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the convention which was the avowed object of Mr. Jay's mission: they apply solely to the future intercourse of the two nations as relating to commerce and navigation; and had they been entirely omitted, our differences would have been nevertheless adjusted. It is agreed on all hands, that, so far as relates to our commerce with Great Britain, we want no treaty. The intercourse, although useful perhaps to both parties, is more immediately necessary to England, and her own interest is a sufficient pledge of her granting us at all times a perfect liberty of commerce to her European ports. If we want to treat with her, it must be in order to obtain some intercourse with her colonies, and some general security in our navigation.

The twelfth and thirteenth articles were obtained by our negociator with a view to the first object. The twelfth article, however, which relates to our intercourse with the West Indies, is found, upon examination, to be accompanied by a restriction of such nature, that what was granted by Great Britain as a favor, has been rejected by the senate as highly injurious. The thirteenth article, which relates to the East Indies, and remains a part of the treaty, is, like the twelfth, conferring a favor limited by restrictions, and so far as I can depend on the opinion of the best informed judges on this subject, these restrictions put the trade in a more disadvantageous situation than it was before the treaty. As the West India article declares, that we shall not re-export any produce of those islands to Europe, so the East India article, at the same time that it grants us the privilege, which we enjoyed before, and which we enjoyed because it was the interest of the East India company to grant it to us—that of being admitted into the British sea-ports thereprohibits our carrying any articles from thence to any place except to America ; which regulation amounts to a total prohibition to export East India articles to China, or to obtain freights back to Europe; and upon the whole, I cannot help thinking, from what has fallen

on this floor, and what I have heard elsewhere, from gentlemen of great commercial knowledge, that if the East India commerce had been as generally understood in America as the West India trade, that so much boasted of article would have met the same fate in the senate with the twelfth article.

But if, leaving commercial regulations, we shall seek in the treaty for some provisions securing to us the free navigation of the ocean against any future ag. gressions on our trade, where are they to be found? I can add nothing to what has been said on the subject of contraband articles : it is, indeed, self-evident, that, connecting our treaty with England on that subject with those we have made with other nations, it amounts to a positive compact to supply that nation, exclusively, with naval stores, whenever they may be at war.

Had the list of contraband articles been reduced-had nayal stores and provisions, our two great staple commodities, been declared not to be contraband, security would have been given to the free exportation of our produce; but instead of any provision being made on that head, an article of a most doubtful nature, and on which I will remark hereafter, has been introduced. But I mean, for the present, to confine my observations to the important question of free bottoms making free goods. "It was with the utmost astonishment that I heard the doctrine ad vanced on this floor, that such a provision, if admitted, would prove injurious to America, inasmuch as, in case of war between this country and any other nation, the goods of that nation might be protected by the English flag. It is not to a state of war that the benefits of this provision would extend; but it is the only security which neutral nations can have against the legal plundering on the high seas, so often committed by belligerent powers. It is not for the sake of protecting an enemy's property; it is not for the sake of securing an advantageous carrying trade; but it is in order effectually to secure ourselves against sea ag.

gressions, that this provision is necessary. Spoliations may arise from unjust orders, given by the government of a belligerent nation to their officers and cruizers, and these may be redressed by application to, and negociation with, that order. But no complaints, no negociations, no orders of government itself, can give redress, when those spoliations are grounded on a supposition, that the vessels of the neutral nation have an enemy's property on board, as long as such property is not protected by the flag of the neutral nation; as long as it is liable to be captured, it is not sufficient, in order to avoid detention and capture, to have no such property on board. Every privateer, under pretence that he suspects an enemy's goods to be part of a cargo, may search, vex and capture a vessel; and if in any corner of the dominions of the belligerent power, a single judge can be found inclined, if not determined, to condemn, at all events, before his tribunal; all vessels so captured will be brought there, and the same pretence which caused the capture will justify a condemnation. The only nation who persists in the support of this doctrine, as making part of the law of nations, is the first maritime power of Europe, whom their interest, as they are the strongest, and as there is hardly a maritime war in which they are not involved, leads to wish for a continuation of a custom, which gives additional strength to their overbearing dominion over the seas. All the other nations have different sentiments and a different interest. During the American war, in the year 1780, so fully convinced were the neutral nations, of the necessity of introducing that doctrine of free bottoms making free goods, that all of them, excepting Portugal, who was in a state of vassallage to, and a mere appendage of Great Britain, united in order to establish the principle, and formed for that purpose the alliance known by the name of the armed neutrality. All the belligerent powers, except England, recognized and agreed to the doctrine. England itself, was

obliged, in some measure, to give for a while, a tacit acquiescence. America, at the time, fully admitted the principle, although then at war. (Mr. Gallatin quoted, on this subject, the journals of Congress of the year 1780, page 210, and of the year 1781, page 80,) It has been introduced into every other treaty we have concluded since our existence as a nation. Since the year 1780, every nation, so far as my knowledge goes, has refused to enter into a treaty of commerce with England, unless that provision was inserted. Russia, for that reason, would not renew their treaty, which had expired in 1786; although I believe, that during the present war, and in order to answer the ends of the war, they formed a temporary convention, which I have not seen, but which, perhaps, does not include that provision. England consented to it, in her treaty with France, in 1788, and we are the first neutral nation who has abandoned the common cause, given up the claim, and by a positive declaration, inserted in our treaty, recognized the contrary doctrine. It has been said, that under the present circumstances, it could not be expected that Great Britain would give up the point; perhaps so; but the objection is not, that our negociator has not been able to obtain that principle, but that he has consented to enter into a treaty of commerce, (which we do not want, and which has no connexion with an adjustment of our differences with Great Britain,) without the principle contended for, making part of that treaty. Unless we can obtain security for our navigation, we want no treaty; and the only provision which can give us that security, should have been the sine qua non of a treaty. On the contrary, we have disgusted all the other neutral nations of Europe, without whose concert and assistance there is but little hope that we shall ever obtain that point; and we have taught Great Britain, that we are disposed to form the most intimate connexions with her, even at the expense of recognizing a principle the most fatal to the liberty of commerce, and to the security of our navigation.

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But, if we could not obtain any thing which might secure us against future aggressions, should we have parted, without receiving any equivalent," with those weapons of self-defence, which, although they could not repel, might, in some degree, prevent any gross attacks upon our trade—any gross violation of our rights as a neutral nation? We have no fleet to oppose or to punish the insults of Great Britain; but, from our commercial relative situation, we have it in our power to restrain her aggressions, by restrictions on her trade, by a total prohibition of her manufactures, or by a sequestration of the debts due to her. By the treaty, not satisfied with receiving nothing, not satisfied with obtaining no security for the future, we have, of our own accord, surrendered those defensive arms, for fear they might be abused by ourselves. We have given up the two first, for the whole time during which we might want them most, the period of the present war; and the last, the power of sequestration, we have abandoned forever: every other article of the treaty of commerce is temporary; this perpetual.

I shall not enter into a discussion of the immorality of sequestering private property. What can be more immoral than war; or plundering on the high seas, legalized under the name of privateering? Yet selfdefence justifies the first, and the necessity of the case may, at least, in some instances, and where it is the only practicable mode of warfare left to a nation, apologize even for the last. In the same manner, the power of sequestration may be resorted to, as the last weapon of self-defence, rather than to seek redress by an appeal to arms. It is the last peace measure that can be taken by a nation; but the treaty, by declaring, that in case of national differences it shall not be resorted to, has deprived us of the power of judging of its propriety, has rendered it an act of hostility, and has effectually taken off that restraint, which a fear of its exercise laid upon Great Britain.

Thus it appears, that, by the treaty, we have promis,

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