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procity. It is believed to be the first example of a government's being called upon by a foreign minister to mark the precise point to which the smugglers of his nation may venture, without danger of being molested. . . .1
TO RICHARD PETERS
WASHINGTON, 2 April, 1821.
I have received a second letter from the poor man whom I mentioned to you here, and in whose favor you were kind enough to promise to take an interest. His name is Dupré, and he claims my good offices on the score of having thirtyfive years ago purchased for me a foundered horse at New York. I have a distinct recollection of the horse and of the man, though I have never seen him since the time to which he refers, and his name had escaped my memory. He was then the La Fleur of Mr. Le Ray de Chaumont, with whom I travelled from New York to Boston. He is now in the almshouse at Philadelphia owing, as he says, to cramps and rheumatisms which have disabled him from acquiring subsistence by his own industry. His complaint is that by some new rule of discipline at the house he is restricted in the privilege of walking out which he enjoyed until lately, and that it debars him of exercise essential to his health.
I have so kindly a recollection of the man and of his services to me, both in the affair of the horse and upon the journey, that it would gratify me to be able to render him the service which he now requires of me. He is a Frenchman,
1 Gallatin addressed a note to Baron Pasquier on the case of the Apollon, which is in Adams, Writings of Gallatin, II. 187. In a letter to Adams, July 2 (Ib., 194), he raises some question on the argument advanced by the United States.
and of course delights in glory. He assigns this in his second letter as one of his reasons for applying to me, promising himself much glory by obtaining the mdulgence for which he pleads from the interposition of the Secretary of State. I would willingly petition the managers of the almshouse in his favor, but as they might justly entertain different ideas from those of poor Dupré with regard to the interference of a Secretary of State in their concerns, I ayail myself of your obliging offer to solicit in his behalf the permission of walking out at his own discretion, so far as it may.be consistent with the necessary order of the house.
I am, etc.
MEMORANDUM SENT TO HYDE DE NEUVILLE 1
DEPARTMENT of State, WASHINGTON, 26 April, 1821.
In the commercial regulations established merely by law, the basis upon which every nation proceeds is its own interest, without reference to that of other nations. But commerce being an interchange of commodities, in the disposal of which both parties are interested, it is just in itself, and conformable to the practice of nations, that the regulation of it should be by arrangements to which both parties consent, and in which due regard is paid to the interests of both. The first principle, therefore, of all negotiation upon such
1 The French minister, dissatisfied by the reply to his representations made on returning to the United States, sent a confidential letter to the Secretary, dated April 4, "written in a spirit requiring such an answer as would lead to the immediate rupture of the negotiation." The resulting correspondence, dealing with the case of the Apollon, a commercial treaty, and other special subjects, is printed in the American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V. 166. See Adams, Memoirs, April 6-24, 1821.
interests is reciprocity; and wherever a collision of interests. exists, it is apparent that they can be conciliated only by reciprocal concession
In the subject upon which a collision of interest between the United States and France has arisen, the two parties have heretofore enacted respectively, each with exclusive reference to its own interest, certain regulations securing, so far as its power extended, certain advantages to its own shipping, by certain special charges within its jurisdiction, direct or indirect, upon the shipping of the other; the result of which counteracting legislation on both sides has been, in a great measure, the exclusion of the shipping of both parties. from the carriage of the commerce between them.
This result is injurious to the interests of both parties; and the effort now made by both is to agree upon some arrangement by which the conflicting interests of both parties may be conciliated. It is further to be observed that no concession, the effect of which would be to sacrifice the interest of either party more, or as much as it is sacrificed by the existing state of things, could either be durable or satisfactory by both parties.
The difference between the parties having originated altogether from the surcharges upon shipping, the natural and obvious principle of reciprocity applicable to the case would be that of repealing all discriminating duties and surcharges on both sides; and this is what has been repeatedly offered and urged on the part of the United States.
It is represented on the part of France, that this principle is inadmissible; but for this refusal no reason has been assigned. No objection on the ground of natural justice or general policy has been, or it is believed can be alleged. It has been assumed without proof that the effect of it would be to throw the whole commerce into the channel of Amer
ican shipping, although it is notorious that all the outfits of navigation and the wages of seamen are much cheaper in France than in the United States.
Whatever disadvantages French navigation may labor under in competition with that of the United States are believed to be within the control of France to remove. Nevertheless, the opinion of the French government of the subject being stated by the Baron de Neuville to be irrevocably fixed, the President has been willing to meet any supposed disadvantage to France in such an arrangement, by advantages thought to be fully equivalent for them to the agriculture, commerce and manufactures of France. In the minutes of a projet first presented by the Baron de Neuville, the President welcomed what he thought countenanced the hope of such a compromise. The Baron suggested special accommodations to the principal exports from France to the United States, and other benefits to French interests, all which were assented to by the President to the extent proposed by the Baron himself. In return for these concessions he had reason to expect some concession on the part of France [which he certainly could not perceive in a proposal to reduce indefinitely, or even to the extent of the surcharges direct and indirect, upon the shipping on both sides] in which, however, he has yet been disappointed.1 He thought that with such great advantages granted to the commerce and manufactures of France, the least that could be required in return was that reciprocity which should discard all discriminating duties upon the mere carriage of the trade.
In the second project received from the Baron de Neuville, he proposes to set aside all questions of commercial advan
'The words in brackets were omitted on the suggestion of Monroe and the following clause substituted for them.
tage, as merely secondary objects, and to take that of the shipping interests alone. He proposes a reduction of the discriminating duties on both sides, on the basis of calculations which may be adapted to secure a share of the carriage of the trade to each party. To the admission of this principle the government of the United States have constantly objected upon the most substantial and cogent reasons. The President is yet not aware of any form in which it can satisfactorily be admitted. Nevertheless, in the earnestness of his desire to [accommodate the interests of France, even in the mode which she deems the most satisfactory to herself, he has determined to listen to such specific proposals as the Baron de Neuville may be authorized to make in this respect, and he is accordingly requested to specify what amount of reduction in the duties he would propose as likely to equalize the interests and to satisfy the reasonable expectations of both countries].1 To abridge the negotiation, perhaps it may be most convenient that the Baron de Neuville should present his proposal in the form of an article for a convention.2
1 The words within brackets were omitted on the suggestion of Monroe, who inserted: "to terminate the commercial conflict between the two countries, he will receive and consider with the utmost attention any specific proposals which the Baron de Neuville may be authorized to make for the accomplishment of this desirable object."
"The draft is approved in its general view and details, with the two modifications above suggested, which are stated for consideration, on the idea that it may be advisable to generalize what we are willing to receive from him, rather than so far to countenance his plan of reduction, as we might do, by specifying it. The more general, that is, the wider we open the door for him to make proposals, the greater the compliment; and the less shall we be compromitted as to the result." Monroe to Adams, April 25, 1821. Ms. The correspondence with the French minister on commercial questions is not reproduced in this volume. It will be found in the American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V. 149–213.