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therefore, it is not perceived how such produce can be their great distress, will not be questioned. From a rereceived by them, unless from a reliance on the consump- currence to those regulations, therefore, much positive tion of it in the United States, or other foreign parts. In- good is certain to arise; whereas the injury apprehended deed, in some of the official and other statements furnished to others exists only in conjecture, can be ascertained by those provinces to the British Government, the advan- only by experie ce, and may always be remedied by the tages of a free transit of American flour through the protecting measures of Great Britain. It would appear, Northern possessions are argued from the expectation therefore, to the undersigned, not merely courteous to that those districts in the United States which furnish the the United States, but just to the various possessions of flour will receive from the Canadians foreign produce in Great Britain, to recur to the expedient of trying, under barter! Not to advert to the complete annihilation of the favorable legislation of both countries, the real utility such expectation by an interdict of the supply through of the adjustment of 1825. such a channel, it must be obvious that the United States If the encouragement of the Northern productions be will not take more produce or less specie under the em- not sufficient in its results to justify the permanent exclubarrassments of an indirect intercourse. It is, on the sion of those of the United States from the British West contrary, reasonable to infer that, in such case, for the India islands, it is equally unreasonable to insist that the more bulky articles of West India produce, they would latter and the produce of the islands shall be carried cirbe led to rely, in a still greater degree, upon foreign cuitously through the Northern ports, at a loss to the proislands, with augmented facilities; and that they would ducer. The present demand, in addition to the indemnirequire specie in return for that portion of their supplies ties actually enjoyed by the Northern ports, strips the passing through the Northern colonies; thereby increas- West India planter of every advantage intended for him ing rather than diminishing the drain of that article, so far by the act of 1825, taking from him not merely the geneas it may be supposed to be affected by those regulations. ral benefits of a direct trade, but at the same time depriv
The undersigned would be leave further to observe, ing himn of the revenue provided for the support of the that a refusal of the proposition which he has had the local Government. That the productions sent through honor to make can have no other obvious pretence than, the Canadas are not cheaper in the West Indies than those by means of a monopoly, to give a forced growth to the going through other ports, is shown by the fact, already productions of the Northern possessions, and, in the mean made apparent, that a very important part of their supply time, to compel the carrying of the produce of the United is carried in the latter way, and especially through the States and that of the British West Indies through their Danish islands; but, as no duty is collected on that comports!
ing from the British possessions, the planter, on his paying The very necessity of a monopoly to effect such a pur- the same price as for that charged with a duty, must, in pose, however, clearly points out the difficulties of pro- addition, make up, by some other means, the loss to his duction, and the embarrassments of such a course of trade, revenue. and shows the losses and distresses to which the planter It is at such sacrifices of public considerations, and of must be subjected for an indefinite length of time. important interests of Great Britain herself, that the pre
It is by no means certain, however, that these objects sent claim is made, of forcing the trade of the United are consistent with each other, and that the abundant sup- States with the British West India islands through the ply of the productions of the United States through the British Northern possessions. Northern ports would not as effectually discourage the The undersigned might here ask the question, whether productions of those possessions as the direct trade, and advantages like these now claimed, uncertain and corin this way perpetuate the monopoly. Such a result is tingent as they must necessarily be, deserved to be cheshown to be more than probable by the foregoing obser- rished at the risk which must eventually attend them? Are
ns, and by the official statements to which they ap- they of sufficient magnitude to justify the encouragement ply. But it is perfectly certain that, if this monopoly of a spirit of jealousy between two neighboring nations, should bave the intended effect of fostering the growth whose prosperity, it is admitted, would be best promoted in Canada of the articles required for the West India by mutual good will, or the sowing in the population of markct, it would also have the effect of impelling the these Northern possessions the seeds of commercial hosUnited States to the cultivation within themselves of the tility, which may produce roots of bitterness difficult to articles for which they have been accustomed to depend be eradicated? upon the West Indies, and consequently of diminishing The undersigned, however, hopes to be excused for their demand for those articles. The ability of the North asking Lord Aberdeen to consider whether this claim be to supply the planter, therefore, would be attended with not as difficult of attainment in fact, as it is of justificothe loss to the latter of the means of purchasing the supply. tion in reason.
The reasonable duty proposed by the act of 1825, even That the United States may be prevented from enjoywithout the aid of the additional privileges to which the ing a direct trade with the British West India islands, is undersigned has heretofore presumed to-allude, by gra- not to be questioned; but it does not follow that they can dually and reciprocally developing the resources and the be compelled to carry on the indirect trade through the means of consumption of the Northern possessions, by British Northern possessions in preference to the other providing a necessary revenue for the planters, and in ports, and in opposition to the interest and inclinations of the interim. affording them an advantageous market, the American people. To ensure a continuance of such would be much more effectual in attaining all rational and a constrained state of things, would require a far greater desirable ends.
degree of favor than Great Britain gives to those possesFrom an impartial view of all the considerations involv- sions at present, or could give at any time, without effected in the subject, may not such a course be deened wor- ing the ruin of her West India planters. thy at least of an experiment? Whether we regard the The present course of trade through those colonies, in general deductions of argument, or the series of indis- fact, owes its.existence, in a great measure, to the toleraputable facts arising out of the course of trade before and tion and forbearance of the United States. They bave since the order in council of 1826, it can scarcely be de- submitted to it for the moment, in the expectation that the nied that the present state of things has, tiris far, pro regulations of the order of 1826 were merely temporary, duced greater injury to the British West Indies than and would yield, in due time, to a liberal regard to the benefit to the British Northern possessions; and that the general interests of commerce.
But when Great Britain regulations of the act of 1825 would be extremely bene- shall arow the intention permanently, to exclude the ficial to the planters, if indeed not absolutely remedial of United States from the direct trade with her West India
islands, and to compel the interchange of their products couragement or countenance from its measures and poto pass through her Northern possessions, for the purpose licy. of creating or sustaining rival interests in that quarter, it if no other motive opposed the adoption of such an alwill then be for the United States to decide whether their ternative, Great Britain would find a sufficient one in the indirect trade may not be more profitably conducted certainty that, however, for the moment, it might ministhrough other channels.
ter to the jealousy, or appear to favor the interests, of her So entirely dependent are the Northern possessions up- subjects in the colonies, it would eventually produce the on the will of the United States for the advantages which most baneful effects upon their morals and their habits. they now enjoy, that a simple repeal of the restrictions Thus corrupted, the skill and hardihood acquired in evadalluded to in the proposition which the undersigned had ing and transgressing the laws of a neighboring country, the honor to submit, if the United States could be sup- would afterwards be practised against those of their own posed so entirely unmindful of their navigation interests Government. and enterprise, as to make it, without any act on the part But, in addition to the general disfavor with which any of Great Britain, would effectually destroy their monopoly. expectation of benefit from a contraband trade should be And, moreover, if it should be deemed necessary or pro- met, Lord Aberdeen may be assured that it would not be per to aim measures at these provinces alone, the permis- difficult for the United States to prevent such a trade altosion of a direct trade from the ports of the United States gether. A more efficient cordon of police, and a greater to the British islands, in British vessels, other than those degree of vigilance, might be requisite than in ordinary owned in the Northern ports, would not only break up times; but the fidelity of the American custom-house offithe existing trade in that direction, but would forever cers has been thoroughly proved, and their exertions, blight even the imaginary prospects of future production. even upon this frontier, have in general been adequate to
