Ulysses S. Grant photo

Special Message

June 18, 1874

To the Senate of the United States:

The plenipotentiaries of Her Britannic Majesty at Washington have submitted to the Secretary of State, for my consideration, a draft of a treaty for the reciprocal regulation of the commerce and trade between the United States and Canada, with provisions for the enlargement of the Canadian canals and for their use by United States vessels on terms of equality with British vessels. I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with a copy of the draft thus proposed.

I am of the opinion that a proper treaty for such purposes would result beneficially for the United States. It would not only open or enlarge markets for our products, but it would increase the facilities of transportation from the grain-growing States of the West to the seaboard.

The proposed draft has many features to commend it to our favorable consideration; but whether it makes all the concessions which could justly be required of Great Britain, or whether it calls for more concessions from the United States than we should yield, I am not prepared to say.

Among its provisions are articles proposing to dispense with the arbitration respecting the fisheries, which was provided for by the treaty of Washington, in the event of the conclusion and ratification of a treaty and the passage of all the necessary legislation to enforce it.

These provisions, as well as other considerations, make it desirable that this subject should receive attention before the close of the present session. I therefore express an earnest wish that the Senate may be able to consider and determine before the adjournment of Congress whether it will give its constitutional concurrence to the conclusion of a treaty with Great Britain for the purposes already named, either in such form as is proposed by the British plenipotentiaries or in such other more acceptable form as the Senate may prefer.


Ulysses S. Grant, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203945

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives