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2d Session.

Treas. Dept.

COASTING TRADE-UNITED STATES.

LETTER

FROY

THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY,

IX RELATION TO

The coasting trade of the United States, and also to the conveyance of

newspapers from one port thereof to another.

March 31, 1842.
Referred to the Committee on Commerce.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, March 26, 1842. SIR : In compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatires of the 15th instant, directing the Secretary of the Treasury “to inform this House whether, in his opinion, any further provision by law be necessary to secure to American owned ships and vessels the coasting trade of the United States, and also the conveyance of newspapers from ono port thereof to another,” I have the honor to submit the following report :

It is to be remarked that, by the 4th section of the act "concerning the navigation of the United States," approved the 1st of March, 1817, all foreign vessels are prohibited from carrying goods, wares, or merchandise, from one port of the United States to another port in the same. This section, at the same time, provides that it “ shall not be construed to prohibit. the sailing of any foreign vessel from one to another port of the United States, provided that no goods, wares, or merchandise, other than those mported in such vessels, from some foreign port, and which shall not have teen nnladen, shall be carried from one port or place to another, in the United States."

So far, therefore, as the transportation of goods, wares, and merchandise, taken in at one port of the United States, and carried to another in the same, is concerned, the foregoing provision of law seems to secure sufficient protection to “ American owned ships and vessels.”

But some additional legal provisions would appear to be necessary to prevent foreign vessels from carrying passengers, newspapers, and letters, from one port to another within the United States, should Congress deem it expedient to adopt such a measure. In regard to any modification of ex. isting laws in reference to the carrying of newspapers and letters coastwise, by foreign vessels, the General Post Office Department is more competent to offer suggestions on this point than myself. I therefore, on the receipt of the resolution, transmitted a copy to the Postmaster General, for his consideration of the portion of it referred to.

Under the belief that a recent correspondence which took place between the British consul at New York and this Department, in reference to the enterprise of the royal post office steam packet line, will have some bearing on the inquiry contained in the resolution of the House of Representatives, I beg leave to transmit copies thereof. All which is respectfully submitted.

W. FORWARD,

Secretary of the Treasury. Hon.John White,

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

[copy.]
HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S ConstLATE,

New York, January 15, 1842. SIR: I have the honor to submit for your opinion, the following question :

In the event of the line of Her Majesty's royal post office steam packets extending their route from Havana to Halifax, would any construction of the navigation laws interdict such mail packets stopping to deliver letters and land passengers at Savannah, Charleston, and New York, and alone take on board, at those ports, passengers and letters, the letters to be delivered over to the United States post office. Those vessels do not carry merchandise nor take goods on freight. Your answer, sir, within ten days, I respectfully request; And have the honor to remain your humble servant,

J. BUCHANAN. Hon. WALTER FORWARD,

Secretary of the Treasury, Washington.

Halifax, any dict such mai.harleston, and the letters to bed that I

[copy.] S ...

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, February 9, 1842. i Sir : In reference to the inquiry contained in your communication of the 15th ult., asking whether, in the event of the line of Her Majesty's royal post office steam packets extending their route from the Havana to Halifax, any, construction of the navigation laws of the United States, " would interdict such mail packets stopping to deliver letters and land passengers at Savannah, Charleston, and New York, and alone take on board at those ports passengers and letters, the letters to be delivered over to the United States post office," I have the honor to state that I know of no provision in the laws mentioned forbidding the prosecution of the enterprise above referred to. It is to be expressly understood, however, as intimated by you, that “these vessels do not carry merchandise nor take goods on freight..

I regret that a press of indispensable public business has prevented an

earlier reply to your communication, to which cause I beg you will attribute it, and not to a want of proper attention or courtesy. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. FORWARD,

Secretary of the Treasury. JAMES BUCHANAN, Esq.

British Consul, 8.c., New York.

P. S. That portion of your inquiry which appertains to the laws regulating the Post Office establishment has been referred to the Postmaster General, who will no doubt communicate his views to you.

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