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Resolved, That the Secretary of the Navy is hereby directed to inquire into the expediency of aiding individuals or companies in the establishment of lines of armed steamers between some of our principal northern and southern ports, and to foreign ports; to advertise for proposals for the establishment of such lines as he may deem most important and practicable, and report to this House at the next session of Congress.

From the Glasgow Chronicle.

FLEET OF STEAM FRIGATES.

On Thursday week the Clyde, the first of a line of steamers, built under contract with Government, for the Royal West India Steam-packet Com pany, was launched from the building-yard of Messrs. Robert Duncan & Co., Glasgow. As she is by far the largest vessel ever built on the banks of the Clyde, a very great deal of anxiety was manifested by thousands of our population as to the result of the launch. The Clyde is unquestionably the largest and finest steamer ever fitted out at this port, and sustains the far-famed fiue taste for steam-ship building of Messrs. Duncan & Co. The vessel was christened by a daughter of Mr. Duncan. The engines, which are of 500-horse power, from the works of Messrs. Caird & Co., are lying on the quay ready to be put on board; so that in a short time the sailing capabilities of the Clyde will be tested. The following are the dimensions of this vessel: Tous, about 1,840; 213 feet keel and fore rake; 37 feet and a few inches beam; 226 feet over all. She is considered by competent judges to be equal to a 60-gun frigate. The Clyde is the first of the 14 frigates of equal dimensions now in progress of construction for the Royal Mail Steam-packet Company. They are all designed to perform, in time of peace, the service of mail-packets to and among the West India islands, and, fully armed with the heaviest ordnance, to act as war frigates when required by Government for that purpose. Thus the country will be doubly served; and while it pays to the Mail Company £240,000 per annum for the transport of mails, it will defray, by the same payment, the annual charges of the largest and most powerful steam fleet in the world. These vessels are all of similar dimensions, having a capacity of about 1,500 tons each, with engines of about 500-horse power. The aggregate fleet will thus consist of 21,000 tons, and 7,000-horse power.

WEST INDIA MAILS CONTRACT.

Return to an order of the honorable the House of Commons, dated 22d May, 1840, far A copy of the contract whereby the mails to the West India Islands arı to be carried by steam navigation.

Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 5th June, 1840.

Articles of agreement made this 20th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1840, between the commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, for and on behalf of Her Majesty, of the one part, and "the Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company" of the other part: Witness that the said company hereby covenant, promise, and agree with the said commissioners, for

and on behalf of Her Majesty, that the said company shall and will, at all. times during the continuance of this contract, or so long as the whole or any part of the service hereby agreed to be performed ought to be performed, in pursuance thereof, provide, maintain, keep seaworthy, and in complete repair and readiness, for the purpose of conveying, as hereinafter provided, all Her Majesty's mails, (in which all despatches and bags of letters are understood to be comprehended,) which shall at any time and from time to time by the said commissioners or Her Majesty's Postmaster General, or any of the officers or agents of the said commissioners or Postmaster General, be required to be conveyed, a sufficient number (not less than 14) of good, substantial, and efficient steam-vessels, of such construction aud strength as to be fit and able to carry guns of the largest calibre now used on board of Her Majesty's steam-vessels of war, each of such vessels to be always supplied with first-rate appropriate steam-engines, of not less than 400 collective horse power; and also a sufficient number, not less than four, of good, substantial and efficient sailing-vessels, of at least 100 tons burthen each; all such steam and sailing-vessels always to be supplied and furnished with all necessary and proper apparel, furniture, stores, tackle, boats, fuel, oil, tallow, provisions, anchors, cables, fire pumps, and other proper meaus for extinguishing fire, and whatsover else may be requisite and necessary for equipping the said vessels, and rendering them constantly efficient for the service hereby contracted to be performed, and also manned with competent officers and a sufficient crew of able seamen and other men ; and all the said steam-vessels to be likewise manned and supplied with competent and efficient engineers, machinery, and engines; and to be in all respects, as to vessels, engines, equipments, engineers, officers, and crew, subject in the first instance, and from time to time, and at all times afterwards, to the approval of the said commissioners, and of such persons as shall at any time, or from time to time, have authority under the said commissioners to inspect and examine the same.

That the said contractors shall and will, during the continuance of this contract, in every case diligently, faithfully, and to the satisfaction of the said commissioners, and with all possible speed, convey the said mails on board the said vessels respectively as hereinafter mentioned.

That one of such steam-vessels so approved of, and equipped and manned as aforesaid, with the said mails on board, shall twice in every calendar mouth, on such days, (but at equal intervals of days,) and at such hour, and from such port in the British channel as the said commissioners shall at any time or times, or from time to time, siguify in writing, under the hand of their secretary, to the said contractors, put to sea as soon as the said mails are on board, and proceed to the island of Barbadoes; and after such an interval from her arrival there (not exceeding six hours) as the governor or senior naval officer present may require, such steam-vessel as aforesaid shall forthwith proceed, with the said mails on board, to the island of Grenada, and there remain so long only (not exceeding twelve hours) as the governor or senior naval officer present may require, and thence proceed, with the said mails on board, to the island of Santa Cruz, from San ta Cruz to St. Thomas, from St. Thomas to Nicola Mole, in the island of Hayti, from Nicola Mole to Santiago de Cuba, and from Santiago de Cuba to Port Royal in the island of Jamaica.

