Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress Page: 70
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APPENDIX—To Gales & Beaton's Eegister.
Congress, ( Commercial Relations between the V. States and the Netherlands. fH. of R.
2d Session. \ l
lri the Baron de Nagell's note mention is made of three
laws of the Netherlands, in relation to this subject, of
the 12th of June, and 12th of July, 1821, and of the 10th
of August, 1822 1 will thank you to send me copies of
all these acts in French, and also of the law of the 26th
of August, 1822, and of the new tariff.
I am, with great respect, sir,
Your very humble and obedient servant,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
Aim. H. Evuiftt, Esq.
Charge d'affaires, U. S. to the Netherlands.
Mr. Everett to Mr. Adams—No. 107.
Brussels, November 11, 1823.
Sir : Your despatches of the 8th and 9th of August,
which came under the same cover, were received on th«
first of November. Agreeably to your instructions, I
immediately addressed notes to the Karon de Nagell up-
on the subjects of both, copies of which are enclosed.
I have requested an early answer respecting the dis-
criminating duty; but there is very little chance of ob-
taining it in time for it to be known at Washington be-
fore the new law is passed.
The laws of July 12, 1821, and August 26, 1822, are
the only ones quoted by the Baron de Nagell in his note
of May 27. The appearance of a different date in one
of the passages, in which they are allude d to, arose from
an accidental error of the clerk in the original note,
which, it seems, was retained in the hurry of writing,
in my copies. The beginning of the fifth paragraph
should read, D'apres les loix du 12 Juillet, 1821, el 26
Jlout. dernier, instead of D'apres les loix du 12 Juin, 1821,
et 10 .lout dernier. The law of the 12th of July, and
the tariff of the 26th of August, were transmitted to the
Department about the time of their adoption, viz: the
former with my despatch, No. 80, and the latter with
my letter, marked "private No. 18." The general law
of the 26th of August was not sent with the tariff, not
being then in print. 1 have now the honor of sending
you copies of both, bound together in a volume. I have
made inquiry for the law of July 12, but have not yet
been able to procure it; and the copy I have on hand, is
bound up in a volume with several other documents,
which would be useless at the Department. As soon as
I can obtain a copy, 1 shall certainly transmit it to you.
In the mean time, if you should have occasion to consult
this law, you may, perhaps, find upon the files the copy
which was sent before. It is, however, a mere state-
ment of general principles, preliminary to the laws of
August 26, 1822, and contains no regulations whatever,
intended for immediate practical effect.
Yo"u will observe, that, beside the general drawback of
ten per cent, in favor of national vessels, there are dis-
criminations to a similar effect upon seve'al sepa-
rate articles. The principal of these are tea, coffee,
and sugar. The duty on teas is raised by the present
tariffj but the discrimination has existed since the year
1817, and does not appear to have been considered as
inconsistent with the equalizing system, probably be-
cause the article is not of the growth of the United Slates.
Thediscrimination in regard to coffee, established by
the general law, article 5, sec. 9, is new ; but being in
favor of the national colonial trade, is not, perhaps, a fair
subject of complaint. The additional duty on sugar, im-
ported in foreign vessels, is, however, a direct violation
of the equalizing system; as are, abo, those upon one
or two other articles of less importance, such as salt, mo-
lasses, and wood for building, which, with the three
mentioned above, are the only ones in which I have no
ticed any special discrimination.
A decree has lately been published, offering a bounty
of eight florins per ton, on all ships of above three hun-
dred tons burden, built within the country for three
years to come. This regulation, which is intended to
encourage the building of national ships, and not tli©
trade in such ships after ilie^ are built, is, of course, no
violation of the equalizing system. I have thought,
since this decree made its appearance, that a bounty of
this kind must have been intended by the Baron de Na-
gell in his note of May 27; as the distinction between
the effect of a bounty on transportation in national ships,
and a formal discrimination in ,the duties, seems to be
really too absurd to be taken in earnest by any man of
common sense. If the Baron meant by his prime <!'en-
couragement, a bounty on ship building, it is true, as he
says, that such a b -unty would form no subject of com-
plaint: but this fact does not strengthen his argument,
because, such a bounty has no analogy whatever to the
drawback on goods imported in national ships. I should,
perhaps, have introduced this idea in my note of the 5th,
but I had written and transmitted it before the decree
was in pi int.
I have the honor to be, wifh high respect, sir,
Your most obedient, and very humble servant,
A. H. EVERETT.
Hon. Johk Qcinci Adams,
Secretary of State.
JMr. Everett to Baron de Nagell.
Brussels, November 5, 1823.
Sib : I have the honor to inform your Excellency that
I have just received the instructions of my Government,
in regard to the subjects treated of in my note of the 7th
of last March. I am directed to communicate to you,
for the information of His Majesty, the President's views
respecting that affair.
My object in the note just mentioned, was to demon-
strate against certain parts of the new financial law,
vvhich appeared to me to infringe the system of impar-
tiality, that has formed for some time past the basis
of the commercial relations between the United States
and the Netherlands; and, I specified particularly, the
tenth article of the law of the 20th of August, 1822,
which establishes a drawback of ten per cent, of the
whole amount of duties in favor of goods imported in
Dutch vessels. Your Excellency did me the honor to
state in reply, in your note of the 27th of May, that these
distinctions were justifiable on the ground of their pa-
triotic design, vvhich was no other than to afford a suit-
able encouragement to the shipping of the country
You remarked, that a drawback iti favor of the citizen,
was not equivalent in principle, to a formal discrimina-
tion against foreigners, but rather to a bounty—a mea-
sure not inconsistent, in the view of His Majesty's Go-
vernment, with a systsm of perfect impartiality between
citizens and foreigners ; and you added in conclusion,
that, supposing the article in question to be really in-
consistent with such a system! the Government of the
United States would still possess no right to demand
their repeal, inasmuch as they had already, by their act
of March 3, 1819, revoked their own former laws in fa-
vor of the commerce of the Netherlands.
As your Excellency insisted a good deal upon this last
point, and expressed some surprise that I had not allud-
ed in my note to this act of 1819,1 thought it my duty
to inform you at the time, by my answer of May 31, that
the law in question was intended merely to determine
the period at which the subject should be taken up again
in Congress, and that the Government of the United
States had no design of abandoning the established sys-
tem. 1 added, that the distinction pointed out by your
Excellency between the different modes of favoring the
shipping of a country, did not appear to me to be strictly
just, and that, if foreigners really paid ten per cent, more
than subjects, it was of little importance to them, wheth-
er they did it in one form or another. Confining myself
to these remarks, I referred the matter to my Govern-
ment for decision, and transmitted to Washington the
correspondence that had passed.
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Gales, Joseph, 1761-1841. Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress, book, 1825; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30752/m1/446/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.