The advantages to the United States, however, of em- all substantial purposes. Such was the case even when ploying their own navigation in a part, at least, of the they were called upon to enforce the embargo and nontrade-of enlarging and conciliating their interests in the intercourse laws, when they received but little sympathy colonies of France, Spain, Sweden, and Denmark, and, or encouragement from the moral sense of the community. by reciprocal accommodations, of gradually increasing the The fact is, however, too clear to require argument, that market in those parts, both for demand and supply, would the amount of trade to be carried on by smuggling, how. powerfully, if not irresistibly, tempt their trade into those ever successful, would be inconsiderable in comparison channels. Indeed, the official returns heretofore explain with the extent and profits of a legal and regular intered, sufficiently show that it has, in fact, been already in- course, and, therefore, is entitled to but little weight, even vited thither, in a considerable degree, by advantages when regarded with a view to pecuniary results. Lord which it would not be difficult to augment, until the com- Aberdeen will not require to be reminded, tbat, to premodities could be introduced as cheap as those of Great vent illicit trade, it is chiefly necessary to remove the Britain, unless the latter should be protected by a higher temptation of high prices, or to create a risk greater than scale of duties than was contemplated by the act of 1825, the reward to be gained by successful fraud. Nothing and one beyond the ability of the planters to endure. could be more easy than this, in respect to the mode of
The Earl of Aberdeen will do the undersigned the jus- intercourse now under consideration. tice to believe that, in discussing the contingent policy of The interposition of the custom-house officer would the two countries in the arrangement of their commercial scarcely be requisite to prevent the introduction of West enterprise, he holds forth no apprehended event with a India produce into the United States through the Northern view to intimidate, or through a desire that it may take colonies. Arrangements could readily be made with the place. He will also perceive that the measures last al- Powers to which the foreign islands belong, to furnish the luded to would not necessarily imply, on the part of the requisite supplies of West India produce from those United States, either resentment or retaliation; but would islands, on cheap terms, and in steady and abundant quan be resorted to as the system of commercial regulation cal. tities. These arrangements would of themselves forbid culated, under the circumstances of the case, to give the competition. But whilst American four can be carried best direction to an important branch of their enterprise. to the British West Indies as cheap from the United States
To such extent they would be altogether practicable, through the foreign islands as through the Northern posand might be supposed indispensably necessary. They sessions, though subject to the discriminating duty, in might, indeed, from the natural tendency of such mea- favor of the latter, of five shillings per barrel, it will not sures, and the peculiar influence of events, and in the be supposed that the bulky articles of sugar, rum, and total loss of the trade between the United States and the molasses, without such aid, can be tempted through the British Northern possessions.
Northern possessions by the risk of detection, and the peIn such a view of the subject, though the undersigned nalties of the law. will not here undertake to pronounce upon the value of The undersigned does not believe that the temptations the trade in question, he would suggest that it may be and facilities for the introduction into the Northern coloworthy the consideration of those who claim the advanta-nies of flour and other articles from the United States, ges of monopoly rather than of fair competition, whether are materially greater. the loss of it, with the chance of contesting with the fo So far as the trade with the British West Indies can reign islands for the trade with the West Indies, be pre- operate as an inducement, it has been seen already that ferable to a reasonable enjoyment of both.
American produce is carried thither as cheap through the That the United States possess the means of effectually foreign islands as the Northern ports. controlling their trade through and with the British North-American flour in the Northern colonies is believed to be ern colonies, the undersigned is fully confident. principally furnished by the Genesee country, and the
He is aware, however, that a contrary idea has been country bordering upon Lake Erie; and it stands admitted entertained by some, who may have regarded the subject in the evidence upon the archives of the House of Comin a narrow or interested point of view.
mons, that, for flour, the market at New York is generally In adverting to this topic, the undersigned will not per- better than the market at Montreal and Quebec. Indeed, mit himself to suppose that the possibility of evading the so important is the operation of these facts, that the most revenue laws of the United States, and of producing a intelligent merchants suppose that so much of the Americourse of contraband trade, in violation of their legitimate can trade with the British West Indies, as passes through regulations, can for a moment enter into the calculations the Northern colonies instead of the foreign islands, is of this Government, or receive the remotest degree of en-chiefly diverted thither by the greater facilities of pro
The supply of
curing in those ports an assorted cargo suitable to the to get the decision in time to be submitted to that body. West India market.
