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deviations in the law from the act of the 5th July, 1825, from demanding. But if this had not been so, more could were apparent merely, and neither intentional, nor for the not have been obtained. purpose of advancing any new claim upon the part of our In the letter of Mr. Gallatin to Mr. Clay of the 27th of Government.
October, 1826, the meaning of the British act of ParliaMy instructions authorized me to propose that the Unit- ment of 5th July, 1825, which does not appear to have ed States should now comply with the conditions of the act been previously understood by our Government, is fully of 5th July, 1825, by repealing our restrictive laws, "if and intelligibly explained. To ascertain the precise state such a measure would lead to the revocation of the order of the regulations at that period, and the extent of the in council of July, 1827, to the abolition or suspension of conditions and restrictions prescribed by the famous act all discriminating duties on American vessels in the British of July, 1825, Mr. Gallatin reviewed all the British statutes colonial ports, and to the enjoyment by us of the advan- upon this subject, and superadded the following observatages of the last mentioned act of Parliament.”
tions. These instructions were literally pursued in the propo “From what precedes, it follows, first, that the restricsition which I submitted in December last, and, together tion which limits the importations in foreign vessels of with it, were communicated to Congress. But it will be goods into the British West Indies and American colonies, apparent to you that, if the law necessarily authorize a dif- to vessels of the country of which the goods are the proferent construction than that adopted by this Government, duce, and coming direct from such country, having been it will not be a compliance with the conditions of the act revived by the navigation act of the 5th of July, 1825, is of Parliament, but demand advantages which, by that act, still in force; secondly, that the restriction which limited are expressly denied, and by this Government allowed to the exportations in foreign vessels of goods exported from no other country.
the British West Indies and American colonies to a direct The navigation act of Great Britain, by which all her exportation to the country to which such vessel did be. previous acts upon that subject are repealed, and her sys- long, is so far repealed as that such exportations in such tem permanently established, passed simultaneously with vessels may be made to any country whatever, Great Brithe act of the 5th July, 1825, regulating the trade of the tain and its dependencies excepted.” British possessions abroad; and by that act the importation, “Although there is no prospect that any arrangement both into her European and colonial ports, is restricted to will shortly take place on that subject, yet it is desirable the vessels of the country of which the articles imported to be prepared for any contingency. And I wish that the shall be the produce. Nor has this restriction been con- President would take into consideration whether, suppossidered inconsistent with our commercial convention with ing an arrangement, either by convention or by mutual Great Britain, which we have anxiously sought to extend modification on both sides of existing laws or regulations, to the colonial intercourse. The beforementioned act of to be practicable, it would be proper, so far as relates to the 5th July, 1825, regulating the trade with the British navigation, to agree to the terms contained in the acts of possessions abroad, refers, in express terms, to the act Parliament.” concerning navigation, and limits the right of importation “The most important of the restrictions on the direct into the British colonial ports to American produce, and or circuitous trade, that which limited the exportation to vessels coming directly from the ports of the United from the British West Indies in American vessels to the States. By acceding to the terms of our proposition, there- United States, has been repealed; and there remain but fore, Great Britain extends to our vessels all the advan- two-such exportations cannot be made in American restages of the act of 5th July, 1825. She moreover places sels to Great Britain or her dependencies, a point on which the United States, in the intercourse with the colonies, on we cannot insist, and which is already given up by the inthe same footing with all other nations, and by assenting structions; and the importations into those colonies of to regulations, though by legislative enactment, in the American produce, must, if made in American vessels, be colonial trade, similar to those provided by our commercial direct from the United States.
Is it necessary, on that convention for the intercourse between the United States account, to insist on the right of preventing British vesand the British possessions in Europe, she now concedessels, other than those coming direct from the colonies, to us, in this respect, substantially that which we have from clearing from the United States for those colonies? been ineffectually seeking since the year 1815.
