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habitant of the samo State with themselves. They vote for President and Vice President separately, by distinct ballots. They make lists of the number of votes given, and of the persons voted for: wbich they transmit sealed to the seat of the General Goveromeut directed to the Presi dent of the Senate. who, in the presence ef the Senate and House of Representatives, opens all the certificates, and the votes are counted. Tne person having the greatest number of votes for President is duly elected if such number be a majority, of all the Electors appointed.
If no person have such majority, then from the persons having the bighest numbers, not excediog three, in the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose, immediately, by ballot the President. But in choosing the President the votes are taken by States, the Representation from each having one vote : a quorum for this purpose consists of a member or members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States is necessary to a choice.
If the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice devolves upon them, before the fourth of March next following, then the Vice President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.
The period of service is four years, but there is no restriction as to reelection. If the offices of President and Vice Presieent should both be come vacant, it then becomes the duty of the Secretary of State to com
municate information thereof to the Executive of each State, and to cause the same to be published in at least one newspaper in every State, giving two months previous notice that Electors of President shall be appointed or chosen in the several States, within thirty-four days next preceding the first Wednesday in December ensuing, when the choice of President must proceed as usual. The twelfth Presidential term commenced with the twenty-third Congress, on the fourth of March, 1833.
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
MARTIN VAN BUREN, of New York, $5,000 per annum.
The Vice President is, ex officio, President of the Senate ; and as President of the Senate, in virtue of an act of the 8th of May, 1792, one of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund. His salary of 5,000 dollars per annum, is fixed by the Act of 18th of February, 1793. The Vice Presi. dent is not a member of the Cabinet. The ordinary duties of this officer is, to preside in the Senate of the United States. When he does not officiate in that station his place is supplied by a President of the Senate pro tempore, who is chosen from the body of Senators by ballot, and re. ceives additional compensation for his services.
The Vice President is elected in the same manner, at the same time, for the same term, and by the same Electors, as the President. But if nu person has a majority of the whole number of Electors, then from the two highest numbers in the list, the Senate chooses the Vice President ; a quorum for this purpose consists of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole is necessary to a choice.
No person, constitutionally ineligible to the office of President, is eligi. ble to that of Vice President of the United States.
MESSAGE From the President of the United States, to the two Houses of Congress, at the commencement of the first session of the twenty-third Congress.
FELLOW CITIZENS OF THE SENATE,
AND OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: On your assembling to perform the high trust which the people of the United States have confided to you, of legislating for their common wela fare, it gives me pleasure to congratulate you upon the happy condition of our beloved country. By the favor of Divine Providence, health is again restored to us : peace reigns without our borders : abundance crowns the labors of our fields: commerce and domestic industry flourish and increase: and individual happiness rewards the private virtue and enterprise of our citizens.
Our condition abroad is no less honorable than it is prosperous at home, Seekitig nothing that is not right, and determined to submit to nothing that is wrong, but desiring honest friendship and liberal intercourse with all nations, the United States have gained throughout the world the confidence and respect which are due to the character of the American people, and to a policy so juet, and so congenial with the spirit of their institutions.
In bringing to your notice the particular state of our Foreign Affairs, it affords me high gratification to inform you that they are in a condition which promises the continuance of friendship with all nations.
With Great Britain the interesting question of our Northeastern boun, dary remains still undecided. A negotiation, however, upou that subject, has been renewed since the close of the last Congress, and a proposition has been submitted to the British Government with the view of establishing, in conformity with the resolution of the Senate, the line designated by the treaty of 1783. Though no definitive answer has been received, it may be daily looked for, and I entertain a hope that the overture may ultimately lead to a satisfactory adjustment of this important matter.
I have the satisfaction to inform you that a negotiation which, by desire of the House of Representatives, was opened, some years ago, with the British Government, for the erection of light-houses on the
Bahamas, has been successful. Those works, when completed, together with those which the United States have constructed on the western side of the Gulf of Florida, will contribute essentially to the safety of naviga. tion in that sea. This joint participation in establishments interesting to humanity and beneficial to cominerce, is worthy of two enlightened nations, and indicates seelings which cannot fail to have a happy influ ence upon their political relations. It is gratifying to the friends of both to perceive that the intercourse between the two people is becoming daily inore extensive, and that sentiments of mutual good will have grown up, befitting their common origin, and justifying the bope that, by wise counsels on each side, not only unsettled questions may be satisfactorily terminated, but new causes of misunderstanding prevented.
