James Monroe

Special Message

February 12, 1818

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I lay before the House of Representatives copies of two communications received at the Department of State from the minister of Great Britain, and submit to their consideration the propriety of making such legislative provisions as may be necessary for a compliance with the representations contained in them.

By the express terms of that compact it was, when ratified by the two Governments, to be in force for the term of four years from the day of its signature. The revocation of all the discriminating duties became, therefore, the obligation of both Governments from that day, and it is conceived that every individual who has been required to pay, and who has paid, any of the extra duties revoked by the convention has a just and lawful claim upon the respective Governments for its return. From various accidents it has happened that both here and in Great Britain the cessation of the extra duties has been fixed to commence at different times. It is desirable that Congress should pass an act providing for the return of all the extra duties incompatible with the terms of the convention which have been levied upon British vessels or merchandise after the 3d of July, 1815. The British Parliament have already set the example of fixing that day for the cessation of the extra duties of export by their act of 30th of June last, and the minister of the United States in London is instructed to require the extension of the same principle to all the extra duties levied on vessels and merchandise of the United States in the ports of Great Britain since that day. It is not doubted that the British Government will comply with this requisition, and that the act suggested may be passed by Congress with full confidence that the reciprocal measure will receive the sanction of the British Parliament.


James Monroe, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207764

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