Millard Fillmore photo

Special Message

February 03, 1853

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith to the Senate in a new draft the convention with the Swiss Confederation, originally negotiated at Berne and concluded in that city on the 25th of November, 1850. On the 7th of March, 1851, it was considered by the Senate of the United States, whose assent was given to it with certain amendments, as will appear from the Journal of the Senate of that day. The convention was sent back to Switzerland with these alterations, which were taken into consideration by the Government of that Confederation, whose action in the premises will be learned by a letter from its President of the 5th of July, 1852.

The modifications which the Government of the Swiss Confederation are desirous of introducing into the amendments made by the Senate of the United States and the articles affected by them are not inconsistent with the object and spirit of those amendments, and appear to me to proceed upon a reasonable principle of compromise.

I have thought it expedient, in submitting them to the Senate with a view to their advice and consent to the ratification of the treaty in its present form, to have the entire instrument taken into a continuous draft, as well the portions--by far the greater part--already assented to by the Senate as the modifications proposed by the Government of the Swiss Confederation in reference to these amendments. In preparing the new draft a few slight alterations have been made in the modifications proposed by the Swiss Government.

Should the convention receive the approbation of the Senate in its present form, it will be immediately transmitted to Switzerland for ratification by the Swiss Confederation.

The delays which have taken place in the negotiation of this treaty have been principally caused by the want of a resident diplomatic agent of the United States at Berne, and are among the reasons for which an appropriation for a charge' d'affaires to that Government has recently, by my direction, been recommended in a letter from the Department of State to the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.


Millard Fillmore, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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