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Laying out of the case the odious character which the government of the United States would necessarily incur, if these things were permitted with impunity, and viewing this as a matter of simple internal regulation, the principle was already established in our laws; and the question was, whether the fault of the non-execution of the law should rest on the president of the United States, or on the legislative body?

Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said, that it appeared to him, that the 3d section of the bill had not been completely understood. The 3d section did not forbid, nor at all restrain, our citizens from selling munitions of war to whomsoever they pleased. The object of that section was merely to carry into effect the second, which, without it, would be very easily eluded. A ves. sel pierced for guns, and capable in every respect of being a private vessel of war, manned completely, might, under existing laws, go to sea without any appearance of arms on her deck (her armament of cannon being concealed beneath the deck)—and, the moment she was out of sight of the coast, or clear of detection, take out her guns, evade the laws, and become at once a completely equipped, armed vessel. By this bill, it was proposed to authorize the collector to examine any vessel going to sea, and see whether she had such an armament as would enable her, when she got to sea, to fit herself for war. If so, the collector was authorized to stop such until he could make report of her to the president of the United States, and receive his decision respecting her. If proper, she would be permitted to proceed to sea-if otherwise, she would and ought to be detained. The necessity for this provision, Mr. S. illustrated by examples familiar to his mercantile experience. The exportation of arms, in vessels not prepared to fight their way, was, he said, a simple business of commerce, and not affected at all by this bill-the only restraint upon it being the risk of capture for carrying contraband of war. Where then could be pointed out an injury to the honest merchant, as likely to flow from this 3d section? It could do no harm, on the one hand; but without it, on the other, the second section of the bill would be of no use. We (said Gen. S.) who are engaged in the East India trade, must arm for defence against the pickaroons that infest the islands along the coast of that country. To such vessels there will be an inconvenience in giving the bond required by the third section; but one must submit to the inconvenience, to prevent abuses by persons who, for the sake of gain alone, implicate the government in a conduct which must be reprobated by all considerate men.

An honourable gentleman was mistaken in saying that this bill would prevent the supplying of munitions of war to men who were fighting for their liberty. This bill, Mr. S. said, provided only that the government should not be implicated by the citizen in his enterprizes. Arms might still be exported to any

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extent, but in the common way of merchants, not by force of arms, but by swift sailing. We are not authorized by the laws of nations, to arm and force a trade in munitions of war with one of two belligerents, in respect to both of whom we are neutral.

Had Spain any right to require of us the passage of such a bill? Was it called for by the acts of that government. She has a right to make a demand of us, said Mr. S., similar to that which we made of her, when she permitted French privateers to fit out in her ports and commit depredations on the commerce of the United States. We made a representation on the subject, and demanded of the Spanish government that the practice should not continue, and that they should pay us for every depredation which had been so made on our commerce. What may the Spanish minister demand in return? That you should not permit your citizens to fit out and man with your seamen vessels within the ports of the United States to depredate on her commerce. When, Mr. S. said, we had subsequently made a treaty with Bonaparte, then First Consul, we released France from all demands on her as to depredations on the high seas. We

up for what we considered a quid pro quo. We were bound to guarantee the French West India islands, rather than continue which guarantee, Mr. S. said, we had agreed to give up our claims for depredations committed on our commerce prior to that treaty by France. When Spain then had heard that we had agreed to give up all claims for depredations committed by France, she argued that she could no longer have claims on France for her depredations since we had released her, and that therefore she (Spain) was no longer bound to indemnify us. What had been since done on this question, Mr. S. said, he knew not; but he took it for granted, that our government would persist in that demand, and never relinquish it.

He should deprecate a war with Spain, because it would deprive us of the best customer we have. We now supply Old Spain with great quantities of rice and cotton, and, since the war with her colonies, with tobacco; with flour to a great amount_150,000 barrels a year being exported to Havanna alone, and with all the products of the country. She was one of the best customers we had, he said, because from her alone could we get specie in return. We enjoy a free trade with Cuba, and, by a late order, with Vera Cruz. He did not, therefore, desire a war with Spain, but he would not shrink from a war with her, if she gave us just cause for it.

Mr. S. went on to reply to the objections to this bill. He showed that without this 3d section, the laws might be evaded; that the United States sustained great injury by the violation of this law, by the loss of her seamen, (as well as by violations of their neutrality) of whom he spoke greatly within bounds in saying that there were two thousand employed in these expeditions, and for ever lost to the service of the country-thus raising the price of labour, and greatly injuring the fair commerce and navigating interest of the country, as he showed by plain and practical illustrations.

Mr. GROSVENOR, from New York, rose. In the general view of this question, he said he hoped the time had gone by when, in considering what was the duty of this house, reference would be had to considerations not bearing on that point. For, it was simply a question, whether the United States would or would not compel its citizens to adhere to their duties as the people of a neutral nation. On this question, he said, there could be but one party, and but one sentiment. He here remarked on what, he said, was a curious argument. Why enforce these provisions in favour of Spain, it was asked-Has she not injured us? Do gentlemen recollect, said he, that when you countenance violations of neutrality, you in fact engage in the war? If we are to have war, let us boldly go into it, said he, and not sneak into it with our privateers from one port or another. If Spain have injured us, let us tell her and the world so, and appeal to the world and to the God of Battles. I protest against this mode of carrying on the war. What, Mr. G. said, was asked by this bill? The gentlemen from Georgia and Maryland had put it in its true shape. It did not touch the commerce of the country; it had nothing to do with it. It was a question touching the interference of the citizens of this nation in a war waged between two foreign powers. The report of the secretary of state had not been read: if it had, it would show, what was indeed notorious to the whole world, that we do now interfere in that war. The question was, whether congress should adopt legal principles which would compel our citizens to adhere to that neutrality which is the policy of the nation. This bill only proposed a mode of enforcing the observance of an established principle, for the maintenance of which every nation is responsible.

