H. or R.

Discriminating Duties.

JANUARY, 1803.


quantity of oil would have been, prior to the late war, Mr. SAMUEL Smith, from the Committee of only £625 sterling; the net freight to an American Commerce and Manufactures, to whom was re- ship (after deducting the countervailing duty of £453 ferred, on the seventeenth ultimo, so much of the 158.) would of course be only £171 58. sterling. Message of the President of the United States as

By the same operation, a British ship of 250 tons, relates to discriminating and countervailing du- carrying .400 hhds. of tobacco, of 1200 lbs. each, to ties, and the act of the British Parliament on that sterling less duty than would be payable on the same

Great Britain from the United States, would pay £360 subject, made a report ; which was read, and or quantity of tobacco imported in an American ship; the dered to be referred to a Committee of the whole whole freight at 358. sterling per hhd. would only House on Friday next. The report is as follows: amount to £700 sterling, which (after deducting the

. The Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, to countervailing duty of £360) would leave to the Ameriwhom was referred that part of the President's Mes can a net freight of only £344 18. sterling. sage which relates to discriminating and countervailing Rice, when imported into Great Britain in an Ameriduties, and to the act of the British Parliament on that can ship, is charged with a duty of 8 pence-8-10d. stersubject, report

ling per hundred weight more than when imported in That a duty of six cents per ton is by law imposed a British ship; this extra duty amounts on a tierce of on all American ships entering any of the ports of the rice to about 38. 9d. sterling; the freight of a tierce of United States from a foreign port, and on any ship or rice may be estimated at 12s. sterling. No person vessel, not of the United States, fifty cents per ton; will give 158. 9d. freight in an American, when he can and that an additional duty of ten per cent on the du- have the same carried for 128. in a Briship ship. ties payable on goods, wares, or merchandise, imported Pot and pearl ashes pay a countervailing duty of in American bottoms, has invariably been imposed on 2-14—158. the hundred weight. A cask of ashes consuch goods, wares, and merchandise, when imported tains about 300 weight; the extra duty on that by an in foreign ships or vessels.

American ship will be 9d. per barrel; the freight of That those discriminating duties have tended greatly such barrel is presumed to be 58. or 58. 6d. sterling in to increase the navigation of the United States, have times of peace; a difference of 9d. sterling per barrel given to the ship owners an advantage over foreigners will effectually give the carriage to British ships of all in the carriage to the United States of salt, wine, the ashes exported from the United States to Great brandy, sugar, coffee, blankets, and other coarse wool Britain. lens, coarse linens, hemp, earthenware, and other

The committee take leave to refer the House to a bulky articles, and have enabled them to be almost ex- table of duties imposed by Great Britain on goods imclusively the carriers of all the fine articles of importa-ported in American and British ships, which was tion necessary to the consumption of the country. printed the last session of Congress, and is herewith This policy, combined with the advantages resulting exhibited, (No. 3.) On recurring thereto, an imporfrom the late war in Europe, had increased the Ameri- tant countervail in the articles of wood of all kinds, a can tonnage to an amount, it is believed, not inferior small one in tar, turpentine, pitch, and other articles, to that of any nation in Europe, except Great Britain. will be discovered. The effects of these discriminating duties did not

The committee take leave to state, that the Parliaescape the observation of those foreign nations with ment of Great Britain, by a statute, bearing date the 7th whom we have had the greatest commercial inter- of May, 1802, has imposed the following new and ad

ditional duties on articles the produce and manufacBy the fifteenth article of the Treaty of Amity, Com- tures of the United States, to wit: merce, and Navigation, dated London, November 19, Ashes, pot and pearl, 1s. 6d. the cwt.; ginseng, 68. 1794, the British Government has reserved the right of the 100 lbs.; indigo, (American,) 12s. the 100 lbs.; countervailing those discriminating duties; and the bar iron, 13s. the ton; pig iron, 4s. 6d. the ton; pitch, United States bound themselves not to impose any new 38. 8d., tar 28. 11d., the last of 12 barrels ; rosin, 4d. the or additional duty on the tonnage of British ships or cwt.; rice, 8d. the cwt. ; tobacco, 3s. the 100 lbs. ; tur. vessels, or to increase the then subsisting difference pentine, 28. the ton ; beeswax, 5s. 9d. the cwt.; cotton, between the duties payable on the importation of any (American,) 78. 10d. the 100 lbs. article in British or American ships.

