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so extensively by peace and pros- selves the power of laying taxes perity. Europe, with a few partial upon exports, and whenever they and unhappy exceptions, has en- have favoured their own shipping, joyed ten years of peace, during by special preference, or exclusive which all her governments, what- privileges in their own ports, it has ever the theory of their constitu- been only with a view to countertions may have been, are succes- vail similar favours and exclusions sively taught to feel that the end granted by the nations with whom of their institution is the happiness we have been engaged in traffic, of the people, and that the exercise to their own people or shipping, of power among men can be justi- and to the disadvantage of ours. fied only by the blessings it confers Immediately after the close of the upon those over whom it is ex. last war, a proposal was fairly tended.
made by the act of congress of the During the same period, our 3rd of March, 1815, to all the intercourse with all those nations maritime nations, to lay aside the has been pacific and friendly-it system of retaliating restrictions so continues. Since the close of and exclusions, and to place the your last session, no material shipping of both parties to the variation has occurred in our rela- common trade, on a footing of tions with any of them. In the equality, in respect to the duties of commercial and navigation system tonnage and impost. This offer of Great Britain, important changes was partially and successively of municipal regulation have re- accepted by Great Britain, Sweden, cently been sanctioned by acts of the Netherlands, the Hanseatic parliament, the effect of which, cities, Prussia, Sardinia, the duke upon the interests of other nations, of Oldenburg, and Russia. It was and particularly upon ours, has also adopted, under certain modinot yet been fully developed. In fications, in our late commercial the recent renewal of the diplo- convention with France. And, matic missions both sides, by the act of congress of the 8th between the two governments, of January, 1824, it has received a assurances have been given and new confirmation, with all the received of the continuance and nations who had acceded to it, increase of the mutual confidence and has been offered again to all and cordiality by which the adjust- those who are, or may hereafter be ment of many points of difference willin abide in reciprocity by had already been effected, and it.
but all these regulations, which afford the surest pledge for whether established by treaty or the ultimate satisfactory adjust- municipal enactments, are still ment of those which still remain subject to one important restricopen or may hereafter arise.
tion. The removal of discrimiThe policy of the United States nating duties of tonnage and imin their commercial intercourse post is limited to articles of the with other nations, has always growth, produce, or manufacture been of the most liberal character. of the country to which the vessel In the mutual exchange of their belongs, or to such articles as are respective productions, they have most usually first shipped from her abstained altogether from prohibi- ports. It will deserve the serious tions they have interdicted them- consideration of
even this remnant of restriction the most aggravated and outragemay not be safely abandoned, and ous character. In the long period whether the general tender of during which continual and earnest equal competition, made in the appeals have been made to the act of the 8th of January, 1824, equity and magnanimity of France, may not be extended to include in behalf of these claims, their all articles of merchandize not justice has not been, as it could prohibited, of what country soever not be, denied. It was hoped they may be the produce or manu- that the accession of facture. Propositions to this effect sovereign to the throne would have already been made to us by have afforded a favourable oppormore than one European govern- tunity for presenting them to the ment; and it is probable that if consideration of his government. once established by legislation or They have been presented and compact with any distinguished urged, hitherto without effect. maritime state, it would recom- The repeated and earnest remend itself by the experience of presentations of our minister at its advantages to the general the court of France, remain as yet accession of all.
even without an answer. Were The convention of commerce and the demands of nations upon the navigation between the United justice of each other susceptible of States and France, concluded on adjudication by the sentence of an the 24th June, 1822, was, in the impartial tribunal, those to which understanding and intent of both I now refer would long since have parties, as appears upon its face, been settled, and adequate indemonly a temporary arrangement of nity would have been obtained. the points of difference between There are large amounts of similar them, of the most immediate and claims upon the Netherlands, pressing urgency. It was limited, Naples, and Denmark. For those in the first instance, to two years, upon Spain, prior to 1819, indemfrom the 1st of October, 1822, nity was, after many years of but with a proviso, that it should patient forbearance, obtained ; and further continue in force till the those upon Sweden have been conclusion of a general and defi- lately compromised by a private nitive treaty of commerce : unless settlement, in which the claimants terminated by a notice, six months themselves have acquiesced. The in advance, of either of the parties governments of Denmark and of to the other. Its operations, so Naples have been recently refar as it extended, have been minded of those yet existing mutually advantageous; and it still against them; nor will any of continues in force by common them be forgotten while a hope consent. But it left unadjusted may be indulged of obtaining several objects of great interest to justice, by the means within the the citizens and subjects of both constitutional power of the execountries, and particularly a mass cutive, and without resorting to of claims, to a considerable amount, , those measures of self-redress, of citizens of the United States which, as well as the time, circumupon the government of France, stances and occasion, which may of indemnity for property taken or require them, are within the excludestroyed under circumstances of sive competency of the legislature. It is with great satisfaction that would be incompatible with that I am enabled to bear witness to independence which they have the liberal spirit with which the declared and maintained. republic of Colombia has made Among the measures which have satisfaction for well-established been suggested to them by the claims of a similar character; and new relations with one another, among the documents now commu- resulting from the recent changes nicated to congress, will be dis- of their condition is that of assemtinguished a treaty of commerce bling at the Isthmus of Panama, a and navigation with that republic, congress at which each of them the ratifications of which have should be represented, to deliberate been exchanged since the last re- upon objects important to the cess of the legislature. The ne- welfare of all. The republics of gociation of similar treaties with Colombia, of Mexico, and of cenall the independent South Ameri- tral America, have already deputed can states has been contemplated, plenipotentiaries to such a meeting, and may yet be accomplished. and they have invited the United The basis of them all, as proposed States to be also represented there by the United States, has been by their ministers. The invitalaid in two principles; the one of tion has been accepted, and minisentire and unqualified reciprocity ; ters on the part of the United the other the mutual obligation of States will be commissioned to atthe parties, to place each other tend at those deliberations, and to permanently upon the footing of take part in them, so far as may the most favoured nations. These be compatible with that neutrality principles are, indeed, indispensa- from which it is neither our intenble to the effectual emancipation of tion, nor the desire of the other the American hemisphere from the American States, that we should thraldom of colonizing monopolies depart. and exclusions; an event rapidly The commissions under the realizing in the progress of human seventh article of the treaty of affairs, and which the resistance Ghent have so nearly completed still opposed in certain parts of their labours, that by the report Europe to the acknowledgment of recently received from the agent Southern American republics as on the part of the United States, independent states, will, it is be- there is reason to expect that the lieved, contribute more effectually commission will be closed at their to accomplish. The time has been, next session appointed for the and that not remote, when some 22nd of May of the ensuing year. of those states might, in their The other commission, apanxious desire to obtain a nominal pointed to ascertain the indemnirecognition, have accepted of a ties due for slaves carried away nominal independence, clogged from the United States, after the with burthensome conditions, and close of the late war, have met exclusive commercial privileges with some difficulty, which has granted to the nation from which delayed the progress of the inthey have separated, to the disad- quiry. A reference has been vantage of all others. They are made to the British Government now well aware that such conces- on the subject, which, it may be sions to any European nation, hoped, will tend to hasten the
decision of the commissioners, or necessary so to shape its organizaserve as a substitute for it. tion as to give it a more united
Among the powers specifically and active energy. There are granted to congress by the con- laws for establishing an uniform stitution are those of establishing militia throughout the United uniform laws on the subject of States, and for arming and equipbankruptcies throughout the ping its whole body. But it is a United States, and of providing body of dislocated members, withfor organizing, arming, and disci- out the vigour of unity, and having plining the militia, and for go- little of uniformity but the name. verning such part of them as may To infuse into this most important be employed in the service of the institution, the power of which it United States. The magnitude is susceptible, and to make it and complexity of the interests available for the defence of the affected by legislation upon these Union at the shortest notice, and subjects, may account for the fact, at the smallest expense of time, that long and often as both of of life, and of treasure, are among them have occupied the attention, the benefits to be expected from and animated the debates of con- the persevering deliberations of gress, no systems have yet been congress. devised for fulfilling, to the satis- Among the unequivocal indicafaction of the community, the tions of our national prosperity, is duties prescribed by these grants the flourishing state of our finan
To conciliate the The revenues of the present claim of the individual citizen to year, from all the principal the enjoyment of personal liberty, sources, will exceed the anticipawith the effective obligation of tions of the last. The balance in private contracts, is the difficult the Treasury, on the 1st of Januproblem to be solved by a law of ary last, was a little short of two bankruptcy. These are objects of millions and a half, being the the deepest interest to society; moiety of the loan of five milaffecting all that is precious in the lions, authorised by the act of 26th existence of multitudes of persons, May, 1824. The receipts in the many of them in the classes essen- treasury from the 1st of January tially dependent and helpless ; of to the 13th of September, excluthe age requiring nurture, and of sive of the other moiety of the the sex entitled to protection, from same loan, estimated at the free agency of the parent and 16,500,000 dollars, and it the husband. The organization of pected that those of the current the militia is yet more indispensa- quarter will exceed five millions of ble to the liberties of the country. dollars; forming an aggregate of It is only by an effective militia receipts of nearly twenty-two milthat we can at once enjoy the lions, independent of the loan. repose of peace, and bid defiance The expenditures of the year will to foreign aggression ; it is by the not exceed that sum more than militia that we are constituted an two millions. By those expendiarmed nation, standing in per- tures nearly eight millions of the petual panoply of defence in the principal of the public debt have presence of all the nations of the been discharged. More than a earth. To this end it would be million and a half has been de
voted to the debt of gratitude to of four and a half per cent for a the warriors of the revolution ; a stock of six per cent to create a nearly equal sum to the construc- fund for extinguishing an equal tion of fortifications and the ac- amount of the public debt, bearing quisition of ordnance, and other an interest of six per cent, redeempermanent preparatives of national able in 1826. An account of the defence Half a million to the measures taken to give effect to gradual increase of the navy; an this act will be laid before you by equal sum for the purchases of the secretary of the Treasury. territory from the Indians, and As the object which it had in payment of annuities to them; and view has been but partially acupwards of a million for objects of complished, it will be for the internal improvement authorised consideration of congress, whether by special acts of the last congress. the power with which it clothed If we add to these, four millions the executive should not be reof dollars for payment of interest newed at an early day of the upon the public debt, there re- present session, and under what mains a sum of about seven mi) modification. lions which have defrayed the The act of congress of the 3rd whole expenses of the administra- of March last directing the secretion of government, in its legis- tary of the treasury to subscribe, lative, executive, and judiciary in the name and for the use of the departments, including the sup- United States, for one thousand port of the military and naval five hundred shares of the capital establishments, and all the occa- stock of the Chesapeake and Delasional contingencies of a govern- ware Canal company, has been ment co-extensive with the Union. executed by the actual subscription
The amount of duties secured on for the amount specified, and such merchandise imported, from the other measures have been adopted commencement of the year, is by that officer, under the act, as about twenty-five millions and a the fulfilment of its intentions rehalf; and that which will accrue quire. The latest accounts reduring the current quarter is esti- ceived of this important undertakmated at five millions and a half; ing, authorise the belief that it is from these thirty-one millions, de- in successful progress. ducting the draw-backs, estimated The payment into the treaat less than seven millions, a sum
sury from proceeds of the sales exceeding twenty-four millions of the public lands, during the will constitute the revenue of the present year, were estimated at year, and will exceed the whole one million of dollars. The expenditures of the year. The actual receipts of the first two entire amount of public debt re- quarters have fallen very little maining due on the 1st of Janu- short of that sum; it is not exary next, will be short of eighty- pected that the second half of the one millions of dollars.
year will be equally productive; By an act of congress of the but the income of the
from 3rd of March last, a loan of twelve that source may now be safely millions of dollars was authorised estimated at a million and a half. at four and a half per cent, or an
The act of congress of the 18th exchange of stock to that amount of May, 1824, to provide for the