Or, in other words, (for it is clear that with such restricI am not aware that the restriction of the rigìt of im- tion no arrangement is practicable,) is it worth while, on portation into the colonies to articles of American pro- that account, to continue to cut off
' altogether the inter; duce, was at any period seriously objected to by our course between the United States and the British colonies? Government. Nor can the difference, in this respect, On that question I beg leave to submit two observations: between American and British vessels, if we allow it to l'irst. The right of importing produce of the United States continue, be an object of much importance in any point into British West Indies from other places than the United of view. It will generally be our interest, as it is that of States, is in itself of no great value. It might occasionally every other nation, to allow the exportation of its surplus be convenient, when the market of Cuba or of other ports foreign produce in the vessels of any other country. It in the Gulf of Mexico was glutted with American poros must be observed, also, that this is a privilege resulting duce, to have a right to take it in American vessels to the from the general spirit of our laws, and therefore resting British West India ports; but it is but rarely that these in our discretion.' There is nothing in the arrangement will not, from the same causes, be also glutted at the same now proposed to prevent the United States from hereafter time, and that the expense of a double voyage and freight denying to British vessels this advantage, if it prove inju- could be incurred. Secondly. Whilst contending for a rious to their commerce, and in placing by that means the nominal reciprocity, we must acknowledge that the other vessels of both countries, in this respect, upon an equal party must consider how far this reciprocity will be real. footing. I ought to obscrve, however, that sound policy it is now ascertained that four-fifths of the tonnage emwould not warrant such a measure at any time.
ployed in our intercourse with Great Britain herself are Independently of these considerations, it is certain that American, and only one-fifth British. Considering the both the restrictions now reserved by the construction species of population, the climate, and commercial capital adopted by this Government were absolutely conceded by lof the West Indies, and the distance of Great Britain, it ours before the present negotiation commenced, and could is utterly impossible that the direct intercourse between not have been renewed at present with any hope of suc- the United States and the British West Indies should not,
More than has been secured by the present labors, with equal duties and charges, be carried on in a still the concessions of the last administration precluded us greater proportion in vessels of the United States. The
only compensation, in that respect, to Great Britain, is to this section are sufficiently comprehensive to embrace any be found in the circuitous voyages which British vessels description of entry; and in his instructions to the several may make from that country through the United States collectors, the President may properly direct an entry and her West India colonies; and I feel quite confident, similar to that specified in the first section of the bill, and I think any man acquainted with the subject will be of the in the spirit of our proposition. same opinion--that even granting them that privilege, will Such, I presume, was the purpose of the law. I have, leave more than three-fourths of the intercourse to our however, suggested to this Government, in answer to the vessels!!”
* difficulty felt upon this point, the possibility that these “ It will not escape you that the intercourse by sea be general terms may have proceeded from an apprehension tween the United States and the British West Indies and of the existing discriminating duty of one dollar per ton North American colonies has already been considered as on American vessels in these Northern colonial ports. necessarily connected together by the British Govern- Should such be the case, it will not escape you that this ment, and that this connexion has been kept up in the acts duty is prescribed by the order of the King in council, in of Parliament, in the articles proposed to Mr. Rush, and 1823, in retaliation of our law of that year; and that, by indeed in all former proposals on their part.”
the terms of my proposition, it will be now abolished. In consequence, as it may be supposed, of this explana If the remaining words of apparent difficulty constitute tion and advice from Mr. Gallatin, our Government la provision inconsistent with our proposition and the act thenceforward abandoned whatever pretensions they may of 5th July, 1825, I am obliged to confess myself incahave previously set up beyond the acts of Parliament. In pable of comprehending either their object or meaning. a letter from Mr. Clay, dated the 11th April, 1827, con- i refer, of course, to the following clause: “Leaving the taining further instructions to Mr. Gallatin, he was inform- commercial intercourse of the United States with all other ed “that the President is willing to recommend to Con. parts of the British dominions or possessions on a footing gress, at its next session, first, to suspend the alien duties not less favorable to the United States than it now is.” on British vessels and cargoes, and allow their entry into Such a provision, or any thing resembling it, is now inour ports with the same kind of British or British colonial troduced for the first time into our legislation upon this produce as may be imported in American vessels, the ves- subject. With all other parts of the British dominions, sels of both countries paying the same charges; and, se- our commercial intercourse is regulated either by the concondly, to abolish the restriction in the act of 1823 to the vention with Great Britain, or, with the exception of the direct intercourse between the United States and the Bri- ports in the Northern provinces, absolutely prohibited by tish colonies, leaving Great Britain in the exclusive posses- acts of Parliament. No legislation on either side can sion of the circuitous trade between Great Britain proper, affect the stipulations of the convention, and any relaxathrough her colonies, and the United States. Mr. Gallatin will tion of existing prohibitions must be beneficial. inquire whether the passage of an act of Congress to that This clause, as it stands, if it be not altogether nugaeffect would lead to the revocation of the British order in tory and out of place, would seem rather to apprehend council of July, 1827, to the abolition of the discriminating some evil, not understood or explained, from advantages duties on American vessels in the British colonial ports, to be conferred on our trade by Great Britain. In any and to the enjoyment by our vessels of the advantages view of the subject, however, it can properly relate only offered by the act of the 5th of July, 1825."