The countervailing duty of ten per cent. being also It is believed by your committee, that the Parliament levied on all those new duties, (except that on tobacco.) of Great Britain, by a statute passed the 4th of July, adus further to the injury already sustained by Ameri1797, (in the exercise of that reserved right) have ex- can ships carrying such articles, and secures to British ceeded the fair intent and meaning of the Treaty of ships the exclusive carriage of the following articles, in Amity, &c., and thereby have secured to the ship addition to the articles already mentioned, to wit: owners of that nation the exclusive carriage to Great Indigo, iron, ginseng, beeswax, and the important and Britain (in time of peace) of some of our most impor- bulky article of cotton. Prior to the passing of the tant objects of exportation.

British statute of May last, American cotton and indigo They have selected fish-oil and tobacco (articles of were free of duty on importation into Great Britain; great bulk) as objects on which the highest counter the countervailing duty on indigo will (in consequence vailing duties have been imposed. The countervailing of the duty above stated) be 1s. 2-4 10d. per 100 lbs.; duty on fish-oil being 36s. 3-12 20d. sterling per ton that on cotton, nine pence 4-10 the 100 lbs. The or 252 gallons, and upon tobacco 18. 6d. per 100 lbs. freight of 100 lbs. of cotton may be estimated, in times

In consequence of which a British ship of 250 tons, of peace, at about 8s. 4d. sterling; the difference of carrying 250 tons of oil to Great Britain from the Uni- nine pence on 8s. 4d. will give a decided preference to ted States, will pay £453 158. sterling less duty thereon British over American ships. than the same oil would pay if imported into Great Thus, then, it appears that Great Britain, by her Britain in an American ship; the whole freight on such countervailing act, has secured effectually the carrying


JANUARY, 1803.

Discriminating Duties.


(for her own wants and her foreign commerce) of our In the third year of the French Republic, a law was fish-oil, tobacco, pot and pearl ashes, rice, indigo, and passed imposing a duty of eighteen livres 15 sols per cotton, and having carriage of those bulky articles, the quintal on tobacco imported in French vessels, and of minor objects (except naval stores) not being suffi- twenty-five livres on tobacco imported into the ports of ciently important to form entire cargoes, will also be France in foreign vessels ; which duty has since been carried in British ships.

increased to thirty livres per quintal, when imported The committee take leave further to state, that by in foreign ships, and twenty livres when in French the same statute of Great Britain, of the seventh of ships; making a difference of one hundred and twenty May last, a duty of half per cent. is imposed on all livres or twenty-two dollars and ninety cents per hogsgoods, wares, and merchandise (of the growth or man- head of twelve hundred pounds against the importation ufacture of Great Britain) on their exportation to any of tobacco into France in American vessels. This disport in Europe, or within the Straits of Gibraltar, and criminating duty amounts, in fact, to the prohibiting of one per cent. on similar goods, when exported to of the importation of tobacco in American vessels into any place, not being in Europe, or within the Straits France. of Gibraltar, thus subjecting the United States to a Your committee further state that, by a late law, duty on exports double that which is paid by the na- France has imposed a discriminating duty of fifty per tions of Europe. This discrimination your committee cent. on the duties payable on sugar, coffee, cocoa, and believe to be in contradiction to the spirit of the trea- other West India goods, when imported in French ties existing between the United States and Great ships, on similar goods when imported in foreign ships Britain.

into her ports. By the statute of Great Britain, passed the fourth of The committee take leave to exhibit herewith (No. July, 1797, a duty of tonnage was imposed on Ameri- 1) statements of exports, imports, and tonnage, as they con ships entering her ports of 2s. sterling per ton, relate to France, Great Britain, and the United States. which is admitted as a fair countervail of the discrimi- And a statement (No. 2) showing the exports from nating duty of forty-four cents per ton on their ships en- the United States to the European ports of Great Brittering the ports of the United States.

ain and France, of the following articles, to wit: From the preceding view of the subject, it appears Pot and pearl ashes, ginseng, iron, pitch, rosin, rice, to your committee, that American vessels will be pre- tobacco, tar, fish-oil, turpentine, beeswax, and cotton, ferred to British for the carrying of all the fine manu- and the total value of exports to those nations for the factures of Great Britain ; but that the decided advan- year 1802. tages that British ships now have over American, in Sweden and Denmark have laws imposing discrimithe carriage of all bulky and important articles of the nating duties highly favorable to their carrying trade. growth or manufacture of the United States, necessary Spain, also, by her navigation laws, gives important for the consumption or foreign commerce of Great advantages to her own shipping over those of foreign Britain, will enable their owners to enter into an ad- nations trading to her ports. Holland, also, has her vantageous competition with the Americans in the car- discriminating duties, which, in their consequences, are rying from Great Britain to the United States, of Brit- injurious to the commercial interest of the United ish salt, and of all the coarse and bulky articles of the States. produce or manufacture of Great Britain—for instance: Two modes have presented themselves to your com

