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ments; and that the United States, favorable than disadvantageous to by attending there, unite themselves the United States. to that government or confederacy. The objections founded upon the Neither part of this assumption is danger of compromising our neutrue. The congress is a meeting trality, and of forming entangling of diplomatic agents from indepen- alliances, were refuted by a referdent governments; and if the con- ence, to the express conditions upgress were a government, or con- on which, the invitation to the confederacy, our attendance there by gress was accepted ; to the characdiplomatic agents would be no en- ter in which this country appeared trance into the confederacy, or there, viz: as a mediator between union to the government.
Spain and her former colonies ; and The assertion, that all the pro- to the constitutional checks upon posed objects could be as well at any such measures, which existed tained by separate negotiations in the executive and senate. It with the several states, was met by was further urged, that the danger a direct denial ; and the difficulty of forming an alliance was incident of carrying on separate and discon- to all missions, and that the consenected negotiations for the attain- quences of an alliance with one of ment of a common object, with these new republics,would be as encourts so far apart as to prevent tangling as those of an alliance with the interchange of intelligence all; and yet no objection had been more than twice a year, was strong. made to the diplomatic intercourse ly contrasted with the advantages of with them, and no disadvantages a free and prompt interchange of had grown out of such an intersentiments, in an assembly of diplo- course. That this measure was matic agents.
without an exact precedent was adThe objection, that the subjects mitted ; but the circumstances out of discussion, the powers of the of which it grew were also unpreministers and the mode of organi- cedented—and so were most of the zing the congress, and of deciding important measures adopted by the questions, were not settled, was not government of the United States, well founded. The mode of pro- since the adoption of the constituceeding must necessarily be that of tion. It was not, however, in prindiplomatic discussion and confer- ciple novel or unprecedented. The ence, and was expressly stated to ministers to the Panama congress be so, and the omission to fix the carry with them the same powers other details, was considered rather that have ever been vested in the foreign ministers of the United violently interfering in the internal States. The characteristic policy affairs of other states ; but the of this country, has been to ask no committee did not perceive, the apquestions, about the quality or con- plicability of this objection to an stitution of the power to which our assembly of the representatives of ministers were sent. It has rested popular governments for different for security not on a timid calcula- objects. Besides, this objection tion of the powers of the govern- went too far. If the pernicious ment, or body with which our mi- character of the power to which the nisters were to treat ; but on our mission is to be sent forms a reaconstitutional safe-guards at home. son for not sending it; it would be The policy has been to be represent- impossible for the United States to ed, wherever we have important maintain a single mission in Europe. political and commercial relations. In every case our ministers there In like manner, our ministers to are accredited to governments, conPanama will go to do the business structed as we think,upon principles of the country. Their appearance which could not be introduced here, there cannot have the effect of without immediate national ruin. breaking down the senate and house The committee then proceeded, of representatives, and by a dicta- to consider the subjects of discus. torial power unknown to the con- sion at the proposed congress, in stitution, of binding the country in the following manner : a foreign alliance.
“ By the terms of the invitation, Upon the objection which had as well as the nature of the case, been much relied on, that there the discussions at Panama are to was something in a congress of as- extend to all subjects of importsembled powers essentially perni- ance. cious, which this country ought to “To the new states, as among each shun; it was remarked, that the other : pernicious character of the late “Or, as between them and Spain. European congresses, to which the “Or of importance directly to us, opponents of these measures had in our connection with them. particularly referred, consisted in “Each power is at liberty to prothe nature of the governments as- pose what subject for discussion or sembled, and in the objects aimed negotiation, it may please; the at. It was certainly pernicious for only limitation being that which a number of despotic powers, the United States impose on themwielding great military forces, to selves, with the understanding of meet and concert measures for the other powers, that we are to
engage in no discussions incon- would be perpetuated, by the sistent with an entire neutrality. growth of feuds and conflicts with
“Although, in different degrees, each other. It would have been the three classes of subjects, above as well for us and for themselves, enumerated, are interesting to the that the mother country had contipeople of the United States. The nued to rule them, as that their enrelations of the new states to each ergies should be wasted in civil other, are very important to us. wars. The committee do not inThey are our near neighbors. One tend to augur unfavorably for the of them has an immense landed peace and harmony of these states, frontier on our territory, and, toge- but it is obvious that the simultanether with the two next in geo- ous rise of so many neighboring ingraphical succession, lies on those dependent republics must be attendwaters into which the great inter- ed with its hazards. Rival claims nal communications of the United to portions of territory may form a States are discharged. With the subject of contention among the others, we have no direct geogra- new states, as they did in our own phical, but we have highly impor- confederacy after the war of the tant commercial connections. At revolution. A controversy of this present there are eight or nine in kind, has actually arisen between dependent states, formed out