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amination and liquidation of the reclamations comprised in the stipulations of the convention, and which, by the sixth article, France engaged to communicate to the United States by the intermediary of the legation, though repeatedly applied for by the American chargé d'affaires, under instructions from this government, have not yet been communicated; and this delay, it is apprehended, will necessarily prevent the completion of the duties assigned to the commissioners within the time at present prescribed by law.

The reasons for delaying to communicate these documents have not been explicitly stated, and this is the more to be regretted, as it is not understood that the interposition of the Chambers is in any manner required for the delivery of those papers.

Under these circumstances, in a case so important to the interests of our citizens and to the character of our country, and under disappointinents so unexpected, I deem it my duty, however I might respect the general assurances to which I have adverted, no longer to delay the appointment of a minister plenipotentiary to Paris, but to despatch him in season to communicate the result of his application to the French government at an early period of your session. I accordingly appointed a distinguished citizen for this purpose, who proceeded on his mission in August last

, and was presented to the king early in the month of October. He is particularly in. structed as to all matters connected with the present posture of affairs; and I indulge the hope that, with the representations he is instructed to make, and from the disposition manifested by the king and his ministers in their 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 this subject involves important interests, and has attracted a considerable share of the public attention, I have deemed it proper to make this explicit statement of its actual condition; and should I be disappointed in the hope now entertained, the subject will be again brought to the notice of Congress in such a manner as the occasion may require.

The friendly relations which have always been maintained between the United States and Russia, have been farther extended and strengthened by the treaty of navigation and commerce, concluded on the 6th of December last, and sanctioned by the Senate before the close of its last session. The ratifications having been since exchanged, the liberal provisions of the treaty are now in full force; and, under the encouragement which they have received, a flourishing and increasing commerce, yielding its benefits to the enterprise of both nations, affords to each the just recompense of wise measures, and adds new motives for that mutual friendship which the two coun. tries have hitherto cherished toward each other.

It affords me peculiar satisfaction to state, that the government of Spain has at length yielded to the justice of the claims which have been so long urged in behalf of our citizens, and has expressed a willingness to provide an indemnification as soon as the proper amount can be agreed upon. Upon this latter point, it is probable an understanding had taken place between the minister of the United States and the Spanish government before the decease of the late king of Spain; and unless that event may have delayed its completion, there is reason to hope that it may be in my power to announce to you early in your present session, the conclusion of a convention upon terms not less favorable than those entered into for similar objects with other nations. That act of justice would well accord with the character of Spain, and is due to the United States from their ancient friend. It

could not fail to strengthen the sentiments of amity and good-will 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.

By the first section of an act of Congress passed on the 13th of July, 1832, the tonnage duty on Spanish ships arriving from the ports of Spain, was limited to the duty payable on American vessels in the ports of Spain, previous to the 20th of October, 1817, being five cents per ton. The act was intended to give effect, on our side, to an arrangement made with the Spanish government, by which discriminating duties of tonnage were to be abolished in the ports of the United States and Spain, on the vessels of the two nations. Pursuant to that arrangement, which was carried into effect on the part of Spain, on the 20th of May, 1832, by a royal order dated the 20th of April, 1832, American vessels in the ports of Spain have paid five cents per ton, which rate of duty is also paid in those ports by Spanish ships; but, as American vessels pay no tonnage duty in the ports of the United States, the duty of five cents payable in our ports by Spanish vessels under the act above mentioned, is really a discriminating duty operating to the disadvantage of Spain. Though no complaint has yet been made on the part of Spain, we are not the less bound by the obligations of good faith to remove the discrimination ; and I recommend that the act be amended accordingly. As the royal order above alluded to includes the ports of the Balearic and Canary Islands, as well as those of Spain, it would seem that the provisions of the act of Congress should be equally extensive; and that, for the repayment of such duties as may have been improperly received, an addition should be made to the sum appropriated at the last session of Congress for refunding discriminating duties.

