« PreviousContinue »
abandoned them. The materials for maintaining our due share of navigation, are ours in abundance. And, as to the mode of using them, we have only to adopt the principles of those who thus put us on the defensive, or others equivalent and better fitted to our circumstances.
The following principles, being founded in reciprocity, appear perfectly just, and to offer no cause of complaint to any nation. • 1. Where a nation imposes high duties on our productions, or prohibits them altogether, it may be proper for us to do the same by theirs ; first burdening or excluding those productions which they bring here, in competition with our own of the same kind; selecting next, such manufactures as we take from them in greatest quantity, and which at the same time we could the soonest furnish to ourselves, or obtain from other countries; imposing on them duties, lighter at first, but heavier and heavier afterwards, as other channels of supply open. Such duties baving the effect of indirect encouragement to domestick manufactures of the same kind, inay induce the manufacturer to come himself into these states, where cheaper subsistence, equal laws, and a vent of his wares, free of duty, may ensure him the highest profils from his skill and industry. And here, it would be in the power of the state governments to co-operate essentially, by opening the resources of encouragement which are under their control, extending them liberally to artists in those par. ticular branches of manufacture for which their soil, climate, population and other circumstances have matured them, and fostering the precious efforts and progress of household manufacture, by some patronage suited to the nature of its objects, guided by the local informations they possess, and guarded against abuse by their presence and attentions. The oppres. sions on our agriculture, in foreign porls, would thus be made the occasion of relieving it from a dependence on the councils and conduct of others, and of promoting arts, manufactures and population at home.
2. Where a nation refuses permission to our merchants and factors to reside within certain parts of their dominions, we may, if it should be thought expedient, refuse residence to theirs in any and every part of ours, or modify their transactions.
3. Where a nation refuses to receive in our vessels any productions but our own, we may refuse to receive, in theirs, any but their own productions. The first and second clauses of the bill reported by the committee, are well formed to effect this object
4. Where a nation refuses to consider any vessel as ours which has not been built within our territories, we should refuse to consider as theirs, any vessel not built within their territories.
5. Where a nation refuses to our vessels the carriage even of
our own productions, to certain countries under their domination, we might refuse to theirs of every description, the carriage of the same productions to the same countries. But as justice and good neighbourhood would dictate that those who have no part in imposing the restriction on us, should not be the victims of measures adopted to defeat its effect, it may be proper to confine the restriction to vessels owned or navigated by any subjects of the same dominant power, other than the inhabitants of the country to which the said productions are to be carried. And to prevent all inconvenience to the said inbabitants, and to our own, by too sudden a check on the means of transportation, ve may continue to admit the vessels marked for future cxclusion, on an advanced tonnage, and for such length of time only, as may be supposed necessary to provide against that inconvenience.
The establishment of some of these principles by Great Britain, alone, has already lost us in our commerce with that country and its possessions, between eight and nine hundred vessels of near 40,000 tons burden, according to statements from official materials, in which they have confidence. This involves a proportional loss of seamen, ship-wrights, and ship-building, and is too serious a loss to admit forbearance of some effectual remedy. · It is true we must expect some inconvenience in practice from the establishment of discriminating duties. But in this, as in so many other cases, we are left to choose between two eyils. These inconveniences are nothing when weighed against the loss of wealth and loss of force, which will follow our perseverance in the plan of indiscrimination. When once it shall be perceived that we are either in the system or in the habit of giving equal advantages to those who extinguish our commerce and navigation by duties and prohibitions, as to those who treat both with liberality and justice, liberality and justice will be converted by all into duties and prohibitions. It is not to the moderation and justice of others we are to trust for fair and equal access to market with our productions, or for our due share in the transportation of them; but to our own means of inde. pendence, and the firm will to use them. Nor do the incon. veniences of discrimination merit consideration. Not one of the nations before mentioned, perhaps not a commercial nation on carth is without them. in our case one distinction alone will suffice : that is to say ; between nations who favour our productions and navigation, and those who do not favour them. One set of moderate duties, say the present duties, for the first, and a fixed advance on these as to some articles, and prohibitions as to others, for the last.
Still it must be repeated that friendly arrangements are preferable with all who will come into them; and that we should VOL. I.
carry into such arrangements all the liberality and spirit of ac, commodation which the nature of the case will admit.
France has, of her own accord, proposed negotiations for improving, by a new treaty on fair and equal principles, the commercial relations of the two countries. But her internal disturbances have hitherto prevented the prosecution of them to effect, though we have had repeated assurances of a continuance of the disposition.
Proposals of friendly arrangement have been made on our part, by the present government, to that of Great Britain, as the message states : but, being already on as good a footing in law, and a better in fact, than the most favoured nation, they have not, as yet, discovered any disposition to have it meddled with.
