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on the 11th of June, but nothivg important was done in relation to it during the session. In the month of Aprii, 1834, nearly three years after the signature of the treaty, the final action of the French Chainbers upon the bill to carry the treaty into effect, was obtained, and resulted in a refusal of the necessary appropriations. The avowed grounds upon which the bill was rejected, are to be found in the published debates of that body, and no observations of mine can be necessary to satisfy Congress of their utter ipsufficiency. Although the gross amount of the claims of our citizens is probably greater than will be ultiniately allowed by the Commissioners, sufficient is, nevertheless, shown, to render il absolutely certain that the indemnity falls far short of the actual amount of our just claims, independently of the question of damages and interest for the detention. That the settlement involved a sacrifice in this respect was well known at the time-a sacrifice which was cheerfully acquiesced in by the different branches of the Federal Goveromeni, whose action upon the treaty was required, from a sincere desire to avoid further collision upon this old and disturbing subject, and in the confident expectation that the general relations between the two coun. tries would be improved thereby.
The refusal to vote the appropriation, the news of which was received from our Minister in Paris about the 15th day of May last, might bave been considered the final determination of the French Government not to execute the stipulations of the treaty, and would have justified an ima mediate communication of the facts to Congress, with a recommendation of such ultimate measures as the interest and honor of the United States might seem to require. But with the news of the refusal of the Chambers to make the appropriation, were conveyed the regrets of the
King, and a declaration that a national vessel should be forth with sent Jout, with instructions to the French Minister to give the most ample explanations of the past, and the strongest assurances for the future. Arter a long passage the promised despatch vessel arrived. The pledges given by the French Minister, upon the receipt of his instructions, were, that as soon after the election of the new members as the charter would permit, the legislative Chambers of France should be called together, and the proposition for an appropriation laid before then ; that all the constitutional powers the King and his Cabinet should be exerted to
accomplish the object; and that the result should be made kuown early enough to be communicated to Congress at the commencement of the present session. Relying upon these pledges, and not doubting that the acknowledged justice of our claims, the promised exertions of the King and his Cabinet, and above all, that sacred regard for the national faith and honor for which the French character has been so distinguished, would secure an early execution of the treaty in all its parts, I did not deem it necessary to call the attention of Congress to the subject at the last session.
regret to say that the pledges made through the Minister of France have not been redeemed. The new Chambers met on the 31st July last, and allhough the subject of fulfilling treaties was alluded to in the speech from the throne, no attempt was made by the King or his Ca. binet to procure an appropriation to carry it into execution.
The reasons given for this omission, although they might be considered sufficient
in an ordinary case, are not consistent with the expectations founded upon the assurances given here, for there is no constitutional obstacle to entering into legislative busioess at the first meeting of the Chambers. This point, however, might have been overlooked, had not the Chambers, instead of being called to meet at so early a day that the result of their deliberations might be communicated to me, before the meeting of Congress, been prorogued tu the 29th of the present month-a period so late that their decision can scarcely be made known to the present Congress prior to its dissolution. To avoid this delay, our Minister in Paris, in virtue of the assurance given by the French Minister in the United States, strongly urged the convocation of the Chambers at an earlier day, but without success It is proper to remark, however, that this refusal has been accompanied with the most positive assurances, on the part of the Executive Government of France, of their intention to press the appropriation at the ensuing session of the Chambers.
The executive branch of this Government has, as matters stand, exhausted all the authority upon the subject with which it is invested, and which it had any reason to believe could be beneficially employed.
The idea of acquiescing in the refusal to execute the treaty will not, I am confident, be for a moment entertained by any branch of this Government; and further negotiation is equally out of the question.
If it shall be the pleasure of Congress to a wait the further action of the Fronch Cbombers, no further consideration of the subject will, at this session, probably be required at your hands. But, if, from the original delay in asking for au appropriation, from the refusal of the Chambers to gran: it when asked, from the omission to bring the subject before the Chambers at their last session, from the fact that, including that session, there have been five different occasions when the appropriation might have been made, and from the delay in convoking the Chambers until some weeks after the meeting of Congress, when it was well known that a cominunication of the whole subject to Congress at the last session, was prevented by assurances that it should be dispused of before its present meeting, you should feel yourselves constrained to doubt whether it be the intention of the French Government in all its branches to carry the trealy into effect, and think that such measures as the occasion may be deemed to call for, should be now adopted, the inportant question arises what those measures shall be.
Our institutions are essentially pacific. Peace and friendly intercourse with all nations, are as much the desire of our Government as they are the interest of our People. But these objects are not to be permanently secured, by surrendering the rights of our citizens, or permitting solemn treaties for their indemnity in cases of fagrant wrong, to be abrogated or set aside.
It is undoubtedly in the power of Congress seriously to affect the agricultural and manufacturing interests of France, by the passage of laws relating to her trade with the the United States. Her products, manu. factures, and tonnage, may be subjected to heavy duties in our ports, or full commercial intercourse with her may be suspended. But there are powerful, anıt, to my mind, conclusive objections to this mode of proceedfing. We caquot embarrass or cut off the trade of France, without, at the same time, in some degree, embarrassing or cutting off our own trade.
The injury of such a warfare must fall, though unequally, upon our own citizens, and could not but impair the nieans of the Goverument, and weaken that united sentiment in support of the rights and honor of the nation wbich must now pervade every bosom. Nor is it impossible that such a course of legislation would introduce once more into our national councils, those disturbing questions in relation to the tariff of duties which have been so recently put to rest. Besides, by every measure adopted by the Government of the United States with the view of injur. ing France, the clear perception of right which will induce our own peo. ple, and the rulers and people of all other nations, even of France herself, to pronounce our quarrel just, will be obscured, and the support rendered to us in a final resort tu njore decisive measures, will be more limited and equivocal. There is but one point in the controversy, and upon that the whole civilized world must pronounce France to be in the wrong.
We insist that she shall pay us a sum of money, which she has acknowledged to be due ; and of the justice of this demand, there can be but one opinion among mankind. True policy would seem to dicta te that the question at issue should be kept thus disencumbered, and that not the slightest pretence should be given to France to persist in her refusal 10 make payment, by any act on our part affecting the interests of her peo ple. The questiou should be left as it is now, in such an attitude that when France fulfils her treaty stipulations, all controversy will be at an end.
It is my conviction, that the United States ought to insist on a prompt execution of :he treaty, and in case it be refused, or longer delayed, take redress into their owu hands. After the delay on the part of France of a quarter of a century in acknowledging these claims by treaty, it is not to be tolerated that another quarter of a century is to be wasted in negotiating about the payment. The laws of nations provide a remedy for such occasions. It is a well settled principle of the international code, that where one nation owes another a liquidated debt, which it refuses or neglects to pay, the aggrieved party may seize on the property belonging to the other, its cisizens or subjects, sufficient to pay the debt, without giving just cause of war. This remedy has been repeatedly resorted to, and recently by France herself, towards Portugal; under cir. cumstances less unquestionable.
The time at which resort should be had to this, or any other mode of redress, is a point in he decided by Congress. If an appropriation shall not be made by the French Chambers at their next session, it may justly be concluded that the Government of France has finally determined to disregard its own solemn undertaking, and refuse to pay an acknowledg. led debi. lo that event, every day's delay on our part will be a stain upon our national honor, as well a a denial of justice to our injured citi.
Prompt measures, when the refusal of France shall be complete, will not only be most honorable and just, but will have the best effect upon our national character.
Since France, in violation of the pledges given through ber Minister bere, has delayed her final action so long that her decision will not probably be known, in time to be communicated 10 this Congress, I recommend that a law be passed, authorizing reprisals upon French property, in case provision shall not be made for the payment of the debt, at the
approaching session of the French Chambers. Such a measure ought not to be cousidered by France as a menace. Her pride and power are too well known to expect any thing from her fears, and preclude the necessity for a declaration that nothing partaking of the character of intimidation Jis intended by us. She ought to look upon it as the evidence only of an
inflexible determination on the part of the United States, to insist on their rights. That Government, by doing only what it has itself acknowledged to be just, will be able to spare the United States the necessiiy of taking redress into their own hands, and save the property of French citizens from that seizure and sequestration which American citizens so long endured without retaliation or redress. If she should continue to refuse that act of acknowledged justice, and in violation of the law of nations, make reprisals on our part the occasion of hostilities against the United States, she would but add violence to injustice, and could not fail to ex. posc herself to the just censure of civilized nations and to the retributive judgments of Heaven.