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 to be levied there. From the extent of the commerce carried on between the United States and those islands, particularly the former, this discrimination causes serious injury to one of those great national interests which it has been considered an essential part of our policy to cherish, and has given rise to complaints on the part of our merchants. Under instructions given to our minister at Madrid, earnest representations have been made by him to the Spanish government upon this subject, and there is reason to expect, from the friendly disposition which is entertained toward this country, that a beneficial change will be produced. The disadvantage, however, to which our shipping is subjected by the operation of these discriminating duties, requires that they be met by suitable countervailing duties during your present session,-power being at the same time vested in the President to modify or discontinue them as the discriminating duties on American vessels or their cargoes may be modified or discontinued at those islands. Intimations have been given to the Spanish government, that the United States may be obliged to resort to such measures as are of necessary self-defence, and there is no reason to apprehend that it would be unfavorably received. The proposed proceedings, if adopted

, would not be permitted, however, in any degree to induce a relaxation in the efforts of our minister to effect a repeal of this irregularity by friendly negotiation, and it might serve to give force to his representations by showing the dangers to which that valuable trade is exposed by the obstructions and burdens which a system of discriminating and countervailing duties necessarily produces.

The selection and preparation of the Florida archives for the purpose of

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being delivered over to the United States, in conformity with the royal order, as mentioned in my last annual message, though in progress, has not yet been completed. This delay has been produced, parily by causes which were unavoidable, particularly the prevalence of cholera at Havanna; but measures have been taken which it is believed will expedite the delivery of those important records.

Congress were informed at the opening of the last session, that, “owing, as was alleged, to embarrassments in the finances of Portugal consequent upon the civil war in which that nation was engaged,” payment had been made of only one instalment of the amount which the Portuguese government had stipulated to pay for indemnifying our citizens for property illegally captured in the blockade of Terceira. Since that time, a posiponement for two years, with interest, of the two remaining instalments, was requested by the Portuguese government; and as a consideration, it offered to stipulate that rice of the United States should be admitted into Portugal at the same duties as Brazilian rice. Being satisfied that better

arrangement could be made, my consent was given; and a royal order of the King of Portugal was accordingly issued on the 4th of February last, for the reduction of the duty on rice of the United States. It would give me great pleasure, if, in speaking of that country, in whose prosperity the United States are so much interested, and with whom a long-subsisting, extensive, and mutually advantageous commercial intercourse has strengthened the relations of friendship, I could announce to you the restoration of its internal tranquillity.

Subsequently to the commencement of the last session of Congress, the final instalment payable by Denmark under the convention of the 28th day of March, 1830, was received. The commissioners for examining the claims have since terminated their labors, and their awards have been paid at the treasury as they have been called for. The justice rendered to our citizens by that government is thus completed, and a pledge is thereby afforded for the maintenance of that friendly intercourse becoming the relations that the two nations mutually bear to each other.

It is satisfactory to inform you that the Danish government have recently issued an ordinance by which the commerce with the Island of St. Croix is placed on a more liberal footing than heretofore. This change cannot fail to prove beneficial to the trade between the United States and that colony; and the advantages likely to flow from it may lead to greater relaxations in the colonial systems of other nations.

The ratifications of the convention with the king of the two Sicilies have been duly exchanged, and the commissioners appointed for examining the claims under it have entered upon the duties assigned to them by law. The friendship that the interests of the two nations require of them being now established, it may be hoped that each will enjoy the benefits which a liberal commerce should yield to both.

A treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and Belgium was concluded during the last winter, and received the sanction of the Senate; but the exchange of the ratifications has been hitherto delayed, in consequence, in the first instance, of some delay in the reception of the treaty at Brussels, and subsequently, of the absence of the Belgian minister of foreign affairs, at the important conferences in which his government is engaged at London. That treaty does but embody those enlarged principles of friendly policy which, it is sincerely hoped, will always regulate the

conduct of the two nations, having such motives to maintain amicable relations toward each other, and so sincerely desirous to cherish them.

With all the other European powers with whom the United States have formed diplomatic relations, and with the Sublime Porte, the best understanding prevails

. From all, I continue to receive assurances of good-will toward the United States, -assurances which it gives me no less pleasure to reciprocate than to receive. With all, the engagements which have been entered into are fulfilled with good faith on both sides. Measures have also been taken to enlarge our friendly relations and extend our commercial intercourse with other states. The system we have pursued of aiming at no exclusive advantages, of dealing with all on terms of fair and equal reciprocity, and of adhering scrupulously to all our engagements, is well calculated to give success to efforts intended to be mutually beneficial.