of the Mexico and Guatemala, which the late Spanish and Portuguese colo- committee trust will be settled by nies ; seven of these, viz: Mexico, friendly compromise, for few events Guatemala, Colombia, the pro- could be more to be deprecated by vinces of La Plata, Chile, Peru, us, than a war between two states and Upper Peru, have adopted re- lying on and near the gulf of Mexipublican governments. Now, it is co. Unfortunately, a controversy to us a matter of very great interest, of the same kind has broken out how these states shall stand towards into a war, between Brazil and the each other. Should they fall into United provinces of La Plata, for dissensions and wars, those great the disputed possession of the Banda advantages which we have reasona- Oriental. The effect of this war on bly promised ourselves, from their us has been instantaneous. It has growth and prosperity, could not already become necessary to ask be realized. The great drawbacks for an additional appropriation for on the progress of these states, and the naval service of the year, of on the extension of advantageous, near one hundred thousand dollars, commercial relations with them, to protect the property and lives of arising from the war with Spain, our citizens from the dangers to which, in the progress of this war, peace and prosperity are our leadthey will be exposed. Now, it hasing interest ; and the policy of been expressly provided, in the maintaining peace, through the intreaties which led to the formation strumentality of friendly mediation, of the congress of Panama, that the is entirely congenial with the prinministers there assembled should ciples and feeling of the people of exercise the office of mediators the United States of America, and when such differences shall arise. sanctioned by their practice. Brazil and La Plata have both “ The next general class of subbeen invited to the congress : and jects to be discussed at the congress had it been in active operation, it of Panama, are the relations of the certainly is within the reach of new states with Spain. This subpolitical probability, that this unfur. ject, it is expressly stipulated, is tunate controversy might, by friend- only to be approached by our mily meditation, have been prevented nisters under the reservation of from ripening into the fatal issue of strict neutrality. More than this, war. To the work of mediation, our great efforts will be directed to in all such cases, the United States pacification. The policy of the would come as the most disinte United States, in this respect, is rested party : and as we ourselves sufficiently unfolded in the letter of have experienced the benefits of the the secretary of state to Mr. Midmediation of a foreign friendly dleton, dated May 10, 1825; and power, it may happen that we may the letter of the secretary of state render the like good office to our to Mr. Salazar, dated December sister states. Could we but, in a 20, 1825. Pacification between single instance, avert or terminate the belligerents is an object which a war, it would itself form a suffi- it is our most decided interest to cient motive for accepting the invi- pursue. No single political event, tation. We claim no right of inter- perhaps, could be named more deference ; we do not obtrude our sirable to the United States, in selves as umpires. We are invi- reference to their industrious inteted to a congress, where we are told rests, than the termination of the these national differences, if they present contest. We suffer every arise, will be discussed; we are way by its continuance; our comtold that our presence, counsel and merce with Spain languishes; and experience, are desired. No max- it is impossible that it should assume im of the most cautious political a profitable expansion with the new prudence bids us stand aloof. Next states. to peace on our own part, their “Connected with the belligerent relations between Spain and the new republics ; unquestionably, as new states, is the fate of the Spa- far as we are concerned, the most nish Islands, particularly Cuba. If important branch of the negotiathe war continues, the invasion of tions. With several of these powthat island will be attempted; it is ers we have no treaty whatever. an avowed subject of discussion at With Mexico—as appears from the the congress. This is a subject of correspondence between the secrethe greatest moment to the United tary of state and Mr. Poinsett-we States, in every respect. We have have been unable, as yet, to form an intercourse with that island, a treaty on satisfactory conditions ; which acts upon our industry in all and the obstacles which have hithits branches. The Moro may be erto prevented this from being regarded as a fortress at the mouth done, are precisely such as are of the Mississippi ; and, what is most likely to be removed at a coninfinitely more important, unless ference of ministers of all the new Cuba should be invaded by an over- states. whelming force, (such a force as “At such a conference, we shall, the new states will hardly be able of course, possess the best opportuto organize,) that invaluable island nity of establishing uniform and may renew, almost within sight of liberal relations with all. The arour shores, the terrific example of rangements to be made with them San Domingo.—Any effort on the comprehend the great principles of part of the United States to avert belligerent, neutral, and commersuch a catastrophe would be cheap cial law, as set forth in the general ly made ; none could justifiably be instructions to Mr. Anderson, by omitted. Had the government of the then secretary of state. The the United States, after being invi- United States have long been lated to attend a conference of the boring to introduce into every ministers of the powers by whom branch of public law, principles of that invasion is projected, declined liberality, equality and humanity, to be present, they would have been hitherto unknown in its codes. The heavily responsible to the people various respects in which our polifor whatever disastrous effects our cy, in many leading points of the friendly interference might have laws of war and trade, differs from averted or delayed.
that of Europe, are well known to “ The last general class of subjects the house, and need not here be to be discussed and treated at Pana- stated. The republic of Colombia, ma, are the direct interests be- in inviting our attendance at the tween the United States and the congress, has asked for herself and