United States. President (1881-1885 : Arthur).

Message from the President of the United States to the two houses of Congress at the commencement of the second session of the forty-seventh Congress, with the reports of the heads of departments and online

. (page 1 of 132)
Online LibraryUnited States. President (1881-1885 : Arthur)Message from the President of the United States to the two houses of Congress at the commencement of the second session of the forty-seventh Congress, with the reports of the heads of departments and → online text (page 1 of 132)
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GOVER:s:yii!;iS' T ^UI^iTl^•G ufftce,


Trepared in accordauco with the provisions of the Revised Statutes, approved Juno
23, 1874.

Skc. 75. The Joint Committee on Public Printing shall appoint a competent person,
■who shall edit such portion of the documents accompanying the annual reports of the
Departments as they may deem suitable for popular distribution, and prepare au
alphabetical index thereto.

Sec. 100. The head of each Department, except the Department of Justice, shall
furnish to the Congressional Printer copies of the documents usually accompanying
his annual report on or before the first day of November in each year, and a copy of
his annual report on or before the third Monday of liovember in each year.

Sec. '.>796. Of the documents named in this section there shall be printed and bound,
in addition to the usual numberfor Congress, the following numbers of copies, namely :

* * * * # • # #

Second. Of the President's message, the annual reports of tlie Executive Depart-
ments, and the abridgment of accompanying documents, unless otherwise ordered by
either house, ten thousaud cop*es for the use of the members of the Senate audtwcnty-
iive thousaud coxiies for the use of the members of the House of Eepreseutalives.

3"^ ;i.




^ To the Senate and

House of Representatives

of the United States :
" It is provided by the Constitution that the President shall from time
"^ to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and
recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge nec-
£, essary and expedient.

S In reviewing the events of the year which has elapsed since the com-
r-t mencement of your sessions, I first call your attention to the gratifying
^ condition of our foreign affairs. Our intercourse with other Towers
ii has continued to be of the most friendly character.

Such slight differences as have arisen during the year have been
already settled or are likely to reach an early adjustment. The arrest
^ of citizens of the United States in Ireland under recent laws which owe
-• their origin to the disturbed condition of that country has led to a
f somewhat extended correspondence with the Government of Great
^ Britain. A disposition to respect our rights has been practically maui-
-)" fest«d by the release of the arrested parties.

The claim of this nation in regard to the supervision and control of
■^ any inter-oceanic canal across the American Isthmus has contiiniod

to be the subject of conference.
5 It is likely that time vrill be more poAverful than discussion in romov-
- ing the divergence between the two nations, whose friendship is so
h closely cemented by the intimacy of their relations and the coiinmmity
of their interests.

Our long-established friendliness with Kussia has remained unshaken.
It has prompted me to ])roffer the earnest counsels of this government
that measures bo adopted for suppressing the pros(;rii)tion which the
]Iebrew race in that country has lately sulFered. It has not transpired
that any American citizen has been subjected to arrest or injury, but
our courteous remonstrance has nevertheless been court«'ously received.
There is reason to believe that the time is not far distant when Ivussia
will be able to secure toleration to all faiths within her borders.

At an international convention held at Paris in 18S(), and atten«led
by representatives of the United States, an agreement was reached iu


res])('ct to tlic protection of trade- iinuks, patented iirtieles, and the
rights of manufacturing- tirniB and corporations. Tlie forniiilatiiig into
treaties of the recommendations thus adopted is receiving the attention
which it merits.

The protection of submarine cables is a subject now under considera-
tion by an international conference at Paris. Believing that it is clearly
the true policy of this government to favor the neutralization of this
means of intercourse, I requested our minister to France to attend the
convention as a delegate. I also designated two of our eminent scien-
tists to attend as our representatives at the meeting of an international
committee at Paris, for considering the adoption of a fM)mmon unit to
measure electric force.

In view of the frequent occurrence of conferences for the considera-
tion of important matters of common interest to civilized nations, I re-
spectfully suggest that the Executive be invested by Congress with
discretionary power to send delegates to such conventions, and that
provision bo made to defray the expenses incident thereto.

The difference between the United States and Spain as to the effect
of a judgment and certificate of naturalization has not yet been ad-
justed ; but it is hoped and believed that negotiations now in progress
will result in the establishment of the iwsition which seems to this
government so reasonable and just.

I have already called the attention of Congress to the fact that in the
ports of Spain and its colonies onerous fines have lately been imposed
upon vessels of the United States for trivial technical offenses against
local regulations. Efforts for the abatement of these exactions have
thus far proved unsuccessful.

I regret to inform you also that the fees demanded by Spanish con-
suls in American ports are in some cases so large, when compared
with the value of the cargo, as to amount in effect to a considerable
export duty, and that our remonstrances in this regard have not as yet
received the attention which they seem to deserve.

The German Government has invited the United States to participate
in an international exhibition of domestic cattle, to be held at Ham-
burg in July, 1883. If this country is to be represented, it is important
that, in the early days of this session, Congress should make a suitable
appropriation for that purpose".

The death of Mr, Marsh, our late minister to Italy, has evoked from
that government expressions of profound respect for his exalted char-
acter and for his honorable career in the diplomatic service of his
country. The Italian Government has raised a question as to the pro-
priety of recoguiziug in his dual capacity the representative of this
country recently accredited both as secretary of legation and as con-
sul-general at Rome. He has been received as secretary, but his exe-
quatur as consul-general has thus far been withheld.