Deeply as I lament this state of things, I need scarcely say In the testimony afforded by the inhabitants of Lower that it has not been possible for me, by any exertion, to Canada to the committee of the House of Commons in avoid it. 1826, it was asserted, and remained uncontradicted, that, In this stage of the business it may be proper for me to “ against the superintendence of the British custom-house remark, that the negotiation must end in one of three officers, it would be impossible to smuggle any part of a modes; in a positive refusal to change the present regulacargo, or even a barrel of four, into the province of Lower tions, or a revocation of the order in council of 1826, upon Canada.” On this ground they were enabled to encourage the terms of my proposition, or in a revocation of that the introduction of American flour, in proportion to the order, with some increase of the duties imposed by the amount of their exports to the West Indies and other act of Parliament of 1825, in favor of the productions of places, without danger of its being brought into the liome the Northern possessions. consumption; and the encouragement then given shows the Looking as well to the progress of the negotiation as to importance attached by his Majesty's Government to that the obstinate and persevering opposition, by the interests evidence. On this supposition, Lord Aberdeen will readily in those Northern possessions, to any change whatever, acknowledge the facility with which the United States, and to the influence which it is obvious they exercise here, through means of a custom-house police, strengthened and I confess that the last mode appears to me the most proextended according to their means, may accomplish the bable. I do not believe that any legislation by Congress, same ends; more especially as the readier interdiction of with a view to that state of things, and vesting in the Prethe return trade from Canadla into the United States, by di- sident a discretion to regulate the trade or rescind our minishing the means of payment, would also diminish the laws in either of these contingencies, would in any manner motives to incur the risk and penalties incident to a pro- prove prejudicial. hibited trade. The undersigned is apprehensive that he has already dwelt longer upon these considerations than Extracts of a letter from Mr. Van Buren to Mr. McLane, is necessary, after so much personal explanation as he has
dated heretofore had the honor of yielding, and will content himself, as to any further arguments that might be offered,
DEPARTMENT OF State, Washington, June 18, 1830. with referring to the various other suggestions which have Sir: Here with you will receive a copy of the confidenbeen made by him in the course of this negotiation. He tial message which was sent by the President to the two cannot, however, entirely dismiss the subject, without re- Houses of Congress, during its late session, in pursuance peating, for the last time, his deep solicitude for the result, of your suggestion, that the measure recommended by it and without most earnestly recalling the attention of his Ma- might be made useful in your negotiations with the British jesty's ministers to the state in which the relations between Government, together with a copy of the law which was the two countries would be left should this point be unfa- the result of that message. vorably decided. In such case, the Government of the United States, while disappointed in its cherished hopes It is confidently hoped that the law referred to, with of an arrangement by mutual and reasonable concessions, the motives in which it originated, and which secured it a would find nothing conciliating in the retrospect of a long rapid passage through the two Houses of Congress, witli course of fruitless negotiation, and nothing cheering in sout material opposition from any quarter whatever, added the future prospect, darkened, as it would be, by the pos- to the frank and liberal offer and explanations already sibility of a recurrence, by the two nations, to that system made to the British Government on the part of the Execuof countervailing measures that has already proved so tive Department of this, will, of themselves, be regarded detrimental their harmony and welfare.
by that Government as affording sufficient ground for its The undersigned takes this occasion to renew to Lord changing the position which it occupied in regard to the Aberdeen the assurance of his highest respect and con- subject of its colonial trade, in all its bearings, so far as it sideration.
affected the United States, at the period of the accession LOUIS McLANE.
to power of the present ministry, and for the adoption of To thc Rt. Hon. the Earl of ABERDEEN, &c.
a course of policy which may lead to the speedy and mutually aclvantageous revival of trade between the United
States and the West India possessions of Great Britain, if, Extract of a letter from Mr. McLane to Mr. Van Buren, indeed, that important concern should not have been aldated
ready satisfactorily adjusted. It ought to be regarded, London, April 6, 1830.
likewise, as a direct conciliatory step on the part of this Sir: I have had a conference with Lord Aberrleen to- Government, of the highest character, as emanating from day, which I sought for the purpose of urging the defini- its executive and legislative authorities combined, and as a tive answer to my proposition relative to the colonial trade. solemn public movement on our part towards a friendly In my previous conference, he gave me some reason to accommodation with the British Government, upon terms expect that it would be given in time for this packet, but of a fair and just reciprocity. I regret to say that this expectation bas not been realized.
