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To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The reports of the several Executive Departments which will be laid before Congress in the usual course will exhibit in detail the operations of the Government for the last fiscal year. Only the more important incidents and results, and chiefly such as may be the foundation of the recommendations I shall submit, will be referred to in this annual message.
The vast and increasing business of the Government has been transacted by the several Departments during the year with faithfulness, energy,
and success. The revenues, amounting to above four hundred and fifty million dollars, have been collected and disbursed without revealing, so far as I can ascertain, a single case of defalcation or embezzlement. An earnest effort has been made to stimulate a sense of responsibility and public duty in all officers and employés of every grade, and the work done by them has almost wholly escaped unfavorable criticism. I speak of these matters with freedom because the credit of this good work is not mine, but is shared by the heads of the several Departments with the great body of faithful officers and employés who serve under them. The closest scrutiny of Congress is invited to all the methods of administration and to every item of expenditure.
The friendly relations of our country with the nations of Europe ard of the East have been undisturbed, while the ties of good will
d common interest that bind us to the States of the Western Hem
Where have been notably strengthened by the Conference held in this capital to consider measures for the general welfare. Pursuant to the invitation authorized by Congress, the representatives of every independent State of the American Continent and of Hayti met in Conference in this capital in October, 1889, and continued in session · ntil the 19th of last April. This important convocation marks a most interesting and influential epoch in the history of the Western
The Nicaragua Canal project, under the control of our citizens, is making most encouraging progress, all the preliminary conditions and initial operations having been accomplished within the prescribed time.
During the past year negotiations have been renewed for the settlement of the claims of American citizens against the Government of Chili, principally growing out of the late war with Peru. The reports from our minister at Santiago warrant the expectation of an early and satisfactory adjustinent.
Our relations with China, which have for several years occupied so important a place in our diplomatic history, have called for careful consideration and have been the subject of much correspondence.
The communications of the Chinese Minister have brought into view the whole subject of our conventional relations with his country; and at the same time this Government, through its legation at Peking, has sought to arrange various matters and complaints touching the interests and protection of our citizens in China.
In pursuance of the concurrent resolution of October 1, 1890, I have proposed to the Governments of Mexico and Great Britaiu to consider a conventional regulation of the passage of Chinese laborers across our southern and northern frontiers.
On the 22d day of August last Sir Edmund Monson, the arbitrator selected under the treaty of December 6, 1888, rendered an award to the effect that no compensation was due from the Danish Government to the United States on account of what is commonly known as the Carlos Butterfield claim.
Our relations with the French Republic continue to be cordial. Our representative at that court has very diligently urged the removal of the restrictions imposed upon our meat products, and it is believed that substantial progress has been made towards a just settlement.
The Samoan treaty, signed last year at Berlin by the representatives of the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, after due ratification and exchange has begun to produce salutary effects. The forination of the government agreed upon will soon replace the disorder of the past by a stable administration, alike just to the atives and equitable to the three powers most concerned in trade and intercourse with the Samoan Islands. The chief justice has lieen chosen by the King of Sweden and Norway, on the invitation of the three powers, and will soon be installed. The land commission and the municipal council are in process of organization. A rational and evenly distributed scheme of taxation, both municipal and upon imports, is in operation. Malietoa is respected as King
The new treaty of extradition with Great Britain, after due ratification, was proclaimed on the 25th of last March. Its beneficial working is already apparent.
The difference between the two Governments touching the furseal question in the Behring Sea is not yet adjusted, as will be seen by the correspondence which will soon be laid before Congress. The offer to submit the question to arbitration, as proposed by Her Majesty's Government, has not been accepted, for the reason that the form of submission proposed is not thought to be calculated to assure a conclusion satisfactory to either party. It is sincerely hoped that before the opening of another sealing season some arrangement may be effected which will assure to the United States a property right, derived from Russia, which was not disregarded by any nation for more than eighty years preceding the outbreak of the existing trouble.
In the tariff act a wrong was done to the Kingdom of Hawaii which I am bound to presume was wholly unintentional. Duties were levied on certain commodities which are included in the reciprocity treaty now existing between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii, without indicating the necessary exception in favor of that kingdom. I hope Congress will repair what might otherwise seem to be a breach of faith on the part of this Government.
An award in favor of the United States in the matter of the claim of Mr. Van Bokkelen against Hayti was rendered on the 4th of December, 1888, but owing to disorders then and afterwards prevailing in Hayti the terms of payment were not observed. A new agreement as to the time of payment has been approved and is now in force. Other just claims of citizens of the United States for redress of wrongs suffered during the late political conflict in Hayti will, it is hoped, speedily yield to friendly treatment.
Propositions for the amendment of the treaty of extradition between the United States and Italy are now under consideration,