Salt is charged with only two cents per bushel more mittee, to obviate the disadvantages resulting to the when imported in a foreign ship, than when imported carrying trade of the United States, from the counterin American; this small extra duty has never prevent- vailing and discriminating duties already recited. The ed its importation in British ships.

one to increase our discriminating duties, so as to meet Earthenware—a crate thereof will cost about £5 the injuries now experienced from the operation of sterling.. The usual peace freight of such a crate is those and the countervailing duties of other nations. presumed to be about 208. or 258. sterling ; the extra The other to relinquish our discriminating duties, (so duty thereon, being only 1s. 6d. sterling, would be paid far as they relate to goods, wares, and merchandise, by the owner of a British ship rather than not obtain the growth, produce, or manufacture of the nation to the freight.

which the ship by whom the same are imported may Blankets—a bale of ten pieces will cost about £40 belong,) in favor of such foreign nation as will agree sterling, the usual peace freight about 358. sterling ; the to abolish such of their discriminating and countervailextra duty payable, if imported in a British ship, will ing duties, as are, in their operation, injurious to the be 108. sterling.

interest of the United States, Wool hats, oznaburgs, sail canvass, kerseys, negro The first mode would, in its consequences, lead to a cottons, flannel, baize, half-thicks, and, in truth, all commercial warfare between the United States and forwoollen cloths under 2s. sterling per yard, beer, por- eign nations. Admit, for instance, that the United ter, and a variety of other bulky articles, pay an extra States should increase her discriminating duties, will duty so small, when compared with the freight of such not foreign nations also increase theirs in every ingoods, that the owners of British ships, when assured stance, and at every time the United States shall purof a full return freight from the United States to Great sue their plan of increase? If so, your committee are Britain, will find it their interest to agree to pay the at a loss to perceive what benefit could arise to the inextra duty payable on such goods when imported into terest of the United States from such a system. the United States in foreign ships or vessels.

The second mode appears to your committee more France also has taken measures to meet the opera- consistent with the true interest, as well as with the tion of our discriminating duties. In the second year peaceful disposition of the United States. They, thereof the French Republic, a decree (relative to the act fore, submit the following resolution : of navigation of that nation) was passed, by which a Resolved, That so much of the several acts imposduty of tonnage of fifty sols per ton was imposed on ing duties on the tonnage of ships and vessels, and on foreign vessels entering the ports of France, and of six goods, wares, and merchandise, imported into the Unisols per ton on French vessels.

ted States, as imposes a discriminating duty of tonnage


H. OF R.

Cession of Louisiana to France.

JANUARY, 1803.



between foreign vessels and vessels of the United The House proceeded to consider the amendStates, and between goods imported into the United ment proposed by the Senate to the bill entitled States in foreign vessels and vessels of the United "An act for the relief of Charles Hyde;" WhereStates, ought to be repealed; so far as the same respects upon, the produce or manufacture of the nation to which such

Resolved, That this House do agree to the said foreign ship or vessel may belong; such repeal to take

amendment. effect in favor of any foreign nation, whenever the President shall be satisfied that the discriminating and coun

CESSION OF LOUISIANA. tervailing duties of such foreign nation, so far as they operate to the disadvantage of the United States, have itself into a Committee of the Whole on the stale

Mr. Griswold moved that the House resolve been abolished.”

of the Union, intending, should he succeed, to

call up bis resolution presented on the 5th instant, TUESDAY, January 11.

viz: A Message was received from the President

Resolved, That the President of the United States of the United States, transmitting a report from be requested to direct the proper officer to lay before the Director of the Mint. The Message was read, this House, copies of such Official documents as have and, together with the report, referred to the Com- been received by this Government, announcing the mittee of the Whole House to whom was com- cession of Louisiana to France, together with a report, mitted, on the seventeenth ultimo, a motion for explaining the stipulations, circumstances, and condia repeal of so much of the acts, the one entitled tions, under which that province is to be delivered up, "An act establishing a Mint, and regulating the unless such documents and reports will, in the opinion coins of the United States; the other entitled of the President, divulge to the House particular trans"An act, supplementary to the 'Act establishing a actions not proper at this time to be communicated.” Mint, and regulating the coins of the United I recollect, said Mr. G., when I proposed on a States," as relates to the establishment of a Mint. former day that the House should go into Com

