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President answered that he would make a communication, in writing, to the two Houses of Congress to-day. And thereupon,
A communication, in writing, was received from the President of the United States, by Mr. Donelson, his private Secretary; which was read, and is as follows: Fellow-Citizens of the Senate
and House of Representatives : On your assembling to perform the high trusts which the people of the United States have confided to you, of legislating for their common welfare, 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 within 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. Seeking nothing that is not right, and determined to submit to nothing that is wrong, but desiring honest friendships and liberal intercourse with all nations, the United States have gained throughout the world the confidence and respect which are due to a policy so just, and so congenial to the character of the American people, and to 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 boundary remains still undecided. A negotiation, however, upon 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 navigation in that sea. This joint participation in establishments interesting to humanity and beneficial to commerce, is worthy of two enlightened nations, and indicates feelings which cannot fail to have a happy influence upon their political relations. It is gratifying to the friends of both to perceive that the intercourse between the two people is becoming daily more extensive, and that sentiments of mutual good will have grown up, befitting their common origin, justifying the hope 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 assurances from the Government of France, and that in all other respects the
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
BEQUN and held at the Capitol, in the City of Washington, in the Territory of Columbia, on Monday, the second day of December, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and thirty-three, being the First Session of the TWENTY-THIRD CONGRESS, held under the Constitution of Government of the United States.
On which day, being that fixed by the Constitution for the meeting of Congress, Matthew St. Clair Clarke, Clerk to the late House of Representatives, commenced the call of the roll by States, beginning with the State of Maine ; and having called as far as the State of Kentucky, and being about to call the members from that State,
Mr. Chilton Allan rose, and objected to the calling of Thomas P. Moore, returned to serve as the Member for the fifth congressional district of said State, on the ground that the said Thomas P. Moore had not been duly elected, and that the return of the said Thomas P. Moore was not in the form prescribed by the laws of the State of Kentucky.
And, after debate, the objection was waived; and, by general consent, it was agreed that Mr. Moore should not be called until the House should have become organized, by the election of a Speaker, and other officers; and, thereupon,
The call of the roll was completed, and the following named members of the House of Representatives appeared, and took their seats :
lected, abide ground them ber for their
From the State of
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most friendly relations exist between the United States and that Government, it is to be regretted that the stipulations of the convention concluded on the 4th of July, 1831, remain, in some important parts, unfulfilled.
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 hands 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, 1833. By the act of Congress of the 13th July, 1832, it was made the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to cause the several instalments, with the interest thereon, to be received from the French Government, 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 Governments, 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 French Minister of Finance. A draft for this purpose was accordingly drawn in favor of the Cashier of the Bank of the United States, for the amount accruing to the United States out of the first instalment, and the interest payable with it. This bill was not drawn at Washington until five days after the instalment was payable at Paris, and was accompanied by a special authority from the President, authorizing the Cashier, 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 State. The bill, however, though not presented for payment until the 23d 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 character of France, but due to the character of both Governments, as well as to the rights of our citizens, to treat the convention, 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 French 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 his 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 appropriation.
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 sixth article, France engaged to communicate to the United States by the intermediary of the Legation, though repeatedly applied for by the American chargé d'affaires, under instructions from this Government, have not yet been communicated; and this delay, it is apprehended, will necessarily prevent the completion of the duties assigned to the commissioners within the time at present preseribed 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 understood 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 50 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 appointed 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 disposition 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 important 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 again brought to the notice of Congress in such a 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 strengthened by the treaty of navigation and commerce, concluded on the 6th 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 the just recompense of wise measures, and adds new motives for that mutual friendship which the two countries 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.
pon this latter point, it is probable an understanding had taken place. between the minister of the United States and the Spanish Government