James Monroe

Special Message

March 19, 1818

To t h e Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

In the course of the last summer a negotiation was commenced with the Government of the Netherlands with a view to the revival and modification of the commercial treaty existing between the two countries, adapted to their present circumstances.

The report from the Secretary of State which I now lay before Congress will show the obstacles which arose in the progress of. the conferences between the respective plenipotentiaries, and which resulted in the agreement between them then to refer the subject to the consideration of their respective Governments. As the difficulties appear to be of a nature which may, perhaps, for the present be more easily removed by reciprocal legislative regulations, formed in the spirit of amity and conciliation, than by conventional stipulations, Congress may think it advisable to leave the subsisting treaty in its present state, and to meet the liberal exemption from discriminating tonnage duties which has been conceded in the Netherlands to the vessels of the United States by a similar exemption to the vessels of the Netherlands which have arrived, or may here-after arrive, in our ports, commencing from the time when the exemption was granted to the vessels of the United States. I would further recommend to the consideration of Congress the expediency of extending the benefit of the same regulation, to commence from the passage of the law, to the vessels of Russia, Hamburg, and Bremen, and of making it prospectively general in favor of every nation in whose ports the vessels of the United States are admitted on the same footing as their own.


James Monroe, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206944

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