Slike strani

securing respect to certificates of citizenship. The effect of this clause, taken as it ought to be, and as was doubtless intended, in context with the preceding clause, is limited to the case provided for in that clause. Still it may be well, in order to guard against the possibility of its being turned into a pretext for requiring such certificates in other cases, that a proviso for the purpose be added, or that words of equivalent restriction be inserted.

“ Another subject requiring your attention is pointed at by the resolutions of the Senate, moved by general Smith, on the subject of a British tax on exports, under the name of a convoy duty. A copy of the resolution is enclosed. A duty under that name was first laid in the year 1798. It then amounted to half of one per cent. on exports to Europe, and one per cent. on exports to other places, and consequently to the United States. The discrimination, being evidently contrary to the treaty then in force, became a subject of discussion between Mr. King and the British ministry. His letters to the Secretary of State, and to lord Grenville, explain the objections urged by him, and the pretexts in support of the measure alleged by them. The subject was resumed in my letter of 5th March, 1804, to Mr. King, with a copy of which you have been already furnished. It was received by Mr. Gore, during the absence of Mr. King on the continent; and if any occasion was found proper by either for repeating the remonstrance against the duty, it appears to have been without effect. Whilst the treaty was in force, the discrimination was unquestionably a violation of its faith. When the war ceased, it lost the pretext that it was the price of the convoy, which, giving a longer protection to the American than to the European trade, justified a higher price for the former than for the latter. Even during war, the esports are generally made as American property, and in American vessels, and therefore, with a few exceptions only, a convoy which would subject them to condemnation, from which they would otherwise be free, would be not a benefit, but an injury. Since the expiration of the treaty, the discrimination, as well as the duty itself, can be combated by no other arguments than those, which, in the document referred 10, are drawn from justice, friendship, and sound policy; including the tendency of the measure to produce a discontinuance of the liberal, but VOL. VI.


unavailing example given to Great Britain, by the regulations of commerce on our side, and a recurrence to such counteracting measures as are probably contemplated by the mover of the resolutions of the Senate. All these arguments gain strength, in proportion to the augmentations which the evil has latterly received; it being now stated that the duty amounts to four per cent. on the exports to the United States. These, according to Coxe's answer to Sheffield, amounted, in the year 1801, to about seven and a half millions sterl, and therefore levy a tax on the United States of about $1,300,000. From this is indeed to be deducted a sum proportioned to the amount of re-exportations from the United States. But, on the other hand, is to be added the increase of the exports since the year 1801, which probably exceed the reexportations.

With the aid of these communications and remarks, you will be at no loss for the views of the subject most proper to be presented to the British government, in order to promote the object of the resolutions; and the resolutions themselves ought powerfully to second your efforts, if the British government feels the same desire, as actuates the United States, to confirm the friendship and confidence on both sides by a greater conformity on that side to the spirit of the commercial regulations on this.

“I have referred above to the enclosed copy of the motion made by Mr. Crowninshield in the House of Representatives. The part of it which has relation to the trade with the West Indies was suggested, as appears in his introductory observations, by the late proclamations of the British West India governours, excluding from that trade vessels of the United States, and certain articles of our exportations, particularly fish, even in British vessels. These regulations are to be ascribed partly to the attachment of the present administration in Great Britain to the colonial and navigation system, partly to the interested representations of certain merchants and others residing in the British provinces on the continent. Without entering at large into the policy on which the colonial restrictions are founded, it may be observed that no crisis could be more ineligible for enforcing them, than the present, because at none more than the present have the West Indies been absolutely dependent on the United States for the supplies essential to their existence. It is evident in fact, that the United States, by asserting the principle of a reasonable reciprocity, such as is admitted in the trade with the European ports of Great Britain, and as is admitted even in the colonial trade of other European nations, so far at least as respects the vessels employed in the trade, might reduce the British government at once to the dilemma of relaxing her regulations or of sacrificing her colonies; and with respect to the interdict of supplies from the United States of articles necessary to the subsistence and prosperity of the West Indies, in order to force the growth and prosperity of the continental provinces of Nova Scotia, &c. what can be more unjust than thus to impoverish one part of the foreign dominions, which is considered as a source of wealth and power to the parent country, not with a view to favour the parent country, but to favour another part of its foreign dominions which is rather expensive than profitable to it? What can be more preposterous than thus, at the expense of islands which not only contribute to the revenue, commerce and navigation of the parent state, but can be secured in their dependence by that naval ascendency which they aid, to foster unproductive establishments ?