What, Mr. G. asked, was the objection to the 3d section, which it was now proposed to expunge? That the collector was to be authorised to detain vessels on suspicion, without a formal warrant. The same objection, Mr. G. said, would apply to all our revenue laws; and he never before heard any objection to seizure of vessels without warrant. He had heard objections to bringing these principles to operate on the land, in the bosom of society, by searches and seizures of houses, carriages, sleighs, &c. &c. but he had never before heard the ordinary provisions of the :evenue laws, analogous to this, objected to as contrary to the constitution.

I know, said Mr. G., that this bill goes a great length; but, certainly without going it, we cannot cure the evil. I have had some acquaintance with this affair, and shall not err when I say, that whilst the whole mass of the nation is at peace, some of its cities are at open war. Congress might, he said, adopt the principle that they would not interfere: but, if they did, where it would end he did not know, and no one could say.

Mr. RANDOLPH, of Virginia. Did gentlemen recollect, Mr. R. asked, the case between these colonies and Great Britain, and in what way France became a party to that war? In the same way the United States may and probably will become a party to the war between Spain and her colonies: by fitting out arms on colonial account from her ports, for the purpose of carrying on the war, public and private, against the mother country. In that way, he repeated, France had become a party to the war: in that way we might and probably should become a party to the present war. Now, if we are prepared to take sides between Spain and her colonies, let us say so: but, if not, let us do those things incumbent on us to prevent being drawn in on one side or the other. Mr. R. remarked on the fanciful theory of gentlemen, and a sort of visionary idea they appeared to have, of the struggle in question being one for the right of self government, &c. When the people of Spain, from the rock of Gibraltar to the pass of Roncevalles, were in arms against the authority of the government established there by the French, there was not, Mr. R. said, any of this feeling for a great and generous nation, asserting the right of self government-nothing of the sort. On the contrary, the United States had preserved what they called a neutral attitude-a neutrality calculated, as far as our means went, to subserve the cause of one of the parties, he did not say which. If, said Mr. R. we are prepared to take part between Spain and her revolted colonies, let us say so, and act an open, manly and generous part. But, for my share, I have had enough of revolutions, and I have had enough of war-and I cannot say, with an honourable member from Maryland before me (Gen. Smith) that I am not afraid of a Spanish war. I should be afraid of a war with the Sandwich Islands; I should , be afraid of a war with the Cherokees or Creeks: I should be afraid of a war with any thing, unless perchance with the barbarians of the Mediterranean coast of Africa. I am afraid of war: we have found the consequences of it-and, if we go to war with Spain, it is not for me or the gentleman from Maryland to say, when or on what terms we shall make peace with the allied powers. I do not wish to make peace with them, said Mr. R. for the plain reason that I do not wish to make war with them. This bill had been called, and properly called, a bill for making peace between his catholic majesty and the town of Baltimorem and he was willing to contribute all in his power to the restoration of peace between these high contracting parties.

Mr. R. said he should not have troubled the house on this occasion, but for the allusion to the St. Domingo act, passed on the 28th day of February, 1806. You, sir, said Mr. R. (addressing the chairman) remember well that day—it was just at the close of a period, within which, after sitting for weeks in conclave, the policy of this country had taken a direction which has since governed the ship of state. The act referred to was passed at that memorable session when the politics of the United States assumed, in the eye of all those who knew how to judge of events, a definitive direction as to the two great powers of Europe. I voted for it, said Mr. R., after endeavouring, with our doors shut and with the doors open, to arrest that career, and expose that fatal policy which brought us to what we have seen, and what we now feel. And when I was asked why I voted for this famous St. Domingo actan act which was said it was so said; I speak in the impersonal which was said to have been passed under terror of the displeasure of his majesty the emperor and king of France.—Referring to the saying of Charles XII. respecting Riga, that God had given it to him, and the Devil should not take it away from him, Mr. R. applied it to the sceptre of Napoleon: which, whether or not the devil gave it to him, we certainly know that the hand of God took from the oppressor-yes, that malefactor of mankind—that hostis humani generis. When he spoke of that man in this way, he said, it was with recollections of the date of this act, and not of his present condition. In his present condition, he would not triumph even over him: he looked upon his former elevation to have been the result of a timid acquiescence in what had been called public sentiment in the reign of terror-when heads had been lopped off, and men tortured in every way that ingenuity could devise -all in obedience to public sentiment!--when a few executioners, with the words “public sentiment in their mouths, mangled and massacred whatever was valuable in that once noble country.—Yes, he said, it was a noble country, and the country of a noble people. When, said he, (resuming the thread of his discourse) I was asked, on what grounds I should justify my vote, I answered, on none that had been assigned, and unquestionably not on some that were not assigned. I voted in favour of it, because I considered St. Domingo as an anomaly among the nations of the earth; and I considered it my duty, as an American politician-as an American statesman, if you will allow me to apply that observation to myself—as a representative, above all, of the southern portion of the United States, to leave nothing undone which could possibly give to the white population in that island an ascendancy over the blacks: for, if if ever any thing called for a perpetual embargo on all intercourse, it was the state of that country.

I am tired of war, said Mr. R., but I do not therefore expect to

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