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Special Message

December 10, 1844

To the Senate of the United States:

I submit copies of two private and confidential letters addressed by Mr. Fay, acting in his place during the absence of Mr. Wheaton from Berlin, from which it appears that should the Senate see cause to ratify the treaty with the States composing the Zollverein without reference to the fact that the time limited for the exchange of its ratification had expired the Germanic States would regard the time fixed for the exchange of ratifications as immaterial and would give by their action upon it vitality and force to the treaty. I submit it to your mature consideration whether, in view of the important benefits arising from the treaty to the trade and commerce of the United States and to their agriculture, it would not comport with sound policy to adopt that course.

The Executive, not regarding the action of the Senate upon the treaty as expressive of its decisive opinion, deemed it proper to reopen the negotiations so far as to obtain an extension of time for the interchange of ratifications. The negotiation failed, however, in this particular, out of no disinclination to abide by the terms of the treaty on the part of the Zollverein, but from a belief that it would not fully comport with its dignity to do so.


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

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