Collision with France is the more to be regretted, on account of the position she occupies in Europe in relation to liberal institutions. Bui in maintaining our national rights and honor, all Goveruments are alike
If by a collision with France, in a case where she is clearly in the wrong, the march of liberal priuciples shall be impeded, the responsibility for that result, as well as every other, will rest on her own head.
Having submitted these considerations, it belongs to Congress to decide, whether, aster what has taken place, it will still await the further action of the French Chambers, or now adopt such provisional measures, as it may deem necessary and best adapted to protect the righis and maintain the honor of the country. Whatever that decision may be, it will be faithfully enforced by the Executive, as far as he is authorized so to do.
According to the estimate of the TREASURY DEPARTMENT, the reve. nue accruing, from all sources, during the present year, will amount to twenty millions six hundred and twenty-four thousand seven hundred and seventeen dollars, which with the balance remaining in the Treasury on the first of January last, of eleven millions se veu hundred and two thousand nine hundred and five dollars, produces an aggregate of thirtyiwo millions three hundred and twenty-seven thousand six hundred and twenty-three dollars. The total expenditure during the year for all objects, including the public debt, is estimated at twenty-five millions five hundred and vinety-one thousand three hundred and ninety dollars, which will leave a balance in the Treasury on the first of January, 1935, of six millions seven hundred and thirty-six thousand two hundred and thirty-two dollars. In this balance, however, will be included about one million one hundred and brıy thousand dollars of what was beretofore reported by the Department as not effective.
Of former appropriations it is estimated that there will remain unex. pended at the close of the year, eight millions two thousand nine hundred and twenty-five dollars, and that of this sum there will not be required more than five millions one hundred and forty-one thousand nine hundred and sixty-four dollars, to accomplish the objects of all the current appropriations. Thus it appears that after satisfying all those ap. propriations, aud after discharging the last item of our public debt, wbich
will be done on the first of January next, there will remain uuexpended in the Treasury an effective balance of about four hundred and forty thousand dollars. That such should be the aspect of our finances is highly flattering to the industry and enterprise of our population, and auspicinus of the wealth and prosperity which await the future cultivation of their growing resources. It is not deemed prudent, however, to recommend any change for the present in our impost rates, the effect of the gradual reductiou now in progress in many of them, not bring sufficiently tested, to guide us in determining the precise amount of revenue which they will produce.
Free from public debt, at peace with all the world, and with no complicated interests to consult in our intercourse with foreign powers, the present may be hajled as that epoch in our history the most favorable for the settlement of those principles in our donestic policy, which shall be best calculated to give stability to our Republic, and secure the blessings of freedom to our citizens. Among these principles, from our past expe rience. it cannot be doubted, thai simplicity in the character of the Federal Government, and rigii economy in its administration, should be
regarded as fundamental and sacred. All must be sensible that the ex istence of the public debi, by rendering taxation necessary for its extinguishment, has increased the difficulties which are inseparable from every exercise of the taxing power ; and that it was, in this respect, a reniote agent in producing those disturbing questions which grew out of the discussions relating to the tariff. If such has been the tendency of a debt incurred in the acquisition aud maintenance of our national rights and liberties, the obligations of which all portions of the Union cheerfully acknowledged, it must be obvious, that whatever is calculated to increase the burdens of Government without necessity, must be fatal to all our hopes of preserving its true character. While we are felicitating ourselves, therefore, upon the extinguishment of the national debt, and the prosperous state of our finances, let us not be tempted to depart from those souud maxinis of public policy, which enjo:n a just adaptation of the revenue to the expenditures that are consistent with a rigid economy, aud an entire abstinance from all topics of legislation that are not clearly within the constitutional powers of the Government, and suggested by the wants of the country Properly regarded, under such a poliry, every diminution of the public burdens arising from taxation, gives to individual enterprise increased power, and furnishes to all the members of our happy Confederacy, new motives for patriotic affection and support. But above all, its most important effect will be found in its influence upon the cha racter of the Government, by confining its action to those objects which will be sure to secure to it the attachinent and support of our fellow-citi
Circumstances make it my duty to call the attention of Congress to the Bank of the United States Created for the convenience of the Guyero ment, that institution has become the scourge of the People Its inter ference to post pone the payment of a portion of the national debt, thalit might retain the public money appropriated for that purpose, to strengthen it in a political contest ---the extraordinary extension and contraction of its accommodations to the community-iis corrupt and partisan loansmits exclusion of the public directors from a knowledge of its 010st