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of the most friendly character, and I am well satisfied of the sincere disposition of that government to maintain them upon their present footing. .This disposition has also, I am persuaded, become more general with the people of England than at any previous period. It is scarcely necessary to say to you, how cordially it is reciprocated by the government and the people of the United States The conviction which must be common to all, of the injurious consequences that result from keeping open this irritating question, and the certainty that its final settlement cannot be much longer deferred, will, I trust, lead to an early and satisfactory adjustment. At your last session I laid before you the recent communications between the two governments and between this government and that of the state of Maine, in whose solicitude, concerning a subject in which she has so deep an interest, every portion of the Union participates.
The feelings produced by a temporary interruption of those harmonious relations between France and the United States, which are due as well to the recollections of former times as to a correct appreciation of existing interests, have been happily succeeded by a cordial disposition on both sides to cultivate an active friendship in their future intercourse. The opinion, undoubtedly correct, and steadily entertained by us, that the commercial relations at present existing between the two countries, are susceptible of great and reciprocally beneficial improvements, is obviously gaining ground in France; and I am assured of the disposition of that government t^ favor the accomplishment of such an object. This dispo sition shall be met in a proper spirit on our part. The few and comparatively unimportant questions that remain to be adjusted between us, can, I have no doubt, be settled with entire satisfaction, and without difficulty.
Between Russia and the United States, sentiments of good-will continue to be mutually cherished. Our minister recently accredited to that court, has been received with a frankness and cordiality, and with evidences of respect for his country, which leaves us no room to doubt the preservation in future of those amicable and liberal relations which have so long and so uninterruptedly ex
isted between the two countries. On the few subjects under discussion between us, an early and just decision is confidently anticipated.
A correspondence has been opened with the government of Austria, for the establishment of diplomatic relations, in conformity with the wishes of Congress, as indicated by an appropriation act of the session of 1837, and arrangements made for the purpose, which will br duly carried into effect.
With Austria and Prussia, and with the states of thu German empire, now composing with the latter the Com mercial League, our political relations are of the most friendly character, while our commercial intercourse is gra • dually extending, with benefit to all who are engaged in it
Civil war yet rages in Spain, producing intense suffei • ing to its own people, and to other nations inconveniencj and regret. Our citizens who have claims upon th: t country will be prejudiced for a time by the condition o? its treasury, the inevitable consequence of long-continue 1 and exhausting internal wars. The last instalment of thi interest of the debt due under the convention with the queen of Spain has not been paid; and similar failure* may be expected to happen until a portion of the resource* of her kingdom can be devoted to the extinguishment oi' its foreign debt.
Having received satisfactory evidence that discriminating tonnage duties were charged upon vessels of the Un.ted States in the ports of Portugal, a proclamation was issued on the 11th day of October last, in compliance with the act of May 25th, 1832, declaring that fact, an.] the duties on foreign tonnage, which were levied upo.i Portuguese vessels in the United States, previously to the passage of that act, are accordingly revived.
The act of July 4th, 1836, suspending the discriminating duties upon the produce of Portugal imported into this country in Portuguese vessels, was passed, upon tlw application of that government, through its representatives here, under the belief that no similar discrimination existed in Portugal to the prejudice of the United States I regret to state that such duties are now exacted in that country, upon the cargoes of American vessels; and as the act referred to, vests no discretion in the Executive, it is for Congress to determine upon the expediency of further legislation upon the subject. Against these discriminations, affecting the vessels of this country and their cargoes, seasonable remonstrance was made, and notice Mas given to the Portuguese government, that unless they should be discontinued, the adoption of countervailing measures on the part of the United States would become necessary; but the reply of that government received at the department of state through our charge d'affaires at Lisbon, in the month of September last, afforded no ground to hope for the abandonment of a system, so little in harmony with the treatment shown to the vessels of Portugal and their cargoes, in the ports of this country, and so contrary to the expectations we had a right to entertain.
With Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Naples, and Belgium, a friendly intercourse has been uninterruptedly maintained.
