Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

an adjustment of this question will be productive of the permanent establishment of law and order in Samoa upon the basis of the maintenance of the rights and interests of the natives as well as of the treaty powers.

'The questions which have arisen during the past few years between Great Britain and the United States are in abeyance or in course of amicable adjustment.

On the part of the Government of the Dominion of Canada an effort has been apparent during the season just ended to administer the laws and regulations applicable to the fisheries with as little occasion for friction as was possible, and the temperate representations of this Government in respect of cases of undue hardship or of harsh interpretations have been in most cases met with measures of transitory relief. It is trusted that the attainment of our just rights under existing treaties and in virtue of the concurrent legislation of the two contiguous countries will not be long deferred and that all existing causes of difference may be equitably adjusted.

I recommend that provision be made by an international agreement for visibly marking the water boundary between the United States and Canada in the narrow channels that join the Great Lakes. The conventional line therein traced by the Northwestern Boundary :Survey, years ago, is not in all cases readily ascertainable for the settleinent of jurisdictional questions.

A just and acceptable enlargement of the list of offenses for which extradition may be claimed and granted is most desirable between this country and Great Britain. The territory of neither should become a secure harbor for the evil-doers of the other through any avoidable short-coming in this regard. A new treaty on this subject between the two powers has been recently negotiated and will soon be laid before the Senate.

The importance of the commerce of Cuba and Porto Rico with the United States, their nearest and principal market, justifies the expectation that the existing relations may be beneficially expanded. The impediments resulting from varying dues on navigation and from the vexatious treatment of our vessels, on merely technical grounds of complaint, in West India ports, should be removed.

The progress toward an adjustment of pending claims between the United States and Spain is not as rapid as could be desired.

Questions affecting American interests in connection with railways constructed and operated by our citizens in Peru have claimed the attention of this Government. It is urged that other Governments, in pressing Peru to the payment of their claims, have disregarded the property rights of American citizens. The matter will be carefully investigated, with a view to securing a proper and equitable adjustment.

A similar issue is now pending with Portugal. The Delagoa Bay Railway in Africa was constructed under a concession by Portugal to an American citizen. When nearly completed the road was seized by the agents of the Portuguese Government. Formal protest has been made through our minister at Lisbon against this act, and no proper effort will be spared to secure proper relief.

In pursuance of the charter granted by Congress, and under the terms of its contract with the Government of Nicaragua, the Interoceanic Canal Company has begun the construction of the important water-way between the two oceans which its organization contemplates. Grave complications for a time seemed imminent, in view of a supposed conflict of jurisdiction between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in regard to the accessory privileges to be conceded by the latter Republic toward the construction of works on the San Juan River, of which the right bank is Costa Rican territory. I am happy to learn that a friendly arrangement has been effected between the two nations. This Government has held itself ready to promote in every proper way the adjustment of all questions that might present obstacles to the completion of a work of such transcendent importance to the commerce of this country, and indeed to the commercial interests of the world.

The traditional good-feeling between this country and the French Republic has received additional testimony in the participation of our Government and people in the International Exposition held at Paris during the past summer. The success of our exhibiters has been gratifying. The report of the commission will be laid before Congress in due season.

This Government has accepted, under proper reserve as to its policy in foreign territories, the invitation of the Government of Belgium to take part in an International Congress, which opened at Brussels on the 16th of November, for the purpose of devising measures to promote the abolition of the slave-trade in Africa and to prevent the shipment of slaves by séa. Our interest in the extinction of this crime against humanity, in the regions where it yet survives, has been increased by the results of emancipation within our own borders.

With Germany the most cordial relations continue. The questions arising from the return to the Empire of Germans naturalized in this country are considered and disposed of in a temperate spirit, to the entire satisfaction of both Governments.

It is a source of great satisfaction that the internal disturbances of the Republic of Hayti are at last happily ended, and that an apparently stable government has been constituted. It has been duly recognized by the United States.

A mixed commission is now in session in this Capital for the settlement of long-standing claims against the Republic of Venezuela, and it is hoped that a satisfactory conclusion will be speedily reached. This Government has not hesitated to express its earnest desire that the boundary dispute now pending between Great Britain and Venezuela may be adjusted amicably and in strict accordance with the historic title of the parties.

The advancement of the Empire of Japan has been evidenced by the recent promulgation of a new constitution, containing valuable guaranties of liberty and providing for a responsible ministry to conduct the government.

