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as a basis has undergone important modifications ; in fine, it has introduced such ameliorations that it has acquired, as the means of international communication, a value and authority to which no other code of maritime signals can pretend.
This revised code has been published simultaneously in Paris and London.
The governments of the two countries have ordered its use on board their ships of war, and have employed all means in their power to facilitate its adoption, as well on board merchant vessels as at signal stations.
The governments of France and of Great Britain desiring, moreover, to induce all the maritime powers to participate in the advantages of a uniform system, his excellency, the minister of foreign affairs of France, has charged me to transmit to the government of the United States a copy of the French signal-book. I have the honor to send it to you herewith, Mr. Secretary of State, and in requesting permission to call your serious attention to a subject of such high importance to the maritime interests of all nations, I will add that for the purpose of assuring to all states the benefits of the new system of signals, and to sustain its essentially international character, the governments of France and Great Britain have agreed mutually to adopt, and to recommend to the adoption by other governments who shall give adhesion thereto, the following regulations :
1st. Each government giving its adhesion will engage to make this code pub. lic; will exercise over the work of publication such control as to secure the certainty that the signals and their significations are exactly the same as those of the French and English editions; will interdict the publication of any edition which shall not have been recognized by the competent administration as perfectly exact and in conformity with the French and English text.
2d. Each government will prepare and publish an official list of the vessels of war and merchant ships of its nation, and will apply to each of them one of the signals expressly reserved in the code as distinctive signals of the names of the vessels. It will, besides, be desirable to adopt the form of these lists to such as has been decided upon by France and Great Britain.
In closing this communication, I will only add that I will thank your excellency to be so good as to let me know the manner in which the American government looks upon this question, and whether the United States are disposed to adhere to the new commercial code of signals adopted by France and Great Britain. Accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurances of my high consideration
MONTHOLON, Hon. William H. SewARD, 8c., fr., fr.
The Marquis de Montholon to Mr. Seward.
Washington, October 3, 1866. Sir: I have the honor to address herewith to your excellency the text of a new law adopted the 14th of July last by the French legislative body about the rights of heirs and of those having claim on authors, composers, or artists.
As your excellency will observe, this new legislation, which extends to fifty years after the decease of the author the rights of his heirs, admits to the benefit of its previous foreign writers and artists to the extent determined by treaties about literary and artistic property. Accept, sir, the assurance of my very high consideration.
MONTHOLON. Hon. William H. SEWARD, SC., c., fr.
[Translation. ] No. 14,407.— The rights of heirs and those having claims on authors, July 14, 1866. Napoleon, by the grace of God and the will of the nation Emperor of the French, to all present and to come, greeting: We have sanctioned and do sanction, promulgated and do promulgate, as follows:
Extract from the minutes of the legislative body.
ARTICLE I. The duration of the rights granted by anterior laws to the heirs, irregular suco cessors, grantees or legatees of authors, composers or artists, is extended to fifty years, dating from the decease of the author.
During this period of fifty years the surviving husband or wife, whatever may be the matrimonial arrangement, and independently of rights which may result in favor of this survivor from the regulations of the community, has sole enjoyment of the rights which the deceased author has not disposed of by contract between parties in being, or by will. However, if the author leave heirs in reserve, that enjoyment is limited for the benefit of such heirs, according to the propertions and distinctions established by Articles 913 and 915 of the Code Napoleon.
This enjoyment does not take place where there exists, at the moment of death, a separation of persons pronounced against this surviving party; it ceases in the case where the sur'vivor contracts a new marriage.
The rights of heirs in remainder, (reserve,) or of other heirs or successors, during this period of tifty years, remains, moreover, regulated in conformity with the prescriptions of the Code Napoleon.
When the succession devolves to the state, the exclusive right is extinguished, without prejudice to the rights of creditors and the execution of agreements of cession which may have been consented to by the author or his representatives.
ART. 2. All the provisions of anterior laws contrary to those of the new law are and remain abrogated. Passed upon in open session at Paris June 27, 1866.
The President, WALEWSKI. Secretaries : SEVOVIN ABBATUERI,
COUNT W. DE LA VALETTE,
Extract from the minutes of the Senate. The senate does not oppose the promulgation of the law relative to the rights of heirs, irregular successors, grantees or legatees of authors, composers, or artists. Passed upon and voted in session at the palace of the Senate July 6, 1866.
The President, TROPLENY. The secretaries: FERDINAND BARROT,
COUNT BOULAY (DE LA MEURTHE,)
General, BARON CHARON. Examined and sealed with the seal of the senate.
The Senator and Secretary, FERDINAND BARROT. We command and order that these presents, clothed with the seal of state and inserted in the bulletin of the laws, be addressed to the courts, the tribunals, and administrative author. ities, that they be inscribed on their records, and observed and caused to be observed; and our minister of state for the department of justice and religion is charged to supervise the publication thereof.
Done at the palace of the Tuileries the 14th July, 1866.
The Marquis de Montholon to Mr. Seward.
Washington, October 13, 1866. Mr. SECRETARY: I have the honor to transmit herewith to your excellency, by instructions from the government of the Emperor, a copy of the law of the merchant service, published in France on the 16th of May, 1866.
By the terms of that act, after the 1st of January, 1867, all foreign vessels chali
pay no tonnage dues in France, and after the 19th of May, 1869, all differential tax on flags, when covering produce from its native country, shall be definitely abolished.
These regulations will have the effect of placing the United States on a perfect equality in the ports of the empire with the French marine.
I will not dwell upon the mutual advantages this new regulation will give to the commercial relations of the two countries, and I do not hesitate to believe that this single consideration will be sufficient to induce the government of the United States to grant French ships in America the same privileges that American ships will have in France.
I must, however, observe that the power reserved to the government of the Emperor by article six of the law of the 19th May, to continue the tonnage duty and differential flag tax on vessels belonging to countries where our vessels are not treated as their own, will make it an interest to the United States to take similar measures to those whose principles are inculcated in the new law.
While American vessels are still subject to common duties in our ports, if they continued the same dues and taxes, they would hereafter labor under a signal disadvantage.
For these reasons the French minister of foreign affairs, in charging me to notify your excellency officially of the text of the law of the 19th May, 1866, is sure the American government will imitate the liberal measures taken in this respect by the government of the Emperor, and grant all French ships, as the principles and precedents of American legislation allow, the benefit of a perfect equalization of flags, as soon as ships of the United States shall enjoy the benefits of the new law in our ports.
I will be obliged to your excellency to let me know, as soon as possible, if the government of the United States is disposed to accord the benefit of reciprocity to the French flag in the ports of the United States. Accept, Mr. Secretary, the assurances of my high consideration.
MONTHOLON. Hon. William H. SEWARD, 8c., St., 8.
[Translation. ] Law relating to the merchant marine, May 19, 1866. ARTICLE I. All articles, raw or manufactured, fire engines, and pieces of machinery en. tering into the construction, rigging, armament, and equipment of sea-going vessels intended for cominerce, wooden or iron, for sailing or steam power, shall be admitted free of duty, under liability to prove within the period of one year the application of said articles to the purposes above provided for.
Imperial decrees will determine the proofs and conditions to which this immunity shall be made subordinate.
Every infraction of the provisions of these decrees will make room for the payment of the duties for which the articles above mentioned are or shall be liable, and will, moreover, be punishable by fine equal to three times the amount of the duties.
ART. 2. The bounty granted by articles 1 and 2 of the law of May 6, 1841, to fire engines of French fabric to be placed on board national ships intended for international mari. time navigation, is, and remains, suppressed.
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However, the said bounty shall continue to be paid on equipage the deposit whereof in the building yards previously to the promulgation of this present law shall be duly proven.
Art. 3. Six months after the promulgation of this present law sea-going vessels, sailers or steamers, rigged and equipped, shall be admitted to the frauchise upon the payment of a duty of two francs on the ton of measurement. The same duty shall be applicable to hulls of vessels of wood or iron.
ART. 4. The tonnage duties levied on foreign vessels entering the ports of the empire shall be suppressed at and from January 1, 1867. The tonnage duties actually collected, as well on French as on foreign vessels, and applied as guarantee for the payment of loans contracted for works of improvement in French seaports, are maintained.
Imperial decrees, made in the form of regulations for general administration, may, in view of contributing to expenses of the same kind, establish a tonnage duty which shåll pot exceed two francs and fifty centimes per ton, decimal included, and which shall bear alike on French and foreign vessels.
ART. 5. Three years after the promulgation of this law the differential duties on the flag, now applicable on products imported from the countries of production otherwise than in French vessels, shall be suppressed.
ART. 6. In case the French flag should be, in any foreign country, subjected, to the profit of the government, of cities, of corporations, directly or indirectly, for the navigation, import, ation, or exportation of merchandise, to any duties or.charges from which vessels of said country would be exempt, imperial decrees may impose on vessels of the said nation entering the ports of the empire, of a colony, or of a French possession, and on the merchandise they may have on board, such duties or surcharges as should be judged necessary to compensate the disadvantages which would fall upon the French flag.
ART. 7. The preceding provisions are applicable to the colonies of Martinique, of Guadeloupe, and of Reunion.
Special provisions for Algeria.
ART. 9. Navigation between France and Algeria, and between Algeria and foreign ports, may be carried on under all flags.
'i he coasting trade from port to port of this French possession may, under an authorization from the governor general of Algeria, be carried on by foreign vessels.
ART. 10. The surcharges in navigation established in Algeria on merchandise imported in foreign vessels are suppressed.
The reduction of duties granted by article 9, paragraph 2, of the ordinance of December 16, 1853, on certain merchandise taken from French entrepots and exported to Algeria in French vessels, are also suppressed.
ART 11. The prohibition placed upon refined sugars imported from foreign places to Algeria is removed. Said refined sugars shall pay, besides the duty on raw sugar, a surcharge of five francs per hundred kilograms.
ART. 12. The laws, decrees, and ordinances which would be contrary to the provisions of this present law are and remain abrogated.
Done at the palace of the Tuileries, May 19, 1866.
The Marquis de Montholon to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, October 15, 1866. Mr. SECRETARY: I have the honor to inform your excellency that the goveinment of the Emperor, in a decree of the 30th of June last, decided to abolish the tax on passports and the visa of passports in favor of French subjects, and secures the same immunity to citizens of those foreign powers that will reciprocate with us.
I therefore beg your excellency to let me know if the American government is disposed to instruct its representatives in France to grant passports and indorse them free of charge; in which case oirizens of the United States shall immediately have the immunity prescribed by the decree of the 30th of June in all French affairs.
Accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurances of my most high consideration.
MONTHOLON. Hon. William H. SEWARD, fc., 8c., $c.
[Communicated by the French legation.— Translation.]
Paris, October 16, 1866. Mr. LE MARQUIS: The correspondence of my predecessor has sufficiently initiated you in the views of the Emperor in regard to Mexico. I think it advisable, nevertheless, on writing to you for the first time, to lay down the situation exactly, and not leave you in any doubt in regard to our resolutions.
Already, for some time, the cabinet of Washington has been informed, and officially from the month of April, that his Majesty has fixed the close of the year 1867 as the extreme term of our military occupation of Mexico.
This term will not be exceeded; on the contrary, our desire is to hasten it as much as possible. The government of the Emperor, as was its right and its duty, and as my predecessor wrote to you the 7th of June last, reserved the taking of all indispensable precautions, in order not in any way to compromise the health and security of our army.
There is for us in this an interest of the bighest order, which cannot cede precedence to any other. But the news received from Mexico within these last days presents a state of things which must awake our solicitude. Armed resistances are increasing; the dissidents show themselves in force at divers points in the Mexican territory, and at any moment the mode of successive evacuations, originally adopted by us, might place our soldiers in a position of difficulty if we should thus leave them in small force and isolated at so great a distance from Europe.
Justly impressed by this eventuality, the Emperor has sent to Mexico his aide-de-camp, General de Castelnau, to have explanations thereon with the Emperor Maximilian, and make known to us his intentions, while fully and definitively enlightening him as to ours.
Mr. de Castelnau has for his mission to make it well understood that the limit of our sacrifices is reached, and that if the Emperor Maximilian, thinking to find in the country itself a point of sufficient support, may wish to endeavor to maintain himself there, he cannot for the future count on any succor on the part of France.
But it may happen that, deeming it impossible to triumph through his own resources over the difficulties which surround him, this sovereign may determine to abdicate. We will do nothing to dissuade him from this, and we think that on this hypothesis there would be ground to proceed, by way of election, in the establishment of a new government.
You see, marquis, that under these conditions it is at present quite likely that our expeditionary corps may return entire to France by the spring of next year. This probability seems to us to be destined to be received in the United States with real satisfaction. To suppose the contrary would be to admit that the Mexican question furnished the parties with the means of an easy popularity which they would with regret see escape, We have too much confidence in the good sense of the American people, and in the old feelings of friendship and regard for France, not to be beforehand convinced that suspicions without foundation, or inadmissible exigencies, will not occur to change between the