Lapas attēli

Resolved, That should Her Britannic Majesty's Government, in violation of the clear understanding between the parties, persist in carrying its avowed determination into execution, and attempt by military force to assume exclusive jurisdiction over the disputed territory, all of which they firmly believe rightfully belongs to the State of Maine, the exigency, in the opinion of the Senate, will then have occurred rendering it the imperative duty of the President, under the Constitution and laws, to call forth the militia and employ military force of the United States for the purpose of repelling such an invasion, and in this event the Senate will cordially cooperate with and sustain the President in defending the rights of the country.

Resolved, That should the British authorities refrain from attempting a military occupation of the territory in dispute and from enforcing their claim to exclusive jurisdiction over it by arms, that then, in the opinion of the Senate, the State of Maine ought, on her part, to pursue a course of similar forbearance; and should she refuse to do so, and determine to settle the controversy for herself by force, the adjustment of which is intrusted, under the Constitution, to the Federal Government, in such an event there will be no obligation imposed on that Government to sustain her by military aid.

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[See pp. 579,580,584, 599, 609.]

July 4, 1838.

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(Senate Report No. 287.) Mr. Buchanan submitted the following report:

The Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred the “bill to provide for surveying the northeastern boundary line of the United States according to the provisions of the treaty of peace of 1783,” have had the same under consideration and now report:

[See Senate Report 502, Twenty-fifth Congress, second session, p. 584.]

[See pp.



April 14, 1840.

On the adjustment of the northeastern boundary Mr. Buchanan reported as follows:

The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the resolution as to the adjustment of the northeastern boundary, report that they have had the same under consideration, and now deem it expedient to communicate to the Senate their reasons for not making, at the present moment, a general report upon the whole subject. They feel that they will best perform this duty by placing clearly and distinctly before the Senate the existing state and condition of the pending negotiations between the Governments.

The President of the United States, in his annual message of December last, informed Congress that “for the settlement of our northeastern boundary the proposition promised by Great Britain, for a commission of exploration and survey, has been received, and a counter


project, including also a provision for the certain and final adjustment of the limits in dispute, is now before the British Government for its consideration;" that the President has not thought it advisable to communicate this counter project to Congress, yet we bave his assurance, on which the most confident reliance may be placed, that it is of such a character as will, should it be accepted, finally settle the question. This proposition was officially communicated to that Government during the last summer.

Mr. Fox, the British minister, in his note of the 24th of January last, doubtless with a perfect knowledge of the nature of the project which had been submitted by the American Government to that of Great Britain, assures Mr. Forsyth that he not only preserves the hope, but he entertains the firm belief, that if the duty of negotiating the boundary question be left in the hands of the two national Governments, to whom alone of rights it belongs, the difficulty of conducting the negotiation to an amicable issue will not be found so great as has been by many persons apprehended.” In his subsequent note of March 13, 1840, he states that he has been instructed to declare, "that Her Majesty's Government are only waiting for the detailed report of the British commissioners recently employed to survey the disputed territory, which report, it was believed, would be completed and delivered to Her Majesty's Government by the end of the present month (March) in order to transmit to the Government of the United States a reply to their last proposal upon the subject of the boundary question.”' Thus we may reasonably expect that this reply will be received by the President during the present month (April) or early in May.

While such is the condition of the principal negotiation, the committee have deemed it inexpedient, at this time, to report upon the subordinate though important question in relation to the temporary occupation of the disputed territory. They trust that the answer of the British Government may be of such a character as to render a report upon this latter subject unnecessary. In any event, they have every reason to believe that the state of suspense will be of short duration.

The committee, ever since this embarrassing and exciting question has been first presented for their consideration, have been anxious that the Government of the United States shall constantly preserve itself in the right, and hitherto this desire has been fully accomplished. The territorial rights of Maine have been uniformly asserted, and a firm determination to maintain them has been invariably evinced; though this has been done in an amicable spirit. So far as the committee can exercise any influence over the subject, they are resolved that if war should be the result, which they contidently hope may not be the case, this war shall be rendered inevitable by the conduct of the British Government. They have believed this to be the surest mode of uniting every American heart and every American arm in defense of the just rights of the country.

It is but justice to remark that the executive branch of the Government from the beginning has been uniformly guided by the same spirit, and has thus far pursued a firm, consistent, and prudent course throughout the whole negotiation with Great Britain.

While the committee can perceive no just cause at the present moment for anticipating hostilities between the two countries, they


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