Mr. Bacon, from the Committee of Elections, mittee of the Whole for the purpose of considerwho were instructed by a resolution of the House ing this resolution, the principal arguments in of the twenty-ninth ultimo," to inquire whether opposition were drawn from its supposed connexJoan P. Van Ness, one of the members of this ion with a subject which had been referred to a House from the State of New York, returned by secret committee, and, therefore improper for prethe said State to serve as one of its members in vious or public discussion. Those arguments have the seventh Congress of the United States, has now lost their weight. The House have decided not, since his election as a member of this House, on those confidential subjects, and their resolution and since he occupied a seat as a member, accept- was published, and I believe it will appear that I ed of, and exercised the office of a Major of Militia was not incorrect in my opinion, that this resoluunder the authority of the United States, within tion has no concern with any confidential comthe Territory of Columbia, and thereby forfeited munications. When before under consideration, his right to a seat as a member of this House," the inquiry contemplated was considered importmade a report thereon; which was read, and or- ant. The information requested must be in posdered to be referred to a Committee of the whole session of the Executive; it cannot be supposed House on Monday next.

that such documents as would be useful to the Mr. Nicholson, from the committee to whom House, do not exist in the Executive cabinet. was recommitted, on the fourth instant, the bill We cannot legislate with a proper understanding, for the relief of insolvent debtors within the Dis- unless we are informed of all the circumstances, trict of Columbia, reported an amendatory bill; conditions, and stipulations, under which that terwhich was read twice, and committed to a Com- ritory is ceded to France. I will not believe that mittee of the whole House on Thursday next. the Executive has neglected to demand such ex.

A message from the Senate informed ihe House planations as the honor and interest of the Unithat the Senate have passed the bill, entitled "An ied States require. It is this official information act for the relief of Charles Hyde," with an which we want. As we are unembarrassed by amendment, to which they desire the concurrence other subjects, either of a public or secret nature, of this House.

I hope the House will now come to a decision; I Mr. RANDOLPH, from the Committee of Ways shall call for the yeas and nays. and Means, to whom was referred, on the fifth in- Mr. Dawson moved a postponement of the stant, the petition of Hugh Alexander and others, resolution to a future day. inhabitants of the State of Kentucky, made a re- Mr. Mott said he was opposed to the resoluport thereon; which was read, and ordered to be tion, but was for going into Committee of the referred to a Committee of the whole House to Whole, and deciding upon it, rather than to be morrow.

troubled with it from day to day. On motion, it was

Mr. Dana.-I consider the refusal to go into a Ordered, That the committee appointed on the Committee of the Whole on the state of the thirty-first'ultimo, to whom was referred peti- Union as a negative upon the resolution. We tion of sundry inhabitants of the City of Wash- have been told before, by the gentleman from Vir. ing, and of Georgetown, in the District of Colum- ginia, (Mr. RANDOLPA) that it does not amount bia, have leave to report thereon, by way of billio a refusal of the resolution. True, it may not or bills, or otherwise.

be so harsh a mode of putting it aside, but the

JANUARY, 1803.
Cession of Louisiana to France.

H. of R. effect is virtually the same. Will it be made a on Spain ?—especially at this crisis. when, as I question whether it is proper to ask for informa- am informed from a respectable source, one of tion? The President has recommended the sub- the first characters in the Union is recently nomject to our attention in his message. It is not inated Minister to that Court, for the purpose of only proper, but of course becomes our duty, to adjusting all differences on this subject ? deliberate, and to request such information from I should have supposed another reason would the President, as will assist and enlighten us in have deterred the gentleman from persisting in our proceedings. It is his Constitutional province this call. That gentleman and his friends had to do this, and it would be a reflection on him to recorded on the journals of this House their solsuppose that he would withhold any information emn determination, however sensibly they might from the House, on a subject which he had thought feel the injuries inflicted on the rights and interso important, as to form part of an official mes- ests of these States, to refuse all co-operation in sage. Il could not have been inserted merely the support of those rights and interests so long for the sake of rounding off a period. No, sir, the as the direction of the Government should be rePresident has undoubtedly sufficient reasons for tained by those who now possess it. For, after mentioning this, as a subject worthy of our de having expressed their disapprobation of that liberations; he is designated by the Constitution clause in a resolution lately adopted by the House as the proper person from whoin information on to affect our rights of limits and of navigation subjects of this nature is to be derived; he is sup- through the Mississippi, objecting to no other part posed to combine the whole; it is not proper io of it, they had, nevertheless, refused to give their receive it but from an official source. The gen- assent to it because of this objectionable passage. eral subject is mentioned in the following terms: There was a time, sir, when such conduct would

" The cession of the Spanish province of Louisiana have been denounced by a portion of this House to France, which took place in the course of the late as the essence of Jacobinism and disorganization. war, will, if carried into effect, make a change in the Mr. R. concluded by saying that he thought it aspect of our foreign relations, which will doubtless unwise at this time, in the very cradle of the nehave just weight in any deliberations connected with gotiation, to throw out insinuations which would that subject.”

have a tendency to irritate or disgust the Spanish Are we to suppose the Executive has not been Court. vigilant in ascertaining the circumstances attend- Mr. Griswold.—I did not expect that the gening this event? No. Are we to suppose he is tleman from Virginia, (Mr. RANDOLPH,) would, unwilling to inform us what they are ?' No. He in the face of the Journal now on the table, in must be supposed willing to give the information contradiction to the knowledge of every gentleTherefore, why should gentlemen prevent us from man in this House, have made the declaration we obtaining that intelligence, which is presumed to have just heard. Have we given our vote that exist, and which the Executive must be willing we would not defend the free navigation of the to give ?

Mississippi? Have we not been ready to unite Mr. RANDOLPH was averse to going into a Com- in adopling those measures which the infraction mittee of the Whole House on the state of the of treaties and our violated rights demand? I Union, if it were understood that the resolution appeal to our journals. What has been done, of the gentleman from Connecticut was to be there appears, and will contradict the assertions

It was not very material to him in of that gentleman. When the resolution was unwhat way the House signified their dissent to the der consideration in the secret committee, which measure; but, preferring that which was least the gentleman (Mr. RANDOLPH) emphatically circuitous, he hoped they would refuse to take it called His OFFSPRING, there were iwo votes taken up in committee. Much pains having been taken on certain parts or members of it, previous to the to impress a belief that the President had com- main question. A motion was made to strike out municated to the House a fact of which he pos- the following clause: sessed no official information, Mr. R. begged the “And relying with perfect confidence on the vigiHouse to recollect that the tortured ingenuity of lance and wisdom of the Executive, they will wait the gentlemen had been unable fairly to infer the fact issue of such measures as that department of the Govfrom the Executive communications; nor could ernment shall have pursued for asserting the rights it be implied from a refusal to concur in the pro- and vindicating the injuries of the United States.” posed resolution. His opposition to it grew out I voted against this part of the resolution for of the resolution itself. It conveys the suspicion two reasons: first, because I could not express a that Spain has ceded Louisiana to France indefi- confidence which' I did not feel; and secondly, nitely, thereby giving to France some color of because I was not satisfied with a resolution to do claim to the countries formerly comprised under nothing. I thought we ought to do something; that appellation; or that she has made the cession that it was not proper for the Legislature to sit as by limits incompatible with her engagements to idle spectators of an important political transacus; and that in either case our right to the navi- tion, which required legislative interference. I gation of the Mississippi may have been impaired. thought we ought to prepare for the worst. These For, if you suppose in this transfer of her prop- were the reasons, Mr. Speaker, which influenced erty that Spain has paid due regard to her stipu- my conduct upon the motion for striking out. lations with us, the resolution ceases to have an Bút how did we vote on the motion for agreeing object. Now, sir, wherefore cast this imputation to the following clause ?

7th Con. 20 Ses.-12

taken up.


Cession of Louisiana to France.