The wars of which the southern part of this continent was so long the theatre, and which were carried on either by the mother country against the states which had formerly been her colonies, or by the states against each other, having terminated, and their civil dissensions having so far subsided as, with few exceptions, no longer to disturb the public tranquillity, it is earnestly hoped that those states will be able to employ themselves without interruption in perfecting their institutions, cultivating the arts of peace, and promoting, by wise councils and able exertions, the public and private prosperity which their patriotic struggles so well entitle them to enjoy.

With those states our relations have undergone but little change during the present year. No re-union having yet taken place between the states which compose the republic of Colombia, our chargé d'affaires at Bogota has been accredited to the government of New Grenada, and we have there fore no diplomatic relations with Venezuela and Equator, except as they may be included in those heretofore formed with the Colombian republic

. It is understood that representatives from three states were about to assemble at Bogota, to confer on the subject of their mutual interest, particularly that of their union; and if the result should render it necessary, measures will be taken on our part to preserve with each that friendship and those liberal commercial connections which it has been the constant desire of the United States to cultivate with their sister republics of this hemisphere. Until the important question of re-union shall be settled, however, the different matters which have been under discussion between the United States and the republic of Colombia, or either of the stales which composed it, are not likely to be brought to a satisfactory issue.

In consequence of the illness of the chargé d'affaires appointed to Central America at the last session of Congress, he was prevented from proceeding on his mission until the month of October. It is hoped, however, that he is by this time at his post, and that the official intercourse, unfortunately so long interrupted, has been thus renewed on the part of the two nations, so amicably and advantageously connected by engagements founded on the most enlarged principles of commercial reciprocity.

It is gratifying to state that, since my last annual message, some of the most important claims of our fellow citizens upon the government of Brazil have been satisfactorily adjusted, and a reliance is placed on the friendly dispositions manifested by it that justice will also be done in others. No new causes of complaint have arisen; and the trade between the two countries flourishes under the encouragement secured to it by the liberal provisions of the treaty.

It is cause of regret that, owing probably to the civil dissensions which have occupied the attention of the Mexican government, the time fixed by the treaty of limits with, the United States for the meeting of the commissioners to define the boundaries between the two nations, has been suffered to expire without the appointment of any commissioners on the part of that government. While the true bɔundary remains in doubt by either party, it is difficult to give effect to those measures which are necessary to the protection and quiet of our numerous citizens residing near that frontier. The subject is one of great solicitude to the United States, and will not fail to receive my earnest attention.

The treaty concluded with Chili, and approved by the Senate al its last session, was also ratified by the Chilian government, but with certain additional and explanatory articles of a nature to have required it to be again submitted to the Senate. The time limited for the exchange of the ratifications, however, having since expired, the action of both governments on the treaty will again become necessary.

The negotiations commenced with the Argentine Republic, relative to the outrages committed on our vessels engaged in the fisheries at the Falkland Islands, by persons acting under the color of its authority, as well as the other natters in controversy between the two governments, have been suspended by the departure of the chargé d'affaires of the United States from Buenos Ayres. It is understood, however, that a minister was subsequently appointed by that government to renew the negotiation in the United States, but, though daily expected, he has not yet arrived in this country.

With Peru no treaty has been yet formed, and with Bolivia no diplomatic intercourse has yet been established. It will be my endeavor to encourage those sentiments of amity, and that liberal commerce, which belong to the relations in which all the independent states of this continent stand toward each other.

I deem it proper to recommend to your notice the revision of our consular system. This has become an important branch of the public service, inasmuch as it is intimately connected with the preservation of our national character abroad, with the interest of our citizens in foreign countries, with the regulation and care of our commerce, and with the protection of our

At the close of the last session of Congress I communicated a report from the secretary of state upon the subject, to which I now refer, as containing information which may be useful in any inquiries that Congress may see fit to institute with a view to a salutary reform of the system.

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you upon the prosperous condition of the finances of the country, as will appear from the report the secretary of the treasury will in due time lay before you. The receipts into the treasury during the present year will amount to more than thirty-two millions of dollars. The revenue derived from customs will, it is believed, be more than twenty-eight millions, and the public land will yield about three millions of dollars. The expenditures within the year, for all objects, including two millions five hundred and seventy-two thousand two hundred and forty dollars ninety-nine cents, on account of the public debt, will not amount to twenty-five millions of dollars, and a large balance will remain in the treasury after satisfying all the appropriations chargeable on the revenue for the present year,

The measures taken by the secretary of the treasury will probably

seamen.

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