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TRANSMITTED TO CONGRESS WITH THE ANNUAL MESSAGE
DECEMBER 4, 1871,
PRECEDED BY A
SYNOPTICAL LIST OF PAPERS AND FOLLOWED BY AN ALPHA-
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
In addressing my third annual message to the law-making branch of the Government, it is gratifying to be able to state that during the past year success has generally attended the effort to execute all laws found upon the statute-books. The policy has been, not to inquire into the wisdom of laws already enacted, but to learn their spirit and intent, and to enforce them accordingly.
The past year has, under a wise Providence, been one of general prosperity to the nation. It has, however, been attended with more than usual chastisements in the loss of life and property, by storm and fire. These disasters have served to call forth the best elements of human nature in our country, and to develop a friendship for us on the part of foreign nations which goes far toward alleviating the distresses occasioned by these calamities. The benevolent, who have so generously shared their means with the victims of these misfortunes, will reap their reward in the consciousness of having performed a noble act, and in receiving the grateful thanks of men, women, and children whose sufferings they have relieved.
The relations of the United States with foreign powers continue to be friendly. The year has been an eventful one in witnessing two great nations, speaking one language and having one lineage, settling, by peaceful arbitration, disputes of long standing, and liable at any time. to bring those nations into bloody and costly conflict. An example has thus been set which, if successful in its final issue, may be followed by other civilized nations, and finally be the means of returning to productive industry millions of men now maintained to settle the disputes of nations by the bayonet and the broadside.
I transmit herewith a copy of the treaty alluded to, which has been concluded, since the adjournment of Congress, with Her Britanic Majesty, and a copy of the protocols of the conferences of the commissioners by whom it was negotiated. This treaty provides methods for adjusting the questions pending between the two nations.
Various questions are to be adjusted by arbitration. I recommend Congress at an early day to make the necessary provision for the tribunal at Geneva, and for the several commissioners, on the part of the United States, called for by the treaty.
His Majesty the King of Italy, the President of the Swiss Confederation, and His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, have each consented, on the joint request of the two powers, to name an arbitrator for the tribu
nal at Geneva. I have caused my thanks to be suitably expressed for the readiness with which the joint request has been complied with, by the appointment of gentlemen of eminence and learning to these important positions.
His Majesty the Emperor of Germany has been pleased to comply with the joint request of the two governments, and has consented to act as the arbitrator of the disputed water boundary between the United States and Great Britain.
The contracting parties in the treaty have undertaken to regard as between themselves certain principles of public law, for which the United States have contended from the commencement of their history. They have also agreed to bring those principles to the knowledge of the other maritime powers and to invite them to accede to them. Negotiations are going on as to the form of the note by which the invitation is to be extended to the other powers.
I recommend the legislation necessary on the part of the United States to bring into operation the articles of the treaty relating to the fisheries, and to the other matters touching the relations of the United States toward the British North American possessions, to become operative so soon as the proper legislation shall be had on the part of Great Britain and its possessions. It is much to be desired that this legislation may become operative before the fishermen of the United States begin to make their arrangements for the coming season.
I have addressed a communication, of which a copy is transmitted herewith, to the governors of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin, urging upon the governments of those States, respectively, the necessary action on their part to carry into effect the object of the article of the treaty which contemplates the use of the canals, on either side, connected with the navigation of the lakes and rivers forming the boundary, on terms of equality by the inhabitants of both countries. It is hoped that the importance of the object and the benefits to flow therefrom will secure the speedy approval and legislative sanction of the States concerned.
I renew the recommendation for an appropriation for determining the true position of the forty-ninth parallel of latitude where it forms the boundary between the United States and the British North American possessions, between the Lake of the Woods and the summit of the Rocky Mountains. The early action of Congress on this recommendation would put it in the power of the War Department to place a force in the field during the next summer.
The resumption of diplomatic relations between France and Germany have enabled me to give directions for the withdrawal of the protection extended to Germans in France by the diplomatic and consular representatives of the United States in that country. It is just to add that the delicate duty of this protection has been performed by the minister and the consul general at Paris, and the various consuls in France
under the supervision of the latter, with great kindness as well as with prudence and tact. Their course has received the commendation of the German government, and has wounded no susceptibility of the French. The government of the Emperor of Germany continues to manifest a friendly feeling toward the United States, and a desire to harmonize with the moderate and just policy which this Government maintains in its relations with Asiatic powers, as well as with the South American republics. I have given assurances that the friendly feelings of that government are fully shared by the United States.
The ratifications of the consular and naturalization conventions with the Austro-Hungarian Empire have been exchanged.
I have been officially informed of the annexation of the States of the Church to the Kingdom of Italy, and the removal of the capital of that kingdom to Rome. In conformity with the established policy of the United States, I have recognized this change. The ratifications of the new treaty of commerce between the United States and Italy have been exchanged. The two powers have agreed in this treaty that private property at sea shall be exempt from capture in case of war between the two powers. The United States have spared no opportunity of incorporating this rule into the obligation of nations.
The Forty-first Congress at its third session made an appropriation for the organization of a mixed commission for adjudicating upon the claims of citizens of the United States against Spain growing out of the insurrection in Cuba. That commission has since been organized. I transmit herewith the correspondence relating to its formation and its jurisdiction. It is to be hoped that this commission will afford the claimants a complete remedy for their injuries.
It has been made the agreeable duty of the United States to preside over a conference at Washington between the plenipotentiaries of Spain and the allied South American republics, which has resulted in an armistice, with the reasonable assurance of a permanent peace.
The intimate friendly relations which have so long existed between the United States and Russia continue undisturbed. The visit of the third son of the Emperor is a proof that there is no desire on the part of his government to diminish the cordiality of those relations. The hospitable reception which has been given to the Grand Duke is a proof that on our side we share the wishes of that government. The inexcusable course of the Russian minister at Washington rendered it necessary to ask his recall, and to decline to longer receive that functionary as a diplomatic representative. It was impossible with selfrespect, or with a just regard to the dignity of the country, to permit Mr. Catacazy to continue to hold intercourse with this Government after his personal abuse of Government officials, and during his persistent interference, through various means, with the relations between the United States and other powers. In accordance with my wishes, this Government has been relieved of further intercourse with Mr. Catacazy,