to the footing on which our commercial intercourse with These propositions were communicated by Mr. Gallatin other ports will be left at the time of conceding such adto the British Government, in a note to Lord Dudley, of vantages. Happily, therefore, with whatever object the the 17th of August, 1827, in which he remarks that this clause may have been introduced, the President may issue mode would repeal all former acts of the American Go- his proclamation with every assurance that the correspondvernment which had been objected to by Great Britain, ent acts on the part of this Government will leave “the fulfil the condition in the act of Parliament as now under-commercial intercourse of the United States with all other stood, and remove every obstacle in the way to an arrange-parts of the British dominions on a footing not less favorament; but that it would be useless for the President to ble to the United States than it now is.” make such recommendation without first ascertaining the That you may have all the British acts of Parliament reintentions of the British Government;” and he therefore lative to this subject before you, and compare without difinquired “whether, upon the passage of such an act as ficulty the various provisions of the act of the 5th of July, the President proposes to recommend, the British Govern-1825, for the encouragement of British shipping and naviment would allow to American vessels the privileges of gation, and of that of the same date regulating the trade trade and intercourse according to the act of the 5th of with the British possessions abroad, I have the honor hereJuly, 1825.” With these communications, it will be seen with to forward you “ Hume's Custom Laws,"containing that my instructions, and the overture by me submitted all that may be useful in your researches. on the 12th of December last, and now assented to by The observations of the Earl of Aberdeen relative to Great Britain, are entirely coincident.
the scale of duties in favor of those interests incidentally I have been thus minute, that the precise and uniform fostered by the suspension of the intercourse between the object of our negotiation with this Government should not United States and the West Indlies, are less unfavorable be mistaken; and that the President, clearly and explicitly than, at the date of my despatch of the 6th of April, I understanding these, may feel no hesitation, when execut- had reason to apprehend. It was on the ground of this ing the law, to interpret each particular clause in con- apprehension, principally, that, in my note to Lord Aberformity with the obvious scope and design of the act. deen of the 12th of July last, I alluded so particularly to
Less difficulty, if possible, than on these points, can the acts of Congress reducing the duty on several articles exist in regard to the entry of British vessels and their of West India produce. cargoes in the ports of the United States, from the islands, Though it may be probable that the schedule of duties provinces, or colonies, designated in the second section of adopted contemporaneously with the act of Parliament of the act. According to Mr. Gallatin's despatch, “the the 5th of July, 1825, will be hereafter modified, the efintercourse by sea between the United States and the Bri- fect must be more severely felt by the West India planter, tish West Indies and North American colonies has already already overburdened, than by our merchants; and in been considered as necessarily connected together by the this there is a safe guaranty against any excessive alteraBritish Government, and that this connexion has been tion. There is good reason to believe, moreover, that kept up in all the acts of Parliament.” It will not, there- such modification, whenever it shall be made, will consist fore, be now separated. The general terms employed in in reducing the duty on some important articles, wbile it
may increase it on others; and that our trade, in the ag- which note, therefore, the undersigned will principally gregate, will not be materially affected. This modifica-confine his present observations. tion, however, is not a part or condition of the present of the character and effect of the recent measure of the arrangement, and will therefore depend upon future con- American Congress, Mr. McLane observes, that "it contingencies, of which each nation will be free to take ad. cedes, in its terms, all the power in the regulation of the vantage; and ours, particularly, to resort to countervailing colonial trade, and authorizes the President to confer on duties, if that course be deemed expedient. On this British subjects all those privileges, as well in the circuiquestion, we will always have the West Indian interest on tous as the direct voyage, which Great Britain has at any our side; and that, after the concessions heretofore made, time demanded or desired." is all we can expect. The arrangement now proposed will In this declaration the undersigned is happy to observe restore to our vessels the direct trade with the British co- the same spirit and disposition which dictated Mr. McLane's lonial ports, and place the navigation of both countries in former communications, wherein he announced the readithat trade upon an equal footing. We may safely rely upon ness and desire of the American Government " to comply the skill and enterprise of the American merchants to with the conditions of the act of Parliament of 1825," and, accomplish the rest.