Notwithstanding that I continue to receive the most amicable assuances from the Government of France, and that in all other respects the nost friendly relations exist between the United States and that Govern. ment, it is to be regretted that the stipulations of the Conveution concluded on the 4th July, 1831, remain, in some important parts, unfulilled.
By the second article of that Convention, it was stipulated that the sum payable to the United States should be paid at Paris, in six annual instalments, into the hauds of such person or persons as should be authorized by the Government of the United States to receive it; and by the same article the first instalment was payable on the second day of February, 1838. By the act of Congress of the 13th July, 1832, it was made the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to cause the severa instalments, with the interest thereon, to be received from the French Go vernment, and transferred to the United States, in such manner as he may deem best ; and by the same act of Congress, the stipulations on
the part of the United States, in the Convention, were, in all respects, fulfilled. Not doubting that a treaty thus made, and ratified by the two Goverpnienis, and faithfully executed by the United States, would be promptly complied with by the other party, and desiring to avoid the risk and expense of intermediate agencies, the Secretary of the Treasury deemed it advisable to receive and transfer the first instalment by means of a draft upon the Fscuch Miniocor of Finance. A draft for this purpose was accordingly drawn in favor of the Cashier of the Bank of tho United States, for the amount accruing to the United States out of the first instal. ment and the interest payable with it. This bill was not drawn at Wash: ington until five days after the instalment was payable at Paris, and was accompanied by a special authority from the President, authorizing the Casbier, or his assigns, to receive the amount. The mode thus adopted of receiving the instalment, was officially made known to the French Government, by the American Chargé d'Affaires at Paris, pursuant to instructions from the Department of Sta e. The bill, however, though not presented for payment until the twenty.third day of March, was not paid, and for the reason assigned by the French Minister of Finance, that no appropriation had been made by the French Chambers. It is not known to me that, up to that period, any appropriation had been required of the Chambers; and although a communication was subsequently made to the Chambers, by direction of the King, recommending that the necessary provision should be made for carrying the Convention into effect, it was at an advanced period of the session, and the subject was finally postponed until the next meeting of the Chambers.
Notwithstanding it has been supposed by the French ministry that the financial stipulations of the treaty cannot be carried into effect without an appropriation by the Chambers, it appears to me to be not only consistent with the charter of France, but due to the character of both Governments, as well as to the rights of our citizens, to treat the Conven. tion made and ratified, in proper form, as pledging the good faith of the
French Government for its execution, and as imposing upon each department an obligation to fulfil it; and I have received assurances through our Chargé d'Affaires at Paris, and the Freoch Minister Plenipotentiary at Washington, and more recently through the Minister of the
United States at Paris, that the delay has not proceeded from any indisposition on the part of the King and bis Ministers to fulfil the treaty, and
that measures will be presented at the next meeting of the Chambers, and with a reasonable hope of success, to obtain the necessary appropriations.
It is necessary to state, however, that the documents, except certain lists of vessels captured, condemned, or burnt at sea, proper to facilitate the examination and liquidation of the reclamations comprised in the stipulations of the Convention, and which, by the 6th article, France engaged to communicate to the United States by the intermediary of the Legation, though repeatedly applied for by the American Chargé d'Arfaires, under instructions from this Government, have not yet been coir.
municated ; 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 under. stood 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 disappointments so unexpected, I deemed 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 appoivted 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 instructed 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 dispositions 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 inportant 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 agaiu brought to the notice of Congress in such manner as the occasion may require.
The friendly relations which have always been maintained between the United States and Russia, have been further extended and strengthen
ed by the treaty of navigation and commerce, concluded on the sixth 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 secured, a flourishing and increasing commerce, yielding its benefits to the enterprise of both nations, affords to each just recompense of wise measures, and adds new motives for that mutual friendship which the two couutries have hitherto cherished towards 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 similiar. 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 the act of Congress passed on the 13th 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 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 bo abolished in the ports of the United States and Spain, on the vessels Jof 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 29th April, 1832, American vessels in the ports of Spain (have paid five cents per ton, which rate of duty is also paid in those poris fby 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 discriminat.
ing 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 obligation 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 see in 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 rekerred to, however, did not embrace the Islands of Cuba and Porto Rico, discriminating duties, to the prejudice of Amer. fican shipping, continue to be levied there. From the extent of the commerce carried ou between the United States and those Islands, particularly the former, this discrimination causes serious injury to one of those great pational 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 instrctions 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 towards this country, that a beueficial change will be produced. The disadvantage, however, to which our shipping is sub jected by the operation of these discriminating duties, requires that they be met by suitable countervailing duties during your present sessionpower being at the same time vested in the President to modify or dis