You will have been made acquainted, in the instructions He assures me that the delay has been wholly unavoidable, which have been heretofore given you, with the opinion and that it proceeds from no indisposition to obviate the of the President as to the course which would most prodifficulties, if that be practicable, which lie in the way of bably be pursued by the United States if Great Britain a satisfactory adjustment of the question.
should think proper to insist, as a preliminary measure, I have not failed to represent to him the very serious upon the unconditional repeal of our laws, or should be injury and embarrassment which must result from delay- so selfish as to desire to engross for its navigation the ing the answer until the Congress shall rise, and of what whole of the carrying trade between this country and its I fear may be the insuperable difficulties of any prospect- West India colonial possessions. But that your negotiaive legislation with a view to a future arrangement. None tion may continue to be characterized by that spirit of of these efforts have yet proved sufficient to bring the frankness which it has hitherto been a leading object on
our part to infuse into it, I am directed explicitly to state, Under these circumstances, unless Congress shall con- upon this occasion, that the President will consider it his tinue in session until the arrival of the packet of the 16th duty, in case that negotiation should eventuate unfavorably instant, which I hope they will do, it will not be possible upon this point, to recommend to Congress an extension
of the interdict now existing as to the West India posses- wards his own country, and feeling a confident reliance sions of Great Britain, to those which she holds in the upon the justice and magnanimity of this. Northern parts of this continent, and the adoption of pro It is a voluntary and leading step in the conciliating poper measures for enforcing its rigid observance, as a licy of the two nations, taken in disdain of the restraints course which would, in his judgment, best comport, in of form, and which, if met in a corresponding spirit, cansuch an event, with the interests of the United States, and not fail to produce that friendly intercourse and real harcorrespond with the respect which is due to the character mony so ardently desired by those who consult the true and past conduct of this Government. It is not for him, interests and glory of both countries. It concedes in its however, to anticipate with certainty the effect of such terms all the power in the regulation of the colonial trade, suggestions upon the national councils of the Union, though and authorizes the President to confer on British vessels it is not to be supposed that, in such a case, any thing will all those privileges, as well in the circuitous as the direct be omitted on their part to vindicate the honor and main- voyage, which great Britain has at any time demanded or tain the interests of this Government.
desired. It has done this in the only manner in which it
was possible for Congress, at the present moment, and Mr. McLane to the Earl of Aberdeen.
under existing circumstances, to act, without a total aban
donment of even those advantages conceded by the present 9, CHANDOS STREET, PORTLAND PLACE,
regulations of Great Britain, and without raising up new July 12, 1830.
interests to oppose or obstruct the favorable disposition esThe Rt. Hon. the Earl of Aberdeen, &c.
pressed by this Government. Nor will the undersigned conThe undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister ceal his hope and belief that this act will stamp the negoplenipotentiary from the United States, has had the honor tiation with a new and more favorable character; and that already, in a personal conference, to explain to the Earl the United States having thus taken the first step, and of Aberdeen, his Majesty's principal Secretary of State for particularly defined the terms of their legislation, the Foreign Affairs, certain measures adopted by the Congress :node of adjustment may be disencumbered of even those obof the United States, during their late session, which have jections with which it was supposed to be embarrassed when an immediate and important bearing on the relations of submitted to Lord Dudley, and by the answer which on that the two countries, and upon the proposition heretofore occasion was given to Mr. Gallatin. The objections suga submitted by the undersigned respecting the West India gested at that period on the part of Great Britain had no trade. Having received from the Earl of Aberdeen an special or exclusive reference to the measure in question, intimation of the propriety of communicating those mea. but to the giving of any prospective pledge by which she sures in a more formal manner, the undersigned has the might commit herself to the adoption of any specific line honor herewith to transmit such information on the sub- of conduct contingent on events which could not be fore. ject as he is now in possession of.
seen, and to the entering into any informal agreement as The first of the measures alluded to is an act of the Con- to mutual acts of legislation, while it was impossible to angress of the United States, authorizing the President, in ticipate the details with which those acts might be accom. the recess of Congress, to annul all the restrictive and dis- panied, or the position and circumstances in which tlie criminating measures of the United States, and to open iwo countries, and the commercial commonwealth gene; the ports to British vessels trading with the British West rally, might be placed at the time when the laws enacted Indies, in the manner particularly pointed out in the act; should come into effect. If these objections could at any a copy of which, for the better explanation of the case, time have been essential to the subject
, which the under
: the undersigned begs leave to subjoin.