January, 1803. “ Holding it to be their duty at the same time to ex- Is this the language of irritation ? Is there an press their unalterable determination to maintain the offensive sentence either to the Court of Spain boundaries, and the rights of navigation and com- or the Republic of France? Not one. So far merce, through the river Mississippi, as established by from impeding negotiation, it might lead to measexisting treaties.”

ures which would accelerate the agency, and inDid we refuse our assent? Did we object to a sure terms more advantageous. To be ready for syllable contained in this part of the resolution ? any and every event, would evince on our part a No, sir, the vote was unanimous. Every mem- disposition to demand, and the power to enforce ber of the House stands pledged to support the reparation if refused. Inactivity and silence in sentiments therein expressed. On this point there the Legislative department will indeed retard sucwas no difference of opinion. I appeal to your cessful negotiation, by depriving a Minister of journals, sir, and to the recollection of every gen- powerful and unanswerable arguments. tleman who was on that secret committee, whether Mr. S. Smith said, it would be recollected, that I am not correct. It is true that there was a dif- on the first day the resolution of the gentleman ference of opinion in the secret committee upon from Connecticut was offered, it struck him as the other part of the resolution ; on one side of improper, and that it was at his instance it had the House it appeared proper to express great been ordered to lie on the table. The more he confidence in the present Executive, and, leaving had considered the nature of that resolution, the everything to that department, to do nothing our- more averse to it had he become. So far from selves; whilst on the other side, as we did not his original dislike to it having been removed by feel that confidence, we could not express it, and, the arguments advanced, it had been confirmed, believing the occasion demanded legislative inter- and particularly by what had fallen from the genference, we thought it necessary to prepare for tleman from Virginia. The gentleman from Conthe worst. How, then, can we be charged by the pecticut does not perceive, or is unwilling to acgentleman from Virginia (Mr. RANDOLPH) with knowledge that there is anything in his resolution having recorded our determination not to protect that implies unfairness on the part of Spain, or the rights and interests of these States, when our that derogates from the honor of her character; votes, appearing on your Journal, not only prove but let him read the resolution. Mr. S. then read our unalterable determination to defend those as follows: rights, but likewise prove that we were willing to “ That the President of the United States be releave the vindicating of those rights entirely to quested to direct the proper officer to lay before this the Executive, and were earnesily desirous of House copies of such official documents as have been adding thereto all the aid which the Legislature received by this Government, announcing the cession could contribute, and that we have been prevented of Louisiana to France, together with a report explainfrom pursuing this course by the gentleman from ing, the stipulations, circumstances, and conditions, Virginia, (Mr. Randolph,) and his friends? I under which the province is to be delivered up." must be permitted again to express my astonish- Does not the gentleman who drew this resolument that the gentleman can with any face make tion seem to believe, from the express words of it, these charges, and again to appeal to your Journal, that the conduct of Spain has been unfair, and and the recollection of every gentleman, for å that she may have adopted measures derogatory contradiction of these unmeriied aspersions. to her character and honor? Shall we send a

When the main question was taken, we re- Minister hampered by such a resolution ? fused our assent. Not because we were unwilling Let the gentleman recollect the conduct of this to adopt such measures as circumstances might House on a similar occasion. When an order of require; but because we could not sanction those the British Court issued to seize all American vesexpressions of unbounded confidence in the Ex- sels, wherever found, certain spirited resolutions ecutive, and that determination to do nothing, .were proposed in that House to show the dissatiswhich the resolution contained.

faction of the Government at this unjust measAs another argument against this resolution, ure, and its disposition, if necessary to resist it. we are told it is calculated to irritate and impede The gentleman will recollect, that at that crisis, a negotiation, which the gentleman from Virginia and pending those very resolutions, a Minister (Mr. Randolph) has informed us is about to was appointed. Did not the gentleman's friends commence, and, Í must say, about to commence immediately state the impropriety of passing at a very late period; after an expiration of one those resolutions ? The faci was, that gentlemen year since the cession of that territory to France. on both sides felt the force of the suggestion, and Let us recur to the resolution :

the resolutions were withdrawn. Mr. S. thought Resolved, that the President of the United States

it wise, prudent, and proper, to pursue on this

occasion the same course. be requested to direct the proper officer to lay before

He could conceive of this House copies of such official documents as have no good end which could be answered by the been received by this Government, announcing the resolution. Is the gentleman really in earnest in cession of Louisiana to France, together with a report his inquiries at this time ? and if the effect of his explaining the stipulations, circumstances, and condi- resolution should be to show that the stipulations tions, under which that province is to be delivered up; are injurious to our rights, would he know how unless such documents and reports will, in the opinion to aci? He would be for acting spiritedly, no of the President, divulge to the House particular trans- doubt; and yet, at this very moment, when he actions, not proper at this time to be communicated.” professed such a declaration, he declares to the

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