We have no reason to conclude that friendly arrangements would be declined by the other nations, with whom we have such commercial intercourse as may render them important. In the meanwhile, it would rest with the wisdom of Congress, to determine whether, as to those nations, they will not surcease exparte regulations, on the reasonable presumption that they will concur in doing whatever justice and moderation dictate should be done.
MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS.
DEC. 23, 1793. Since the communications which were made to you on the affairs of the United States with Spain, and on the truce between Portugal and Algiers, some other papers have been received, which, making a part of the same subjects, are now communicated for your information.
GEORGE WASHINGTON. [These papers, it is believed, were not published.]
MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS,
DEC, 30, 1793. I COMMUNICATE to you the translation of a letter received from the representatives of Spain here, in reply to that of the Secretary of State to them, of the twenty-first instant, which bad been before communicated to you.
GEORGE WASHINGTON. [This document, it is believed, was not published.]
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE HOUSE
OF REPRESENTATIVES. DEC. 30, 1793. I now transmit you a report by the Secretary of State, of such laws, decrees and ordinances, or their substance, respecting commerce in the countries, with which the United States have commercial intercourse, as he has received, and had not stated in his report of the sixteenth instant.
The Secretary of State, to whom the President of the United
States referred the resolution of the House of Representa. tives, of December 24, 1793, desiring the substance of all such laws, decrees, or ordinances, respecting commerce in any of the countries with which the United States have commercial intercourse, as have been received by the Secretary of State, and not already stated to the house, in his report of the 16th instant, Reports :
That he has had an official communication of a decree rendered by the National Assembly of France, on the 26th day of March last, of which the following is a translation.
Decree, exempting from all duties the subsistences and other ob.
jects of supply in the colonies, relatively to the United States, pronounced in the sitting of the 26th of March 1793, 2d year of the French Republick.
The National Convention, willing to prevent, by precise dispositions, the difficulties that might arise relatively to the execution of its decree of the 19th February last, concerning the United States of America ;-to grant new favours to this ally. nation, and to treat it in its commercial relations with the colonies of France, in the same manner as the vessels of the Republick-decree as follows:
Art. 1. From the day of the publication of the present decree, in the French American colonies, the vessels of the United States, of the burden of 60 tons at the least, laden only with meals and subsistences, as well as the objects of supply, announced in Art. 2d of the arret of 30th August, 1784, as also lard, butter, salted salmon, and candles, shall be admitted in the ports of the said colonies, exempt from all duties: The same exemption shall extend to the French vessels laden with the same articles, and coining from a foreign port.
Art. 2. The captains of vessels of the United States, who, having brought into the French American colonies the objects comprised in the above article, wish to return to the territory of the said States, may lade in the said colonies, independent of sirups, rum, taffias, and French merchandises, a quanty of cof.
fec equivalent to the t' of the tonnage of every vessel, as also a quantity of sugar equal to the y, on conforming to the following articles.
Art. 3. Every captain of an American vessel, who wishes to make returns to the United States of coffee and sugar of the French colonies, shall nake it appear that his vessel entered therein with at least of her cargo according to Art. Ist, for this purpose he shall be obliged to transmit, within twentyfour hours afier his arrival, to the custom house of the place he may land at, a certificate of the marine agents, establishing the gauge of his vessel, and the effective tonnage of her cargo.
The heads of the said custom houses shall assure themselves that the exportation of the sugars and coffee does not exceed the proportion fixed by the 2d article of the present decree.
Art. 4. The captains of vessels of the United States of Ame. rica shall not pay on going from the Islands, as well as those of the Republick, but a duty of five livres per quintal of indigo, ten livres per thousand weight of cotton, five livres per thousand weight of coffee, five livres per thousand weight of brown and clayed sugars, and fifty sols per thousand weight of raw sugar. Every other merchandise shall be exempt from duty on going out of the colonies.
Art. 5. The sugars and coffee which shall be laden shall pay at the custom houses which are established in the colonies, or that shall be established, in addition to the duties above fixed, those imposed by the law of 19th March, 1791, on the sugars and coffee imported from the said colonics to France, and conformably to the same law.
Art. 6. The captains of vessels of the United States, who wish to lade merchandises of the said colonies for the ports of France, shall furnish the custoin-house at the place of depar. ture with the bonds required of the masters of French vessels by the 2d article of the law of 10th July, 1791, to secure the unlading of these merchandises in the ports of the republick.
Art. 7. The vessels of the nations with whom the French republick is not at war, may carry to the French American colonies all the objects designated by the present decree. They may also bring into the ports of the republick, only, all the productions of the said colonies, on the conditions announced in the said decree, as well as that of the 19th February. Copy conformable to the original.
GENET. That he has not received officially any copy of the decree said to have been rendered by the same assembly on the 27th day of July last, subjecting the vessels of the United States, la. den with provisions, to be carried against their will into the ports of Francc, and those having enemy goods on board, to have such good's taken out as legal prize.