With the government of the Ottoman Porte, and its dependencies on the coast of the Mediterranean, peace and good-will are carefully cultivated, and have been fostered by such good offices as the relative distance and the condition of those countries would permit.
Our commerce with Greece is carried on under the laws of the two governments, reciprocally beneficial to the navigating interests of both; and I have reason to look forward to the adoption of other measures which will be more extensively and permanently advantageous.
Copies of the treaties concluded with the governments of Siam and Muscat are transmitted for the information of Congress, the ratifications having been received, and the treaties made public, since the close of the last annual session. Already have we reason to congratulate ourselves on the prospect of considerable commercial benefit; and we have, besides, received from the Sultan of Muscat, prompt evidence of his desire to cultivate the most friendly feelings, by liberal acts towards one of our vessels, bestowed in a manner so striking as to require on our part a grateful acknowledgment.
Our commerce with the island of Cuba and Porto Rico, still labors under heavy restriction, the continuance of which is a subject of regret. The only effect of an adherence to them will be to benefit the navigation of other countries, at the expense both of the United States and Spain.
The independent nations of this continent have, ever since they emerged from the colonial state, experienced severe trials in their progress to the permanent establishment of liberal political institutions. Their unsettled condition not only interrupts their own advances to prosperity, but has often seriously injured the other powers of the world. The claims of our citizens upon Peru, Chili, Brazil, the Argentine Republic, the governments formed out of the republics of Colombia and Mexico, are still pending, although many of them have been presented for examinations more than twenty years. New Grenada, Venezuela, and Ecuador, have recently formed a convention for the purpose of ascertaining and adjusting the claims upon the republic of Colombia, from which it is earnestly hoped our citizens will, ere long, receive full compensation for the injuries originally inflicted upon them, and for the delay in affording it.
An advantageous treaty of commerce has been concluded by the United States with the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, which wants only the ratification of that government. The progress of a subsequent negotiation for the settlement of claims upon Peru, has been unfavorably affected by the war between that power and Chili, and the Argentine Republic; and the same event is likely to produce delays in the settlement of our demands on those powers.
The aggravating circumstances connected with our claims upon Mexico, and a variety of events touching the honor and integrity of our government, led my predecessor to make, at the second session of the last Congress, a special recommendation of the course to be pursued to obtain a speedy and final satisfaction of the injuries complained of by this government and by our citizens. He recommended a final demand of redress with a contingent authority to the Executive to make reprisals, if that demand should be made in vain. From the proceedings of Congress on that recommendation, it appeared that the opinion of both branches of the legislature coin
cided with that of the Executive, that any mode of redress known to the law of nations might justifiably be used. It was obvious, too, that Congress believed, with the President, that another demand should be made, in order to give undeniable and satisfactory proof of our desire to avoid extremities with a neighboring power; but that there was an indisposition to vest a discretionary authority in the Executive to take redress, should it unfortunately be either denied or unreasonably delayed by the Mexican government.
So soon as the necessary documents were prepared, after entering upon the duties of my office, a special mes-' senger was sent to Mexico, to make a final demand of redress, with the documents required by the provisions of 'our treaty. The demand was made on the 20th of July last. The reply, which bears date the 29th of the same month, contains assurances of a desire, on the part of that government, to give a prompt and explicit answer respecting each of the complaints, but that the examination of them would necessarily be deliberate; that in this examination it would be guided by the principles of public law and the obligation of treaties; that nothing should be left undone that might lead to the most equitable adjustment of our demands; and that its determination, in respect to each case, should be communicated through the Mexican minister here.
Since that time, an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary has been accredited to this government by that of the Mexican republic. He brought with him assurances of a sincere desire that the pending differences between the two governments should be terminated in a manner satisfactory to both. He was received with reciprocal assurances, and a hope was entertained that his mission would lead to a speedy, satisfactory, and final adjustment of all existing subjects of complaint. A sincere believer in the wisdom of the pacific policy by which the United States have always been governed in their intercourse with foreign nations, it was my particular desire, from the proximity of the Mexican republic, and well known occurrences on our frontier, to be instrumental in obviating all existing difficulties with that government, and in restoring to the intercourse between the two