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That at the expiration of such interval, not exceeding 24 hours from the time of the arrival of the steam-vessel at Port Royal, as the governor or

senior naval officer present may require, such steam-vessel, after the said mails shall have been there delivered, and others received on board, shall proceed to Savannah-la-Mar in the same island; and after the said mails have been there delivered, and others received on board such steam-vessel, shall proceed to Havana in the island of Cuba; and at the expiration of such an interval as, after consulting the contractor's officer or agent, Her Majesty's consul shall require, not exceeding 48 hour; from the arrival of the steam-vessel at Havana, such a steam-vessel as aforesaid, with the said mails on board, shall successively proceed, on her return, from Havana to Savannah la-Mar, from Savannah-la-Mar to Port Royal aforesaid, from Port Royal to Santiago de Cuba, from Santiago de Cuba to Nicola Mole, from Nicola Mole to Samana in the island of Hayti, delivering and receiving on board the mails at each place, care being taken that the said steam-vessel shall always arrive at Samana aforesaid (after performing the said voyage from Barbadoes, under ordinary circumstances of wind and weather) on the 22d day after the arrival from England of the mails at Barbadoes.

That such a steam-vessel as aforesaid shall, as soon as the said mails shall have been delivered and others received on board at Samana, make the best of her way back from Samana to such port in the British channel as the said commissioners, parties hereto, shall, at any time or times, or from time to time, by writing under the hand of their secretary, direct.

That immediately on the arrival at Barbadoes from England of every steam-vessel employed in the performance of this contract, another of such steam-vessels as aforesaid shall likewise successively proceed with the said mails on board, from Barbadoes to the island of Tobago, from Tobago to Demerara in British Guiana, from Demerara to Berbice, in the same colony, and from Berbice to Paramaribo, in Dutch Guiana.

That every steam-vessel which shall arrive at Paramaribo in the performance of this contract, shall there remain so long as may be considered expedient by the said commissioners, or their officer or agent, not exceeding 48 hours from the time of her arrival at that place, and shall then proceed successively from Paramaribo to Berbice, from Berbice to Demerara, from Demerara to Tobago, from Tobago to Grenada, and from Grenada to Barbadoes; such last-mentioned steam-vessel always to arrive at Barbadoes in time to be ready to depart thence immediately to Tobago on the arrival of such one of the said steam-vessels as shall next reach Barbadoes from England, and from Tobago to the said several islands and places in the succession before mentioned.

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That immediately on every arrival at Grenada of the said mails from England, another of such steam-vessels as aforesaid shall successively proceed, with the mails on board, from Grenada to St. Vincent, from St. Vincent to St. Lucia, from St. Lucia to Martinique, from Martinique to Dominica, from Dominica to Guadaloupe, from Guadaloupe to Antigua, from Antigua to Montserrat, from Monserrat to Nevis, from Nevis to St. Kitt's, from St. Kitt's to Santa Cruz, from Santa Cruz to Tortola, from Tortola to St. Thomas, from St. Thomas to St. Juan's in the island of Puerto Rico, from St. Juan's to Samana, from Samana to Curaçao, from Curaçao to Porto Cabello, from Porto Cabello to La Guyra, from La Guyra to Trinidad, and from Trinidad back to Grenada; always to arrive at Grenada in time to be ready to depart immediately, thence with the mails from St.

Vincent and the other islands and places, in the succession last mentioned, on every arrival of the said mails from England.

That immediately on every arrival at Grenada of the said mails from England in the performance of this contract, another of such steam-vessels as aforesaid, shall like wise successively proceed with the said mails to Port of Spain in the island of Trinidad, from Trinadad to La Guyra, from La Guyra to Porto Cabello, from Porto Cabello to Curaçao, from Curaçao to Samana, from Samana to St. Juan's, Porto Rico, from St. Juan's to St. Thomas, from St. Thomas to Tortola, from Tortola to Santa Cruz, from Santa Cruz to St Kitt's, from St. Kitt's to Nevis, from Nevis to Montserrat, from Montserrat to Autigua, from Antigua to Guadaloupe, from Guadaloupe to Dominica, from Dominica to Martinique, from Martinique to St. Lucia, from St. Lucia to St. Vincent, and from St. Vincent back to Grenada, always arriving at such last-mentioned place in time to be ready to depart again from Grenada with the mails for the Port of Spain, and the other islands and places in the succession last before mentioned, immediately on every arrival of the said mails from England.

