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of a de facto political organization of the insurgents sufficient to justify a recognition of belligerency.
“ T'he principle is maintained, however, that this nation is its own judge when to accord the rights of belligerency, either to a people struggling to free themselves from a government they believe to be oppressive, or to independent nations at war with each other.
« The United States have no disposition to interfere with the existing relations of Spain to her colonial possessions on this continent. They believe that in due time Spain and other European powers will find their interest in terminating those relations, and establishing their present dependencies as independent powersmembers of the family of nations. These dependencies are no longer regarded as subject to transfer from one European power to another. When the present relation of colonies ceases, they are to become independent powers, exercising the right of choice and of self-control in the determination of their future condition and relations with
“ The United States, n order to put a stop to bloodshed in Cuba, and in the interest of a neighbouring people, proposed their good offices to bring the existing contest to a termination. The offer, not being accepted by Spain on a basis which we believed could be received by Cuba, was withdrawn. It is hoped that the good offices of the United States may yet prove advantageous for the settlement of this unhappy strife.
“ Meanwhile a number of illegal expeditions against Cuba have been broken
up “It has been the endeavour of the Administration to execute the neutrality laws in good faith, no matter how unpleasant the taskmade so by the sufferings we have endured from lack of like good faith towards us by other nations.
« On the 26th of March last the United States schooner Lizzie Major' was arrested on the high seas by a Spanish frigate, and two passengers taken from it and carried as prisoners to Cuba. Representations of these facts were made to the Spanish Government as soon as official information of them reached Washington. The two passengers were set at liberty, and the Spanish Government assured the United States that the captain of the frigate in making the capture had acted without law, that he had been reprimanded for the irregularity of his conduct, and that the Spanish authorities in Cuba would not sanction any act that could violate the rights or treat with disrespect the sovereignty of this nation.
“ The question of the seizure of the brig' Mary Lowell' at one of the Bahama Islands, by Spanish authorities, is now the subject of correspondence between this Government and those of Spain and Great Britain.
“The Captain-General of Cuba, about May last, issued a proclamation authorizing search to be made of vessels on the high seas. Immediate remonstrance was made against this, whereupon the Captain-General issued a new proclamation limiting the right of
search to vessels of the United States so far as authorized under the treaty of 1795. This proclamation, however, was immediately withdrawn.
“I have always felt that the most intimate relations should be cultivated between the Republic of the United States and all independent nations on this continent. It may be well worth considering whether new treaties between us and them may not be profitably entered into, to secure more intimate relations, friendly, commercial, and otherwise.
“ The subject of an inter-oceanic canal, to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, through the Isthmus of Darien, is one in which commerce is greatly interested. Instructions have been given to our Minister to the Republic of the United States of Colombia to endeavour to obtain authority for a survey by this Government, in order to determine the practicability of such an undertaking, and a charter for the right of way to build, by private enterprise, such a work, if the survey proves it to be practicable.
“In order to comply with the agreement of the United States as to a mixed commission at Lima for the adjustment of claims, it became necessary to send a commissioner and secretary to Lima in August last. No appropriation having been made by Congress for this purpose, it is now asked that one be made covering the past and future expenses of the Commission.
“ The good offices of the United States to bring about a peace between Spain and the South American republics, with which she is at war, having been accepted by Spain, Peru, and Chili, a congress has been invited to be held in Washington during the present winter.
“A grant has been given to Europeans of an exclusive right of transit over the territory of Nicaragua, to which Costa Rica has given its assent, which it is alleged conflicts with vested rights of citizens of the United States. The Department of State has now this subject under consideration.
“The Minister of Peru having made representations that there was a state of war between Peru and Spain, and that Spain was constructing, in and near New York, thirty gun-boats, which might be used by Spain in such a way as to relieve the naval force at Cuba so as to operate against Peru, orders were given to prevent their departure. No further steps having been taken by the representative of the Peruvian Government to prevent the departure of these vessels, and I not feeling authorized to detain the property of a nation with which we are at peace, on a mere Executive order, the matter has been referred to the courts to decide.
“The conduct of the war between the allies and the Republic of Paraguay has made the intercourse with that country so difficult that it has been deemed advisable to withdraw our representative from there.
“ Toward the close of the last Administration a convention was signed at London for the settlement of all outstanding claims between Great Britain and the United States, which failed to receive the advice and consent of the Senate to its ratification. The time and the circumstances attending the negotiation of that treaty were unfavourable to its acceptance by the people of the United States, and its provisions were wholly inadequate for the settlement of the grave wrongs that had been sustained by this Government, as well as by its citizens. The injuries resulting to the United States by reason of the course adopted by Great Britain during our late civil war, in the increased rates of insurance; in the diminution of exports and imports, and other obstructions to domestic industry and production; in its effect upon the foreign commerce of the country; in the decrease and transfer to Great Britain of our commercial marine; in the prolongation of the war and the increased cost (both in treasure and in lives) of its suppression—could not be adjusted and satisfied as ordinary commercial claims, which continually arise between commercial nations. And yet the Convention treated them simply as such ordinary claims, from which they differ more widely in the gravity of their character than in the magnitude of their amount, great even as is that difference. Not a word was found in the treaty, and not an inference could be drawn from it, to remove the sense of the unfriendliness of the course of Great Britain, in our struggle for existence, which had so deeply and universally impressed itself upon the people of this country.