also, “that the claims advanced in justification of the omisI need scarcely refer to the period for which this ques- sion of the United States to embrace the offers of this tion has embarrassed the trade of our citizens and the re-country, have been abandoned by those who urged them, lations of the two countries, nor to the numerous failures and have received no sanction from the people of the which have attended the efforts of our Government to ad- United States;" and the undersigned readily admits, that, just it. But it ought not to be forgotten that, in pro- if the bill passed by the American Legislature be well cal. ducing these failures, technical interpretations and mis- culated practically to fulfil the expressed intentions of its apprehension of legal provisions have had their full share. framers, it must have the effect of removing all those Sensible of this, I felt it my duty to guard, if possible, grounds of difference between the two Governments, with against their recurrence; and after the solicitude and per- relation to the trade between the United States and the severance with which I have conducted the negotiation, 1 British colonies, which have been the subject of so much could not shun the responsibility of attempting to recon- discussion, and which have constituted the main cause of cile the apparent obscurities of the law with the clear and the suspension of the intercourse by those restrictive acts frank object of our Government. I am happy to believe, of the United States which the American Government is moreover, that, in the attempt, I am fully sustained by now prepared to repeal. the soundest principles of construction. In any event, I The proposition now made by Mr. McLane for the re. shall feel conscious that, with the sincerest desire to con- vocation of the order in council of 1826, stands upon a form to the instructions, and sustain the character of the ground materially different from that on which the same Executive, I have faithfully contributed to succor the en- question was brought forward in the notes of Mr. Gallatin terprise of my fellow-citizens, and to place the foreign in 1827, and even in the more explanatory overtures of relations of the country upon a foundation of lasting har- Mr. McLane, contained in his communications of Decemmony.
ber, 1829, and March, 1830. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your Those several proposals were, all of them, invitations obedient servant,
to the British Government to pledge itself, hypothetically,
LOUIS McLANE. to the revocation of the order in council, in the event of a To the Hon. MARTIN VAN BUREN,
repeal of those acts of the American Congress which gave Secretary of State, Washington.
occasion to it. His Majesty's Government declined to
give that prospective pledge or assurance, on the grounds The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. McLane.
stated in Lord Dudley's note of the 1st October, 1827.
But the objections then urged are not applicable to the FOREIGN OFFICE, August 17, 1830.
present overture. Provision has now been made by an The undersigned, his Majesty's principal Secretary of act of the American Legislature, for the re-establishment State for Foreign Affairs, has the lionor to acknowledge of the suspended intercourse upon certain terms and conthe receipt of the note of Mr. McLane, envoy extraordi- ditions; and that act being now before his Majesty's Gonary and minister plenipotentiary from the United States vernment, it is for them to decide whether they are preof America to this court, dated the 12th ultimo, commu- pared to adopt a corresponding measure on the part of nicating certain measures which have been adopted by Great Britain for that object. Congress with a view to remove the obstacles which have The undersigned is ready to admit that, in spirit and hitherto impeded the re-establishment of the commercial substance, the bill transmitted by Mr. McLane is conintercourse between the United States and the British formable to the view which he takes of it in the espres. W India colonies.