That immediately on the arrival at Curaçao of every steam-vessel employed in the performance of this contract which proceeds from Grenada to Curaçao, by way of La Guyra, such a sailing-vessel as aforesaid shall successively proceed from Curaçao with the mails to Santa Martha, from Santa Martha to Cartagena, where she shall remain 24 hours, and no longer; and then make the best of her way back with the mails to Santa Martha, and from Santa Martha to Curaçao.

That immediately on every arrival at Nicola Mole, in the island of Hayti, of the mails from England, another of such sailing vessels as aforesaid shall successively proceed with the said mails to Bahama islands; that is to say, to Crooked island, from Crooked island to Rum island, and from Rum island to New Providence, where she shall remain for a period not exceeding 72 hours; and immediately at the expiration of her stay there, she shall successively return with the mails from New Providence to Rum island, from Rum island to Crooked island, and from Crooked island to Nicola Mole, always arriving at the latter place in time to meet the steamvessel conveying the return mails to England from Jamaica.

That immediately on every arrival of the said mails from England at Port Royal, Jamaica, another of such steam-vessels as aforesaid shall proceed with the mails to Chagres, from Chagres to Cartagena, from Cartagena to Santa Martha, and from Santa Martha back to Port Royal aforesaid, always arriving at the latter place in time to meet the steam-vessel conveying the return mails from Havana to Port Royal.

That immediately on the arrival at Savannah-la-Mar of the said mails. from England, another of such sailing-vessels as aforesaid shall proceed with the mails to Trinidad de Cuba, and from Trinidad de Cuba to Belise, in Honduras; and, after remaining there 48 hours, shall make the best of her way back direct to Trinidad de Cuba, and thence to Savannah-la-Mar. That immediately on every arrival at Havana of Her Majesty's said mails from England, another of such steam-vessels as aforesaid, with the mails, shall successively proceed to Vera Cruz, from Vera Cruz to Tampico, from Tampico to Mobile, or such other port or ports in the United States of America, or the Gulf of Mexico, as shall at any time, or from time to time, be determined by the said commissioners, and notified to the said contractors by writing under the hand of the Secretary of the Admi

ralty, and from Mobile, or such last-mentioned port or ports as aforesaid, to Havana, always arriving at the latter place in time to depart thence immediately to Vera Cruz on the arrival of the mails from England.

That, also, immediately on every arrival at Havana of the said mails from England, another of such steam-vessels as aforesaid, with the said mails, shall likewise successively proceed from Havana direct to Mobile, or to such other port or ports in the said United States or the Gulf of Mexico, as before provided, from thence to Tampico, from Tampico to Vera Cruz, and from Vera Cruz to Havana, always arriving at the latter place in time to be ready to depart thence again on the arrival of the mails from England.

That immediately on every arrival at Havana of the said mails from England, another of such steam-vessels as aforesaid, with the said mails, shall successively proceed from Havana to Matanzas, in the island of Cuba, from Matanzas to New York, calling at such intermediate ports on the American coast as shall at any time, or from time to time, be determined by the said commissioners, and notified to the said contractors by writing under the hand of the Secretary of the Admiralty; and such vessel shall afterwards proceed from New York to Halifax, in Nova Scotia, and shall thence return with the mails to New York, from New York to Matanzas, calling at such intermediate ports as shall be determined as last aforesaid, and from Matanzas to Havana, always arriving at the latter place in time to be ready to depart thence again with the mails by the same route on the arrival of the next mails due from England.

That at each of the places and ports at which any of the said vessels, whether steam or sailing-vessels, are or may be appointed to call or proceed, in the performance of this contract, and where no time is hereby specifically fixed for their stay, they shall remain so long only as shall be required for landing and embarking the mails, leaving the precise stay of the said vessels at such places to be determined by the said commissioners, after experience of the manner in which the said service can be performed, and with power to them also, when so determined, to alter the same from time to time, in such manner as in their judgment will afford the greatest accommodation to the different places and ports, consistently with insuring the due arrival and departure of the said several vessels, with the mails, at and from the ultimate places of their destination at the proper times; and the said company shall and will, at the expiration of three calendar months' notice in writing, under the hand of the Secretary of the Admiralty, alter, and from time to time vary, the periods of the stay of the said vessels at such respective places and ports, and the times of their arrival and departure, according to the directions which the said company may at any time, or from time to time, receive from the said commissioners as aforesaid.

That the said company, also, shall and will, at the expiration of three calendar months' notice in writing, under the hand of the Secretary of the Admiralty, alter, and from time to time vary, the route of all or any of the steam and sailing vessels employed in the performance of this contract, according to such direction as they shall so receive by such notice.

That if, at any time or times, owing to stress of weather, or any other unavoidable circumstance, any vessel employed in the performance of this contract shall not be able, in the opinion of the officer or person having charge of Her Majesty's said mails, to reach in due course any of the places to which she ought to proceed, the same officer or person may and shall

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