"Believing that a convention thus misconceived in its scope and inadequate in its provisions would not have produced the hearty, cordial settlement of pending questions, which alone is consistent with the relations which I desire to have firmly established between the United States and Great Britain, I regarded the action of the Senate in rejecting the treaty to have been wisely taken in the interest of peace, and as a necessary step in the direction of a perfect and cordial friendship between the two countries. A sensitive people, conscious of their power, are more at ease under a great wrong, wholly unatoned, than under the restraint of a settlement which satisfies neither their ideas of justice nor their grave sense of the grievance they have sustained. The rejection of the treaty was followed by a state of public feeling on both sides which I thought not favourable to an immediate attempt at renewed negotiations. I accordingly so instructed the Minister of the United States to Great Britain, and found that my views in this regard were shared by her Majesty's Ministers. I hope that the time may soon arrive when the two Governments can approach the solution of this momentous question with an appreciation of what is due to the rights, dignity, and honour of each, and with the determination not only to remove the causes of complaint in the past, but to lay the foundation of a broad principle of public law, which will prevent future differences, and tend to firm and continued peace and friendship.
“This is now the only grave question which the United States has with any foreign nation.
“The question of renewing a treaty for reciprocal trade between the United States and the British provinces on this continent has not been favourably considered by the Administration. The advantages of such a treaty would be wholly in favour of the British producer. Except, possibly, a few engaged in the trade between the two sections, no citizen of the United States would be benefited by reciprocity. Our internal taxation would prove a protection to the British producer almost equal to the protection which our manufacturers now receive from the tariff. Some arrangement, however, for the regulation of commercial intercourse between the United States and the Dominion of Canada may be desirable.
“ The Commission for adjusting the claims of the Hudson Bay and Puget's Sound Agricultural Company upon the United States has terminated its labours. The award of six hundred and fifty thousand dollars has been made, and all rights and titles of the company on the territory of the United States have been extinguished. Deeds for the property of the company have been delivered. An appropriation by Congress to meet this sum is asked.
“The Commissioners for determining the north-western land boundary between the United States and the British Possessions, under the treaty of 1856, have completed their labours, and the Commission has been dissolved.
“In conformity with the recommendation of Congress, a proposition was early made to the British Government to abolish the mixed courts created under the treaty of April 7, 1862, for the suppression of the slave trade. The subject is still under negotiation.
“It having come to my knowledge that a corporate company, organized under British laws, proposed to land upon the shores of the United States and to operate there a submarine cable, under a concession from his Majesty the Emperor of the French, of an exclusive right for twenty years of telegraphic communication between the shores of France and the United States, with the very objectionable feature of subjecting all messages conveyed thereby to the scrutiny and control of the French Government, I caused the French and British legations at Washington to be made acquainted with the probable policy of Congress on this subject as foreshadowed by the Bill which passed the Senate in March last. This drew from the representatives of the company an agreement to accept, as the basis of their operations, the provisions of that Bill, or of such other enactment on the subject as might be passed during the approaching session of Congress; also, to use their influence to secure from the French Government a modification of their concession, so as to permit the landing upon French soil of any cable belonging to any company incorporated by the authority of the United States, or of any State in the Union, and on their part not to oppose the establishment of any such cable. In consideration of this agreement, I directed the withdrawal of all opposition by the United States' authorities to the landing of the cable, and to the working of it,
until the meeting of Congress. I regret to say that there has been no modification made in the company's concession, nor, so far as I can learn, have they attempted to secure one. Their concession excludes the capital and the citizens of the United States from competition upon the shores of France. I recommend legislation, to protect the rights of citizens of the United States, as well as the dignity and sovereignty of the nation, against such an assumption. I shall also endeavour to secure, by negotiation, an abandonment of the principle of monopolies in ocean telegraphic cables. Copies of this correspondence are herewith furnished.
“ The unsettled political condition of other countries less fortunate than our own sometimes induces their citizens to come to the United States for the sole purpose of becoming naturalized. Having secured this, they return to their native country and reside there without disclosing their change of allegiance. They accept official positions of trust or honour, which can only be held by citizens of their native land; they journey under passports describing them as such citizens; and it is only when civil discord, after perhaps years of quiet, threatens their persons or their property, or when their native State drafts them into its military service, that the fact of their change of allegiance is made known. They reside permanently away from the United States, they contribute nothing to its revenues, they avoid the duties of its citizenship, and they only make themselves known by a claim of protection. I have directed the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States to scrutinize carefully all such claims of protection. The citizen of the United States, whether native or adopted, who discharges his duty to his country, is entitled to its complete protection. While I have a voice in the direction of affairs I shall not consent to imperil this sacred right by conferring it upon fictitious or fraudulent claimants.
“On the accession of the present Administration it was found that the Minister for North Germany had made propositions for the negotiation of a convention for the protection of emigrant passengers, to which no response had been given. It was concluded that, to be effectual, all the maritime powers engaged in the trade should join in such a measure. Invitations have been extended to the cabinets of London, Paris, Florence, Berlin, Brussels, The Hague, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, to empower their representatives at Washington to simultaneously enter into negotiations, and to conclude with the United States conventions identical in form, making uniform regulations as to the construction of the parts of vessels to be devoted to the use of emigrant passengers, as to the quality and quantity of food, as to the medical treatment of the sick, and as to the rules to be observed during the voyage in order to secure ventilation, to promote health, to prevent intrusion, and to protect the females, and providing for the establishment of tribunals in the several countries for enforcing such regulations by summary process.
“Your attention is respectfully called to the law regulating the