sion before quoted from his note of the 12th July; and Previously to the receipt of this communication, his that it is calculated, therefore, to afford to Great Britain Majesty's Government had already had under their con- complete satistaotion on the several points which have sideration Mr. McLane's note of the 16th March last, ex- been heretofore in dispute between the two countries. planatory of the proposition contained in his letter of the He has also received, with much satisfaction, the expla12th of December, 1829, with reference to the same sub- nation which Mr. McLane has afforded him verbally, in ject; and the undersigned assures Mr. McLane that his the last conference which the undersigned had the honor Majesty's Government, in the earnest and dispassionate of holding with him, upon those passages in which the attention which they bestowed upon this proposition, were wording of the bill appears obscure, and in which it seems actuated by the most friendly feelings towards the Govern- at least doubtful whether the practical construction of it ment of the United States, and by a sincere disposition to would fully correspond with the intentions of the Ameri
: meet the proposals which he was authorized to make, in can Government, as expressed by Mr. McLane. But it the spirit with which they were offered.
is, nevertheless, necessary, in order to remove all possiBut the undersigned considers it unnecessary now to bility of future misapprehension upon so important a subenter into any detailed discussion of the points embraced ject, that he should recapitulate the points upon which in those previous communications of Mr. McLane, because ihose doubts have arisen, and distinctly state the sense in they are in a great measure superseded by the more spe- which the undersigned considers Mr. McLane as concurcific, and therefore more satisfactory, propositions con- ring with him in the interpretation of them. tained in his note of the 12th ultimo; to the contents of The first point in which a question might arise, is in that
passage of the bill wherein it is declared, as one of the ists, at this time, no intention to make any alteration in conditions on which the restrictions now imposed by the the commercial policy of Great Britain, and equally that United States may be removed, “that the vessels of the there is no disposition on the part of his Majesty's GovernUnited States, and their cargoes, on entering the ports of ment to restrict, in any measure, the commercial relations the British possessions, as aforesaid, (viz. in the West between this country and the United States, yet the posiIndies, on the continent of America, the Bahama islands, tive condition to maintain unchanged, or upon any partithe Caicos, and the Bermuda or Somer islands,) shall not cular footing of favor, every part of our system of trade be subject to other or higher duties of tonnage or impost, affecting our intercourse with America, could not, with or charges of any other description, than would be im- propriety, be made the subject of any specific engageposed on British vessels, or their cargoes, arriving in the ment connected with the renewal of ihe colonial intersaid colonial possessions from the United States of Ameri- course. Whether that intercourse be renewed or not, it
It is not quite clear whether the concluding words, ought to remain at all times as free as it now is, both to “ from the United States of America,” are meant to apply the Government of Great Britain and to that of the United to the vessels of the United States, and their cargoes, in States, to adopt, from time to time, such commercial rethe first part of the paragraph, as well as to those of Great gulations as either State may deem to be expedient for its Britain or her colonies, in the latter part.
own interests, consistently with the obligations of existing It can scarcely, indeed, have been intended that this treaties. stipulation should extend to American vessels coming with It is due to the candor with which the communications cargoes from any other places than the United States, be- of Mr. McLane have been made on this subject, that the cause it is well known that, under the navigation laws of undersigned should be thus cxplicit in noticing the pasGreat Britain, no foreign vessel could bring a cargo to any sage in the bill to which he has now adverted. British colonial port from any other country than its own. Mr. McLane, in his note of the 12th ultimo, has de
The next condition expressed in the act is, “that the scribed and explained the material diminution which has vessels of the United States may import into the said colo- been made in the duties payable in the United States on nial possessions from the United States any article or ar- the importation of certain articles of colonial produce. ticles which could be imported in a British vessel into This measure has been viewed by his Majesty's Governthe said possessions from the United States."
ment with sincere satisfaction, as indicating a disposition In this passage it is not made sufficiently clear that the to cultivate a commercial intercourse with his Majesty's articles to be imported on equal terms by British or Ame- colonies, upon a footing of greater freedom and reciprocal rican vessels from the United States must be the produce advantage than has hitherto existed. But the undersigned of the United States. The undersigned, however, can- must frankly state, that, in the general consideration of not but suppose that such a limitation must have been con- the question now to be determined, no weight ought to be templated, because the clause of the navigation act alrea- assigned to the reduction of those duties, as forming any dy adverted to, whereby an American vessel would be part of the grounds on which the re-establishment of the precluded from bringing any article not the produce of intercourse may be acceded to. Those changes are part of America to a British colonial port, is not only a subject of the general scheme of taxation which the American Go. universal notoriety, but the same provision is distinctly vernment may, at all times, impose or modify, with the made in the act of Parliament of 1825, which has been so same freedom as that which Great Britain may exercise in often referred to in the discussions on this subject. the regulation of any part of its system of duties; and it is
It was also necessary that the undersigned should ask the more essential that his Majesty's Government should for some explanation of that section of the bill which has not contract, by implication, any engagement towards that reference to the entry of vessels into the ports of the of the United States with respect to such alterations, beUnited States from the continental colonies of Great Bri- calise his Majesty's Government have already had under tain in North America. These are not placed, in the terms their consideration the expediency of introducing some of the act, on the same footing as the ships coming from modifications into the schedule of duties attached to the the colonies of the West Indies.
