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Special Message

May 13, 1872

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith the correspondence which has recently taken place respecting the differences of opinion which have arisen between this Government and that of Great Britain with regard to the powers of the tribunal of arbitration created under the treaty signed at Washington May 8, 1871.

I respectfully invite the attention of the Senate to the proposed article submitted by the British Government with the object of removing the differences which seem to threaten the prosecution of the arbitration, and request an expression by the Senate of their disposition in regard to advising and consenting to the formal adoption of an article such as is proposed by the British Government.

The Senate is aware that the consultation with that body in advance of entering into agreements with foreign states has many precedents. In the early days of the Republic General Washington repeatedly asked their advice upon pending questions with such powers. The most important recent precedent is that of the Oregon boundary treaty, in 1846.

The importance of the results hanging upon the present state of the treaty with Great Britain leads me to follow these former precedents and to desire the counsel of the Senate in advance of agreeing to the proposal of Great Britain.


Ulysses S. Grant, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/204711

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