T1)0 extradition convention with Belgium, wliicli has been in opera-
tion .since 1874, has been lately sui)plante(l by another. The Senate
has signified its approval and ratifications have been duly exchanged
between the contracting countries. To the list of extra-
plemented by the armies and navies of the United States. Such inter-
ference would almost inevitably lead to the establishment of a protect-
orate — a result utterly at odds with our past policy, injurious to our
present interests, and full of embarrassments for tlie future.

For effecting the termination of hostilities upon terms at once just to
the victorious nation and generous to its adversaries, this government
has 8i)ared no efforts save such as might involve the complications
which I have indicated.

It is greatly to be dei)lored that Chili seems resolved to exact such
rigorous conditions of peace and indisposed to submit to arbitration tlie
terms of an amicable settlement. No peace is likely to be lasting that
is not sufliciently equitable and just to command the approval of other

About a year since, invitations were extended to the nations of this
continent to send representatives to a peace congress to assemble at
"Washington in November, 1882. The time of meeting Avas fixed at a
period then remote, in the hope, as the invitation itself declared, that in
the mean time the disturbances between the South American republics
would be adjusted. As that expectation seemed unlikely to be realized
I asked in April last for an expression of opinion fiom the two houses
of Congress as to the advisability of holding the proposed convention
at the time appointed. This action was prompted in jiart by doubts
which mature rellection had suggested whether the diplonuitic usage
and traditions of the government did not make it fitting that the Ex-
ecutive should consult the representatives of the people before pursuing
a line of i)olicy somewhat novel in its character, and far-reaching in
its possible consequences. In view of the fact that no action was taken
by Congress in the premises and that no provision had been made for
necessary expenses, I subsequently decided to postpone the convocation,
and so notifiedthe several governments which had been invited to attend.

I am unwilling to dismiss this subject without assuring you of my
support of any measures tlie wisdom of Congress may devise for the
I)romotion of peace on this continent and throughout tlie world, and I
trust tl^|it the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civilized
peoples, all international difl\irences shall be determined witliout resort
to arms by the benignant processes of arbitration.

Changes have occurred in the diplomatic representation of several
lj(>reigu powers during the past year. New ministers from the Argeii-


tine Kepublic, Austria- Iluiigiiiy, Brazil, Chili, China, France, Japan,
Mexico, the Netherlands, and Russia have presented their credentials.
The missions of Denniaik and Venezuela at this capital have been raised
in grade. Switzerland has created a plenipotentiary mission to this
gove.niment, and an embassy from Madagascar and a minister from
Siam will shortly arrive.

Our di])lomatic intercourse has been enlarged by the establishment
of relations with the new Kingdom of Servia, by the creation of a mission
to Siam, and by the restoration of the mission to Greece. The Shah of
Persia has expressed his gratification that a charge d'affaires will shortly
be sent to that country, where the rights of our citizens have been
hitherto courteously guarded by the representatives of Great Britain.

I renew my recommendation of such legislation as wall j)lace the
United States in harmony with other maritime powers with respect to
the international rules for the prevention of collisions at sea.

In conformity with your joint resolution of the 3d of August last, I
have directed the Secretary of State to address foreign governments in
respect to a proposed conference for considering the subject of the uni-
versal adoption of a common prime meridian to be used in the reckon-
ing of longitude and in the regulation of time throughout the civilized
world. Their replies will, in due time, be laid before you.

An agreement was reached at Paris in 1875 between the principal
Powers for the interchange of official publications through the medium
of their respective Foreign Departments.

The admirable system which has been built up by the enteq)rise of
the Smithsonian Institution affords a practical basis for our co-opera-
tion in this scheme, and an arrangement has been effected by which
that institution will perform the necessary labor, under the direction of
the Department of State. A reasonable compensation therefor should
be provided by law.

A clause in the act making apj^ropriations for the diplomatic and
consular service contemplates the reorganization of both branches of
such service on a salaried basis, leaving fees to inure to the benefit of
the Treasury. I cordially favor such a project, as likely to correct
abuses in the present system. The Secretary of State will present to
you at an early day a plan for such reorganization.

A full and interesting exhibit of the operations of the Treasury De-
partment is afforded by the report of the Secretary.

It appears that the ordinary revenues fi'om all sources for the fiscal
year ended June 30, 1882, were as follows :

From customs $220, 410, 730 25

From internal revenue 146, 497, 595 45

From sales of public lands 4, 75|, 140 37

From tax on circulation and deposits of national banks . 8, 956, 794 45
From repayment of interest by Pacific Railway Com-
panies 840, 554 37

From sinking fund for Pacific Railway Comi)anies . . . 790, 271 42


From customs fees, fines, penalties, &'c 8'/, 343, 348 00

From fees — consular, letters ])atent, and lands !>, G38, 990 97

From proceeds of sales of g-overnment property 314, 959 85

From profits on coina.tie, bullion deposits, an

Online LibraryUnited States. President (1881-1885 : Arthur)Message from the President of the United States to the two houses of Congress at the commencement of the second session of the forty-seventh Congress, with the reports of the heads of departments and → online text (page 1 of 132)