Considerations, such as these, ought to have weight with the British government, and may very properly enter into frank conversations with its ministry on favourable occasions. However repugnant that government may be to a departure from its system, in the extent contemplated by Mr. Crowninshield's motion, it may at least be expected, that the trade, as opened in former wars, will not be refused under circumstances which, in the present, particularly demand it. It may be hoped that the way will be prepared for some permanent arrangement on this subject between the two nations, which will be conformable to equity, to reciprocity, and to their mutual advantage. " I have the honour to be, &c.


From Mr. Madison, Secretary of State, to Mr. Monroe,

Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at London. Department of State, April 12, 1805.

[This letter is printed in vol. v. p. 212 to 218, except the concluding paragraph, which follows:]

The effect of the doctrine, involved in the sentence of the court in Newfoundland, on our carrying trade, will at once be seen by you. The average amount of our re-exportations for three years, ending 30 September, 1803, has been 32,003,921 dollars. Besides the mercantile and navigation profits, the average revenue from drawbacks, on goods re-exported for three years, ending 31st December, 1803, is 184,271 dollars, to which is to be added an uncertain but considerable sum, consisting of duties paid on articles re-exported, after having lost, through neglect or lapse of time, the privilege of drawback. A very considerable portion of this branch of trade, with all its advantages, will be cut off, if the formalities, heretofore respected, are not to protect our re-exportations. Indeed it is difficult to see the extent, to which the apprehended innovation may be carried in theory, or to estimate the mischief, which it may produce in practice. If Great Britain, disregarding the precepts of justice, suffers herself to calculate the interest she has in spoliating or abridging our commerce by the value of it to the United States, she ought certainly not to forget that the United States must, in that case, calculate by the same standard the measures which the stake will afford for counteracting her unjust and unfriendly policy. I have the honour to be, &c.


Mr. Madison to Mr. Monroe. Department of State, Jan.

13, 1806. Sir,-The letters received from you, since my last, are down to No. 36, inclusive.

The perseverance of the British government in the principle which licenses the depredations on our commerce in colonial productions, with the losses already sustained, and still apprehended by our merchants, has produced a very general indignation throughout this couniry, and makes it necessary that you should renew and extend your remonstrances on the subject. In aid of the means for this purpose, furnished by the information and instructions given you from time to time, I forward you an examination of it just published, in wbich you will find a variety of facts and views of the British principle and proceedings that may be made to bear against them. I will forward, also, in a few days, copies of sundry memorials from the merchants of our maritime cities, explaining the wrongs done them, and the disgust with which they are filled. These, with other documents accompanying them, will assist your endeavours to make on the British government the impressions which the occasion calls for.

I shall only add at present, that, notwithstanding the conviction of the illegality of the British principle, which becomes

more and more evident the more it is investigated, the President so far yields to a spirit of conciliation, as to be still willing to concur in the adjustment on that point authorized in your instructions of January 5th, 1804 ; but expects and enjoins that you will be particularly careful to use such forms of expression, as will furnish no pretext for considering an exception of the direct trade between a belligerent nation and its colonies as declaratory of a limitation of the neutral right, and not a positive stipulation founded on considerations of expediency. I have the honour to be, &c.


Mr. Madison to Mr. Monroe. Department of State, April

23, 1806. SIR, Your last letter bears date on the 12th of February: Those of the 18th October, 11th, 26th November, 11th and 230 December, and 28th January, had been previously received.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »