Message from the President of the United States, Communicating, (in Compliance with Resolutions of the Senate) Copies of the Correspondence Between the Government of the United States and that of Great Britain: On the Subject of the Right of Search; with Copies of the Protest of the American Minister at Paris Against the Quintuple Treaty, and the Correspondence Relating Thereto

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Ritchie & Heiss, 1846 - Presidents - 248 pages

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Page 205 - ... susceptible of misconstruction. American citizens prosecuting a lawful commerce in the African seas, under the flag of their country, are not responsible for the abuse or unlawful use of that flag by others ; nor can they rightfully, on account of any such alleged abuses, be interrupted, molested, or detained while on the ocean ; and if thus molested and detained while pursuing honest voyages in the usual way, and violating no law themselves, they are unquestionably entitled to indemnity.
Page 129 - ... there is no reason why they may not approach any vessel descried at sea, for the purpose of ascertaining their real characters. Such a right of approach seems indispensable for the fair and discreet exercise of their authority; and the use of it cannot be justly deemed indicative of any design to insult or injure those they approach, or to impede them in their lawful commerce. On the other hand, it is clear that no ship is, under such circumstances, bound to lie by, or wait the approach of any...
Page 127 - ... that if, in the exercise of this right, either from involuntary error, or in spite of every precaution, loss or injury should be sustained, a prompt reparation would be afforded...
Page 126 - The right asserted has in truth no resemblance to the right of search, either in principle or in practice. It is simply a right to satisfy the party, who has a legitimate interest in knowing the truth, that the vessel actually is what her colors announce.
Page 217 - Lord Ashburton did not come out with instructions from his government to endeavor to effect some arrangement upon this subject, the world has strangely misunderstood one of the great objects of his mission, and I have misunderstood that paragraph in your first note where you say that Lord Ashburton comes with full powers to negotiate and settle all matters in discussion between England and the United States.
Page 203 - All these statements, thus by you made, and which are so exceedingly erroneous, seem calculated to hold up the idea, that in this treaty your government has been acting a subordinate, or even a complying part. The President is not a little startled that you should make such totally groundless assumptions of fact, and then leave a discreditable inference to be drawn from them. He directs me not only to repel this inference as it ought to be repelled, but also to bring to your serious consideration...
Page 126 - American vessels in time of peace. The right of search, except when specially conceded by Treaty, is a purely belligerent right, and can have no existence on the high seas during peace. The Undersigned apprehends, however, that the right of search is not confined to the verification of the nationality of the vessel, but also extends to the object of the voyage, and the nature of the cargo.
Page 205 - ... ask for any thing, of England. The British pretension, whatever it was, or however extensive, was well known to the President at the date of his message to Congress, at the opening of the last session. And I must be allowed to remind you how the President treated this subject in that communication. " 'However desirous the United States may be...
Page 231 - It was regarded as the right of search presented only in a new form and expressed in different words, and I therefore felt it to be my duty distinctly to declare in my annual message to Congress that no such concession could be made, and that the United States had both the will and the ability to enforce their own laws and to protect...
Page 231 - We have kept one there for years ; during the whole term, indeed, of these efforts to put a stop to this most iniquitous commerce. The effect of the treaty is, therefore, to render it obligatory upon us, by a convention, to do what we have long done voluntarily ; to place our municipal laws, in some measure, beyond the reach of Congress.

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