It is earnestly recommended that our judicial rights and processes in Corea be established on a firm basis, by providing the machinery necessary to carry out treaty stipulations in that regard.

The friendliness of the Persian Government continues to be shown by its generous treatment of Americans engaged in missionary labors, and by the cordial disposition of the Shah to encourage the enterprise of our citizens in the development of Persian re

sources.

A discussion is in progress touching the jurisdictional treaty rights of the United States in Turkey. An earnest effort will be made to define those rights to the satisfaction of both Governments.

Questions continue to arise in our relations with several countries in respect to the rights of naturalized citizens. Especially is this the case with France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, and to a less extent with Switzerland. From time to time earnest efforts have been made to regulate this subject by conventions with those countries. An improper use of naturalization should not be permitted, but it is most important that those who have been duly naturalized should everywhere be accorded recognition of the rights pertaining to the citizenship of the country of their adoption. The appropriateness of special conventions for that purpose is recognized in treaties which this. Government has concluded with a number of European states, and it is advisable that the difficulties which now arise in our relations with other countries on the same subject should be similarly adjusted.

The recent revolution in Brazil in favor of the establishment of a republican form of government is an event of great interest to the United States. Our minister at Rio de Janeiro was at once instructed to maintain friendly diplomatic relations with the provisional government, and the Brazilian representatives at this capital were instructed by the provisional government to continue their functions. Our friendly intercourse with Brazil has, therefore, suffered no interruption.

Our minister has been further instructed to extend on the part of this Government a formal and cordial recognition of the new Republic so soon as the majority of the people of Brazil shall have signified their assent to its establishment and maintenance.

Within our own borders a general condition of prosperity prevails. The harvests of the last summer were exceptionally abundant, and the trade conditions now prevailing seem to promise a successful season to the merchant and the manufacturer, and general employment to our working people.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1889, has been prepared, and will be presented to Congress. It presents with clearness the fiscal operations of the Government, and I avail myself of it to obtain some facts for use here.

The aggregate receipts from all sources for the year were $387,050,058.84, derived as follows:

From customs
From internal revenue
From miscellaneous sources

$223, 832, 741. 69
130, 881, 513. 92
32, 335, 803. 23

The ordinary expenditures for the same period were $281,996,615.60, and the total expenditures, including the sinking fund, were $329,579,929.25. The excess of receipts over expenditures was, after providing for the sinking fund, $57,470, 129.59.

For the current fiscal year the total revenues, actual and estimated, are $385,000,000, and the ordinary expenditures, actual and estimated, are $293,000,000, making, with the sinking fund, a total expenditure of $341,321, 116.99, leaving an estimated surplus of $43,678,883.01.

During the fiscal year there was applied to the purchase of bonds, in addition to those for the sinking fund, $90,456, 172.35, and during the first quarter of the current year the sum of $37,838,937.77, all of which were credited to the sinking fund. The revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1891, are estimated by the Treasury Department at $385,000,000, and the expenditures for the same period, including the sinking fund, at $341,430,477.70. This shows an estimated surplus for that year of $43, 569,522.30, which is more likely to be increased than reduced when the actual transactions are written up.

The existence of so large an actual and anticipated surplus should have the immediate attention of Congress, with a view to reducing the receipts of the Treasury to the needs of the Government as closely as may be. The collection of moneys not needed for public uses imposes an unnecessary burden upon our people, and the presence of so large a surplus in the public vaults is a disturbing element in the conduct of private business. It has called into use expedients for putting it into circulation of very questionable propriety. We should not collect revenue for the purpose of anticipating our bonds, beyond the requirements of the sinking fund, but any unappropriated surplus in the Treasury should be so used, as there is no other lawful way of returning the money to circulation, and the profit realized by the Government offers a substantial advantage.

The loaning of public funds to the banks without interest, upon the security of Government bonds, I regard as an unauthorized and dangerous expedient. It results in a temporary and unnatural increase of the banking capital of favored localities, and compels a cautious and gradual recall of the deposits to avoid injury to the commercial interests. It is not to be expected that the banks having these deposits will sell their bonds to the Treasury so long as the present highly beneficial arrangement is continued. They now practically get interest both upon the bonds and their proceeds. No further use should be made of this method of getting the surplus

« AnteriorContinuar »