agreed that those on tonnage or vessels should be altogether abolished, with an understanding on one hand that this provision should not affect the intercourse with the colonies that might not be included in the treaty, and, on the other hand, that the agreement was conditional on the part of the Dutch commissioners; as, in case we could not agree on the repeal of discriminating duties on merchandise, it suited better the commercial policy of this country to countervail our additional duty on merchandise imported in foreign vessels by a tonnage duty than in


other manner. Their proposal was that no discriminating duties should be laid in either country on any species of merchandise imported directly from the other country in vessels of that country. From the moment we saw that the colonies would not be included in the arrangement, we insisted that the stipulation should embrace only the products and manufactures of both countries. The reasons urged on both sides will be found in the official note of the Dutch commissioners of the 13th September and in our reply of the 18th. Although their proposal was inadmissible to its full extent, there is considerable force in the argument drawn from the geographical situation of the Netherlands, so far as it applies to that part of Germany and Switzerland of which Holland and Antwerp may be considered as the natural seaports. And Congress seems to have countenanced the distinction by the expressions used in the 1st Section of the Act of March 1, 1817. We would have been disposed to listen to the proposal if it had been thus limited, and in case we could have obtained the admission of American vessels in the Dutch East Indies on acceptable terms. But although we stated explicitly the effect which such stipulation, if extended to the products and manufactures of France, England, and other maritime powers, would have on our commercial relations with them, we could not induce the King's commissioners to restrict their proposal. They always repeated that restrictions as to the origin of merchandise were inadmissible, because they could not be executed.

Seeing that there was no prospect of concluding an arrangement on any of the points on which we were instructed, we did not think it eligible to sign a treaty merely extending that of 1782 to Belgium and Louisiana, as that was not a subject contemplated by our instructions, and as it would besides have been embarrassed by the proposed declaration. In order to terminate the negotiations in the most friendly manner, we proposed, and it was agreed, that they should remain suspended for the present, and that the whole subject should be referred to the two governments.

If we could venture an opinion on the arrangements which might hereafter be made with this country, we would say that it is not probable that we can be admitted in the East Indies on a better footing than the most favored nations; and that with respect to the repeal of discriminating duties, this government will at least insist that that repeal should apply to the manufactures not only of the Netherlands, but also of Germany and Switzerland.

We must not omit to state that during the conferences the Dutch commissioners repeatedly complained of our continuing those discriminating duties, whilst they had repealed theirs. They said that having repealed an ancient additional duty on articles imported generally from America, and known under the name of recognition, their ministers at Washington had in vain applied for a repeal of our additional duties, although their demand was founded both on the Act of Congress of 3d March, 1815, and on their claim, derived from the treaty of 1782, to be placed on the same footing with the English ; and that the King having directed that the extra tonnage duty laid on foreign vessels by a law of October, 1816, should not be required from American vessels, we had not in the United States adopted a similar measure towards the vessels of the Netherlands. To this last observation we replied that there had not been yet time to hear from America on the subject, and that our government had doubtless expected that it would be definitely arranged in the course of our negotiations. We were not acquainted with the former applications said to have been made by their ministers; and we only observed that for the execution of an Act of Congress our Executive was responsible to his country, and not to any foreign nation ; that if they claimed under the convention with Great Britain they must grant the same privileges

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which she had allowed, one of which was the admission in the East India possessions, defined in such manner as not to render it altogether nominal.

It must be, however, admitted that the fact which they alleged of the repeal of the tonnage duty on their part is true; and we regretted that it was not in our power to state that this measure had been met by a corresponding repeal on the part of our government. We submit it to the consideration of the President whether our discriminating duties ought not, under existing circumstances, to be repealed with respect to vessels of the Netherlands, and whether that repeal should not have a retrospective effect to the time when the extra tonnage duty ceased to be required here from American vessels. Independent of other reasons, the mutual repeal is at this time clearly in our favor, since the number of American vessels which enter the ports of the Netherlands is much greater than that of Dutch vessels which enter the ports of the United States. Although the King's commissioners refused to accede to a treaty stipulation which should limit the repeal of discriminating duties to the products and manufactures of both countries, it is probable that such a repeal, together with that of the tonnage duty, being conformable to the Act of Congress and to our convention with Great Britain, would at present satisfy this government, and prevent their again imposing their extra tonnage duties on American vessels. But from the repeated declaration of the commissioners in the course of the negotiations, we do not believe, whatever might have been previously the case, that the repeal of our tonnage duties alone would now be thought sufficient.

For further details we beg leave to refer to the enclosed copies of the protocols of conferences and of the correspondence between the King's commissioners and ourselves.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servants.


Paris, 8th October, 1817. SIR,—In conformity with my letter of 10th July last, I left this place for the Netherlands on the 19th of July. On my arrival at Bruxelles I found that the King had determined that the negotiations should be carried on at the Hague. Had this decision been made sooner, I would have postponed my journey till the month of October, at which time only the Court and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were to remove from Bruxelles to the Hague. We concluded that the object of our mission would be promoted by holding previous conferences with Baron de Nagel, as a free communication of what we had in view would enable him to give sufficient instructions to the negotiators. These interviews, together with the usual presentations, detained us several weeks at Bruxelles. We afterwards proceeded to the Hague, and closed our conferences on the 20th of September. On the 22d, our despatches having been completed on that day, I left the Hague, and arrived here the 29th, in the evening.


Paris, 9th October, 1817. DEAR SIR,—The long letter of Messrs. Goldberg and Vanderkemp of 30th September last would not seem, viewing its date, manner, or contents, to require any direct answer. But I agree with you that in order to prevent or correct erroneous impressions it is necessary that you should take notice of it in letter or conversation with Baron de Nagel. Almost every point had been discussed or explained in the conferences, and as what was said on the occasion, being in French, must be more within my recollection than yours, I will repeat in substance the explanations which were thus given.

On the subject of their complaints that our government had not repealed the discriminating duties when they had been repealed in the Netherlands, we observed that the nature of the application, said to have been made in 1815 by Mr. Ten Cate after the old recognition duty of Holland had been repealed, was unknown to us, but that we presumed that he had not been able to assure our government that all extra duties, general or local, were thus repealed in the Netherlands, and that with respect to the administrative measure by which American vessels were exempted from the extra tonnage duty laid by the law of October, 1816, as that fact could not have been known at Washington till after our appointment to treat on that very subject, our government must have necessarily waited for the result of the negotiations before they would act upon it. In reply to the remark that the Act of Congress of March, 1815, had not, in that instance, been carried into effect, it was observed that for the execution of the laws of the United States the President was answerable to his country, and not to any foreign nation; to which observation the Dutch plenipotentiaries acceded. When they alluded to our convention with Great Britain and to their right of being placed on the footing of the most favored nations, we stated that Holland in order to be entitled to the same privileges with Great Britain must give the same advantages, one of which was the admission in the East India possessions without equivalent. The two last observations were made only to repel the demand of the repeal of discriminating duties as a matter of right, and were accompanied by explicit declarations of the disposition of our government, either by treaty or otherwise, to treat Dutch vessels in the United States as favorably as American vessels were treated in the Netherlands.

The complaint that we had not extended the provisions of the treaty of 1782 to Louisiana is the more extraordinary, as not only had the proposal to make this one of the conditions of the new treaty come from ourselves, but we had with perfect candor explicitly stated to Messrs. Goldberg and Vanderkemp that, in point of fact, the Dutch vessels had, from the time when we had acquired Louisiana, been treated there as favorably as in any other part of the United States, and that, on account of our institutions, this would continue to be the case even if there was no new treaty.

We told them at the same time that we knew

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