signed by no means admits, they certainly are not The undersigned has the honor also to inform Lord present. Aberdeen, that, during the late session of the Congress The act of Congress has been passed without any pledge, of the United States, several other laws were passed, by prospective or otherwise; it, therefore, relieves the adwhich, in lieu of the duties imposed upon certain articles justment of this subject from that part of the difficulty. of the produce of the West India islands, and of the pos- The details of the colonial legislation on the part of the sessions of Great Britain, by previous regulations, the fol- United States are precisely detined and fully explained by lowing duties only are to be collected, that is to say: Upon the law. Frankly announcing all this, it leaves to Great molasses, a duty of five cents, instead of ten cents, per Britain herself the selection of the mode and time in which, gallon, allowing at the same time a drawback of the duty according to her conception of her own interests, she may upon all rum which may be manufactured from that arti- restore the direct trade between the United States and the cle, and exported from the United States;
West Indies. She is enabled deliberately to do this with On salt, a duty of ten, instead of twenty, cents per a full knowledge of the before mentioned details, and of bushel;
the precise position and circumstances, as well of the two On cocoa, a duty of one cent per pound on all imported nations as of the commercial commonwealth in general, at after the 31st of December, 1830, or remaining at that the time when the measures are to come into effect
. This time in the custom-house stores under the bond of the she may do without any risk as to the future, and with the importer; And on coffee, a duty of two, instead of five, cents per Power, and relieving it from an invidious exclusion from
certainty that, while doing an act of justice to a friendly pound, from and after the 31st of December, 1830; and advantages allowed to all other nations, she is contributing of one cent per pound from and after the 31st day of De. materially to the prosperity of her possessions in the West cember, 1831; and the same duties to be taken on coffee Indies. remaining at the respective times under bond in the cus The undersigned will not dismiss this subject without tom-house stores.
expressing the hope and persuasion that, in the other mea. The undersigned will not permit himself to doubt, that, sures of Congress alluded to, the Earl of Aberdeen will in the first of these acts
, emanating from the frank and find not merely all the considerations heretofore urged for friendly spirit which the President has uniformly profess- giving new facilities
to the trade between the United States ed, and passed with an avowed reference to the pending and the British West Indies materially strengthened, if not negotiation, the Earl of Aberdeen will see new and irre- absolutely confirmed, but that a further and more favorasistible motives for concurring in the promotion of the end ble alteration is thereby made in the object and character to which this measure directly leads.
of the negotiation. Such a measure could not have been recommended by These measures manifest at least a laudable desire to the President without incurring a deep responsibility to loose the shackles of trade and commerce, which, if Enga
land is so disposed, she cannot better encourage than by a actuated in recommending, and the Congress in passing, relaxation of her own restraints upon the particular branch the act to which allusion was first made. The effects of of trade under discussion.
delay upon the commercial enterprise of the United States, The Earl of Aberdeen has been already informed that and the disappointment of interests desirous of a different the consumption of foreign molasses in the United States measure of legislation, though they offered great embaris not less than thirteen millions of gallons, even under the rassments, were not the greatest difficulties attendant upon discouragement of the higlı rate of duty and a denial of the that act. To give to Great Britain the fullest time to condrawback, which nearly proved fatal to the chief sourcesult her own interest and convenience; to make a further of consumption—the distilleries of New England. It is and a signal effort to place the commercial relations of the obvious, however, that the reduction of the duty to its two countries upon a footing of sure and lasting harmony; present low rate, and the allowance of the drawback, must and to guard, in a manner consistently with duty, against swell the demand for this article even beyond the ordinary delay during the recess of Congress, could only be done amount, which, in the regular course of a direct trade, by a measure calculated also to awaken at once the spirit would seek its principal supply in the British West In- of commercial speculation, and to create new expectations dies.
of favorable dispositions on the part of this Government. Of coffee, not less thirty-seven millions of pounds were If, as the undersigned will continue to hope, the Briannually imported into the United States; and of those in tish Government should find it their interest to realize these a regular trade, not less than eight millions from the Bri- expectations, their measures will derive additional grace tish West Indies.
from the frankness and promptitude with which they may Of four hundred thousand pounds of cocoa annually im- be adopted; and if, unfortunately, these hopes are destinported into the United States, little less than one-fourth ed to experience a disappointment, it is noi less the duty was brought from the British West Indies.
