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Special Message

June 29, 1840

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I transmit the inclosed report of the Secretary of War, with accompanying documents, furnishing all the information the Department has been able to obtain in relation to any violation of or desire on the part of Great Britain to annul the agreement entered into between that Government and the United States in the month of April, 1817, relative to the naval force to be maintained upon the American lakes, called for by a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 9th March last.



President of the Senate.

Sir: I transmit herewith to the Senate a statement from the Secretary of the Navy of the transfers which have been made since the commencement of the present year from different appropriations for the naval service to other appropriations for the same service, which had become necessary for the public interests.

The law under which these transfers were made conveys no authority for refunding the different amounts which may be transferred. On the contrary, so soon as the appropriations for the year shall pass and the means be furnished for refunding these sums the repayments would be prohibited by the law of 3d March, 1809, in relation to general transfers.

Some authority to refund the amounts which may be transferred under the law of 30th of June, 1834, seems so obviously indispensable to any beneficial exercise of the power which it grants that its omission may be presumed to have been accidental.

The subject is respectfully referred to the consideration of Congress for such action as they may deem proper to accomplish the restoration of these transfers, and thus confirm the original appropriations as they are established by Congress, instead of leaving their expenditure discretionary with the Executive.


JULY 2, 1840.

(The same message was addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.)

Martin van Buren, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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