act of Parliament of 1825, with a view more effectually With respect to the latter, the express provision made to support the interests of the British North American for the direct intercourse with those colonies, together colonies. To those interests, fostered, as they have inciwith the simultaneous repeal of the several American acts dentally been, by the suspension of the intercourse bewhich interdict, at present, the carriage of goods from tween the United States and the West Indies, his Majesthe United States to West Indian ports, in ships having ty's Government will continue to look with an earnest arrived from other ports in the British dominions, appears desire to afford them such protection by discriminating fully to warrant the expression before quoted, of Mr. duties as may appear to be consistent with the interests of McLane, “that the act woull confer on British vessels all other parts of his Majesty's dominions, and with a sound those privileges, as well in the circuitous as in the direct policy in the commercial relations of this country with all voyage, which Great Britain has at any time demanded.” Other States. But, with regard to the continental colonies, there is The undersigned has thought it desirable that this point merely a provision for “admitting to entry, in the ports should be distinctly understood on both sides, in order that of the United States, British vessels or their cargoes from no doubt should exist of the right of Great Britain to vary the islands, provinces, or colonies of Great Britain, on or those duties from time to time, according to her own views near the North American continent, and north or east of of expediency, unfettered by any obligation, expressed or the United States." It must, indeed, be presumed, that implied, towards the United States or any other country. vessels from these colonies are intended to be admitted The undersigned adverts again with satisfaction to the upon the same terms, in all respects, and to be entitled to verbal explanations which he has received from Mr. McLane the same privileges, as British ships from any other Bri- of those passages in the act of Congress which have tish Colony
not appeared to the undersigned to be literally adapted to The act of Congress requires, as a further condition, the provisions of the act of Parliament of 1825. He con. that, when the intercourse with the West India colonies curs with Mr. McLane in thinking that these will be found shall be opened by Great Britain, “the commercial inter- to have been merely apparent deviations from the condi. course of the United States with all other parts of the tions of that statute, because the whole of the recent proBritish dominions or possessions shall be left on a footing ceedings of the American Government and Legislature in not less favorable to the United States than it now is.” this matter have been manifestly and expressly founded
Although it may be most truly stated that there ex- upon a determination to conform to it. Any other view
of the subject would be entirely at variance with the tenor duct of his Majesty's ministers throughout the negotiation, of the several communications from Mr. McLane before and particularly in not suffering the inadvertencies of our adverted to, which have all been conformable to the ex- legislation, attributable to the baste and confusion of the plicit proposition contained in his note of the 12th Decem-closing scenes of the session, to defeat or delay the adjustber, 1829, “ that the Government of the United States ment of a question, with respect to the substance of which, should now comply with the conditions of the act of Parlia- and the interest of the two countries, in its adjustment, ment of July 5, 1825, by an express law, opening their both Governments are now happily of one opinion. He ports for the admission of British vessels, and by allowing cherishes the most lively anticipations of the solid benefits their entry with the same kind of British colonial produce which will flow from the trade that is about to revive, as as may be imported in American vessels, the vessels of well as of the benign influence which the satisfactory reboth countries paying the same charges; suspending the moval of a long standing and vexatious impediment to the alien duties on British vessels and cargoes, and abolishing extension of their commercial intercourse is calculated 10 the restrictions in the act of Congress of 1823 to the exercise upon the relations between the two countries. direct intercourse between the United States and the It is his wish that you should make his Majesty's GoverliBritish colonies; and that such a law should be immediately ment acquainted with these sentiments, and assure it that followed by a revocation of the British order in council of he will neglect no opportunity which may present itself to the 27th July, 1826, the abolition or suspension of all dis-prove his sincere desire to strengthen and improve those criminating duties on American vessels in the British colo- relations by every act within the sphere of his authority nial ports, and the enjoyment, by the United States, of which may contribute to confirm the good understanding the advantages of the act of Parliament of the 5th July, so happily established. 1825.” It only remains, therefore, for the undersigned to It is also to me a pleasing duty to express to you, as I assure Mr. McLane, that, if the President of the United am directed to do, the entire satisfaction of the President States shall determine to give effect to the act of Congress, with your conduct on this important occasion. The unin conformity with the construction put upon its provisions tiring zeal, patriotic exertions, and great ability, which both by Mr. McLane and by the undersigned, all difficulty you have displayed in the difficult negotiation thus satison the part of Great Britain, in the way of a renewal of factorily concluded, realize all the anticipations he had the intercourse between the United States and the West formed from the employment of your talents in this imIndies, according to the foregoing proposition made by portant branch of the public service, and entitle you to Mr. McLane, will thereby be removed.
the thanks of your country. To these sentiments I beg The undersigned has the honor to renew to Mr. McLane leave to add the expression of my own unqualified apthe assurances of his highest consideration.
probation of all your acts since the commencement of your
ABERDEEN. mission near the Government of Great Britain. Louis McLANE, Esq. &c.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
M. VAN BUREN.
Louis McLane, Esq. Enroy Extraordinary, &c.
By the President of the United States of America. Sir: Your despatch of the 20th August was, on the 3d instant, received at this department, and, with its contents, laid before the President.
Whereas, by an act of the Congress of the United You will perceive by the enclosed proclamation, and States, passed on the twenty-ninth day of May, one thouinstructions from the Treasury Department to the collec- sand eight hundred and thirty, it is provided, that, whentors of customs, that the President has adopted without ever the President of the United States shall receive satisreserve the construction given to the act of Congress of factory evidence that the Government of Great Britain will the 29th of May, 1830, by Lord Aberdeen and yourself, open the ports in its colonial possessions in the West Ilby accepting the assurance of the British Government, dies, on the continent of South America, the Bahama with the accompanying explanations, as a compliance with islands, the Caicos, and the Bermuda or Somer islands, to its requisitions, and by doing all that was necessary to car- the vessels of the United States, for an indefinite or for a ry the proposed arrangement into complete effect on the limited term, that the vessels of the United States, and part of the United States. By virtue of the President's their cargoes, on entering the colonial ports aforesaid, shall proclamation, and the operation of the act of Congress not be subject to other or higher duties of tonnage or imabove referred to, our restrictive acts are repealed, and post, or charges of any other description, than would be the ports of the United States opened to British vessels imposed on British vessels
, or their cargoes, arriving in coming from any of the British colonial possessions men- the said colonial possessions from the United States; that tioned in both sections of the act, upon the terms stated in the vessels of the United States may import into the said that act, and in the accompanying instruction. The Presi- colonial possessions, from the United States, any article or dent does not doubt that, having thus giving effect to the ar- articles which could be imported in a British vessel into rangement on the part of this Government, that of Great the said possessions from the United States; and that the Britain will, without delay, do what is necessary on its side vessels of the United States may export from the British to remove all existing obstructions to the renewal of the colonies aforementioned, to any country whatever, other intercourse between the United States and the British than the dominions or possessions of Great Britain, any colonial possessions referred to, according to the proposi- article or articles that can be exported therefion in a tion submitted by you and accepted by that Government. British vessel, to any country other than the British doHe allows himself also to expect that the circumstance minions or possessions aforesaid--leaving the commercial that the ports of the United States are forth with open to intercourse of the United States with all other parts of the British vessels, whilst the opening of those of Great British dominions or possessions on a footing not less Britain must await the action of the British Government, favorable to the United States than it now is--ihat then, thus producing temporarily an unequal operation, will in- and in such case, the President of the United States shall duce his Majesty's Government to give to the matter its be authorized, at any time before the next session of Conearliest attention.
gress, to issue his proclamation, declaring that he has reThe President has derived great satisfaction from the ceived such evidence; and that, thereupon, and from the candor and liberality which have characterized the con- date of such proclamation, the ports of the United States