of his Majesty's Government to quiet the public expectaThe Earl of Aberdeen will readily perceive that the re- tions thus excited, and to mitigate, as far as may be in its duction of duty on these articles, and especially on coffee, power, the injurious effects thereof, by giving an early to a rate which will soon be little more than nominal, can- reply to the application which, in behalf of his Governnot fail to at least double the importation.
ment, the undersigned has had the honor to submit. These remarks apply with even additional force to the The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew article of salt, the consumption of which is more depend- to Lord Aberdeen the assurances of his highest consideraent on the rate of duty than that of any other necessary tion. of life.
LOUIS McLANE. ous quantity of this article requisite to supply the wants of twelve millions of people is too obvious to
Mr. McLane to Mr. Van Buren. need any conjectural assertion; but it is worthy of observation that, notwithstanding the extent of the home sup
London, August 20, 1830. ply encouraged by the high duty of twenty cents per Sir: I have the satisfaction to forward herewith a letter bushel, the annual importation of that article from abroad from the Earl of Aberdeen, dated the 17th instant, by seldom amounted to less than five millions of bushels. Of which it will be perceived that my negotiation for the cothis amount more than three millions came from Great Bri- lonial trade is successfully closed; and that this Governtain and her possessions, her West India islands furnishing ment consents to restore to us the direct intercourse with at least one million.
her American colonies, upon the terms of the proposition To what extent this amount may be enlarged by the in- submitted by me on the 12th of December last. creased consumption arising from the low rate of duty and It will be perceived, also, that, from an apprehension the advantages of an easy trade, the Earl of Aberdeen may that the late act of Congress might admit of an interprereadily conjecture.
tation incompatible with the terms of my proposition, and It should be remarked, also, that, while the consump- the act of Parliament of the 5th July, 1825, the British tion of this article is thus augmented, the diminution of the Government have accompanied their consent with an exduty must proportionably diminish the price of salted pro-planation of the construction which, in their opinion, the visions. So far as these, therefore, form part of the sup- law ought to receive, and to which their proceedings will plies to the West Indies, the subsistence of the islands will be conformed. This is precautionary, however, and inbe cheapened, while the demand for their produce is in- tended to guard against misapprehension in future. The creased.
proclamation of the President, which is authorized upon It should not escape the attention of the Earl of Aber- evidence satisfactory to himself, will be immediately foldeen that the provisions of these acts of the Congress, so lowed, upon the part of Great Britain, by, the revocation far as they relate to cocoa, coffee, and salt, confer encou- of the order in council of July, 1827, the abolition of the ragement on the trade of the West Indies with the United discriminating duties on American vessels in British coloStates, which did not exist, and could not have been con- nial ports, and by extending to the vessels of the United templated at the period of passing the act of Parliament of States the advantages of the act of Parliament of the 5th 1825. They, therefore, superadd new and important mo- July, 1825. tives for restoring the trade then offered, and for restoring if it had been admitted that the late act of Congress vait upon terms not less favorable.
ried intentionally from the terms of our proposition, and While the participation of the British islands is invited the British act of the 5th July, 1825, and demanded ad. in the advantages to be derived from this enlarged and in- vantages not contemplated by the latter, it would have creasing demand of the United States for the produce of been considered as reviving pretensions already given up, the West Indies, the undersigned takes leave to suggest and must have had the effect of entirely defeating any the expediency of securing that participation before the hope of recovering the colonial trade. Recurring to your trade may be exclusively diverted into other channels by letter of the 18th June last, communicating the President's the superior advantages of a direct intercourse with other message to Congress, and a copy of the law, I did not islands.
doubt that the act was, in fact, intended to authorize the In closing this communication to the Earl of Aberdeen, President to give effect, in the recess of Congress, to the the undersigned will take the occasion to repeat his deep in- known and uniform object of the negotiation, and to accept terest in the subject, and a renewed hope of an early and a renewal of the trade upon the terms of the proposition favorable issue. The Earl of Aberdeen will not fail to ap- which I had been authorized to make. I felt it my duty, preciate the spirit and motive by which the President was therefore, to concur in the suggestion, that the supposed