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Besides, the consideration that a time of
is the time when the change can be made with most convenience and equity, it will now be aided by the experience of a recent war, in which the militia bore so interesting a part.
Congress will call to mind, that no adequate provision has yet been made, for the uniformity of weights and measures, also contemplated by the Constitution. The great utility of a standard, fixed in its nature, and founded on the easy rule of decimal proportions, is sufficiently obvious. It led the government, at an early stage, to preparatory steps for introducing it; and a completion of the work will be a just title to the public gratitude.
The importance which I have attached to the establishment of a University within this District, on a scale, and for objects worthy of the American nation, induces me to renew my recommendation of it to the favourable consideration of Congress. And I particularly invite, again, their attention to the expediency of exercising their existing powers, and, where necessary, of resorting to the prescribed mode of enlarging then, in order to effectuate a comprehensive system of roads and canals, such as will have the effect of drawing more closely together every part of our country, by promoting intercourse and improvements, and by cncreasing the share of every part in the corumon stock of national prosperity.
Occurrences haring taken place which shew
that the statutory provisions for the dispensation of criminal justice, are deficient in relation both to places and to persons, under the exclusive cognizance of the national authority, an amendment of the law, embracing such cases, will merit the eara liest attention of the Legislature. It will be a seasonable occasion, also, for inquiring how far Legislative interposition may be further requisite in providing penalties for sffences designated in the Constitution or in the scatuies, and to which either no penalties arc annexed, or none with sufficient certainty And I submit to the wisdom of Congress, whether a more enlarged revisal of the oriminal code be not expedient, for the purpose
of mitigating, in certain cases, p:enalties which were adopted into it, antecedent to experiment and examples which justify and recommend a more lenient policy.
The United States having been the first to abolish, within the extent of their authority, the transportation of the natives of Africa into slavery, by prohibiting the introduction of slaves, and by punishing their citizens participating in the traffick, cannot but be gratificd at the progress, made by concurrent efforts of other nations, towards a general suppression of so great an evil. They must feel, at the same time, the greater solicitude to give the fullest efficacy to their own regulations. With that view, the interposition of Congress appears to be required by the violations and evasions which, it is suggested, are chargeable on unworthy citi
zens, who mingle in the slave trade under foreign flags, and with foreign ports; and by collusive importations of slaves into the United States, through adjoining ports and territories. I present the subject to Congress, with a full assurance of their disposition to apply all the remedy which can be afforded by an annendment of the law. The regulations which were intended to guard against abuses of a kindred character, in the trade between the several States, ought also to bc rendercd more effectual for their humane object.
To these recommendations I add, for the consideration of Congress, the espediency of a re-modification of the Judiciary establishment, and of an additional department in the Executive branch of the government.
The first is called for by the accruing business which necessarily svells the duties of the Federal Courts; and by the great and widening space, within which justice is to be dispensed by them. The time seems to have arrived which claims for members of the Supreinc Court a relief from itinerary fatigues, incompatible as well with the age which a portion of them will always have attain. ed, as with the researches and preparations which are due to their stations, and to the juridical repo utation of their country. And considerations equally cogent require a more convenient organization of the subordinate tribunals, which may
be accomplished without an objectionable increase of the number or expense of the Judges.
The extent and variety of Executive business, also accumulating with the progress of our country and its growing population, call for an additional department, to be charyed with duties now overburdening other departments, and with such as have not been annexed to any department.
The course of experience recommends, as another improvement in thc Exccutive cstablishment, that the provision for the station of Attorney Gencral, whosc residence at the seat of government, official connexions with it, and management of the public business before the Judiciary, preclude an extensive participation in professional emoluments, be maile morc adequate to his scrvices and his relinquishments; and that, with a view to his rcasonable accommodation, and to a proper depository of his official opinions and proceedings, there be included in the provision, the usual appurtcnances to a public office.
In directing the legislative attention to thc state of the finances, it is a subject of great gratification to find, that, even within the short period which has clapsed since the return of peace, the revenuc has far exceeded all the current demands
thc treasury, and that, under any probable diminution of its future annual products, which the vicissitudes of commcrcc may occasion, it will asforù an amplo fund for the effcctual and early extinguishment of thc public debt. It has been estimated, that during the year 1816, the actual receipts of revenue at the treasury, including the balance at the commencement of the year, and excluding the procecds of loans and treasury notes, will amount to about the sum of forty-seven millions of dollars ; that during the same year, the actual payments at the Treasury, including the payment of the arrearages of the War Departınent, as well as the payment of a considerable excess, beyond the amoual appropriations, will amount to about the sum of thirty-eight millions of dollars; and that, consequently, at the close of the year, there will be a surplus in the treasury of about the sum of nine millions of dollars.
The operations of the treasury continue to be obstructed by dificulties, arising from the condition of the national currency; but they have, ncvertheless, bccn effectual, 10 a beneficial extent, in thic reduction of the public debt, and the estabiishment of the public credit. Thc floating debt of treasury notes and temporary loans, will soon be cntirely discharged. The aggregate of the fun led debt, composed of debts incurred during the wars 1776 and 1812, has been estimated, with reference to the first of January next, at a sum not exceeding one hundred and ten millions of dollars. The ordinary annual expenses of the government, for the maintenance of all its institutions, civil, military, and naval, have been cstimated at a sum less than twenty millions of dollars. And the
permanent revenuc, to be derived from all the existing, sources, has been cstimated at a sum of about twenty-five millions of dollars.