be aroused against the foreign country where the enterprise had its origin. They saw that excitement, passion, anger on our part were inevitable, that out of these some complication or collision might ensue, and that any such complication or collision must necessarily help the Rebellion more than a victory on the field of battle. All this they saw, and acted ac
cordingly. The whole proceeding was a trap in which to catch the Government of our country. It was hoped that in this way the Rebellion might gain that powerful British intervention which would restore its failing fortunes.
For myself, Sir, I am determined not to be caught in any such trap. There are many things Great Britain has done, since the outbreak of our Rebellion, which to my mind are most unfriendly; but I am unwilling that there should be anything on our side to furnish seeming apology for that foreign intervention so constantly menaced, and originally foreshadowed in the most hasty and utterly unjustifiable concession of ocean belligerence to Rebel Slavemongers who had not a single port or prize court. Nobody sees the wrongs we have suffered more clearly than I do; but I see other wrongs also. While never ceasing to claim all our just rights, and reminding this power always of duties plainly neglected, I cannot forget that we are engaged in a war for the suppression of a long-continued and most virulent Rebellion, which has thus far tasked our best energies. To this work let us dedicate ourselves, without arousing another enemy, through whose alliance the Rebellion may be encouraged and strengthened. Let us put down the Rebellion. Do this, and we shall do everything
Meanwhile I trust the Senate will not be moved by passion into hasty action on any of the measures before it, but that each will be considered carefully and calmly on its merits, according to the usage of this body. This surely is the dictate of prudence, and I cannot doubt that it is the dictate of patriotism also.
Washington, in his Farewell Address, warns against
" the insidious wiles of foreign influence”; but the “insidious wiles ” of our Rebels, seeking to embroil us with foreign powers, are as deadly as any influence brought against us. Forewarned is forearmed. Let us be steadfast against them.
After further debate, in which Mr. Sumner considered the order of General Dix, authorizing our troops to pursue a hostile expedition into Canada, according to writers on International Law, the bill was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, where, with other similar measures, it was allowed to sleep.
TERMINATION OF THE CANADIAN RECIPROCITY
SPEECHES IN THE SENATE, ON The Joint RESOLUTION GIVING Notice
FOR THE TERMINATION OF THE CANADIAN RECIPROCITY Treaty, DECEMBER 21, 1864, JANUARY 11 and 12, 1865.
A JOINT RESOLUTION passed the House of Representatives, December 13, 1864, which, after an argumentative preamble, authorized and requested the President of the United States to give the British Government the notice required by the fifth article of the Reciprocity Treaty of the 5th June, 1854, for the termination of the same; and in the Senate the same was duly referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
December 20, 1864, Mr. Sumner reported from the Committee the House resolution, with the following substitute as an amendment.
"Joint RESOLUTION providing for the termination of the Reciprocity Treaty
of fifth June, cighteen hundred and fifty-four, between the United States and Great Britain.
“Whereas it is provided in the Reciprocity Treaty concluded at Washington the 5th of June, 1854, between the United States, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, of the other part, that this treaty shall remain in force for ten years from the date at which it may come into operation, and further until the expiration of twelve months after either of the high contracting parties shall give notice to the other of its wish to terminate the same'; and whereas it appears, by a proclamation of the President of the United States, bearing date 16th March, 1855, that the treaty came into operation on that day; and whereas, further, it is no longer for the interests of the United States to continue the same in force: Therefore
“ Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That notice be given of the termination of the Reciprocity Treaty, according to the provision therein contained for the termination of the same; and the President of the United States is hereby charged with the communication of such notice to the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland."
December 21st, the joint resolution was, on motion of Mr. Sumner, taken up for consideration, when the substitute was adopted as an amendment. The question occurring on the passage of the joint resolution as amended, Mr. Sumner said :
R. PRESIDENT, - I had originally intended,
when this joint resolution came up, to review the whole subject, and to exhibit at length the history of the Reciprocity Treaty, and existing reasons for its termination. But, after the debate of a few days ago, and considering the apparent unanimity in the Senate, I feel unwilling to occupy time by any protracted remarks. They are not needed.
The people of the United States have been uneasy under the Reciprocity Treaty for several years, - I may almost say from its date. A feeling early showed itself that the treaty was more advantageous to Canada than to the United States, - that, in short, it was unilateral. This eeling has of late ripened into something like conviction. At the same time the exigencies of the present war, requiring so large an expenditure, make it unreasonable for us to continue a treaty by which the revenues of the country suffer. Such considerations have brought the public mind to its present position. The unamiable feelings manifested toward us by the people of Canada have had little influence on the question, unless, perhaps, they may conspire to make us look at it in the light of reason rather than of sentiment.
The subject of the fisheries is included in this treaty. But it is not doubted that before the termination of the treaty some arrangement can be made in regard to it, either by reciprocal legislation or by further negotiation.