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WASHINGTON, February 19, 1869.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a correspondence which has taken place between the Secretary of State and the minister of the United States at Paris, in relation to the use of passports by citizens of the United States in France.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, February 20, 1869.

To the House of Representatives:

I transmit an additional report from the Secretary of State, representing that Messrs. Costello and Warren, citizens of the United States imprisoned in Ireland, have been released.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 23, 1869.

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, on the subject of the resolution of the Senate of the 13th January last, requesting "that the President direct the Secretary of the Treasury to detail an officer to select from the public lands such permanent points upon the coast of Oregon, Washington Territory, and Alaska as in his judgment may be necessary for light-house purposes, in view of the future commercial necessity of the Pacific Coast, and to reserve the same for exclusive use of the United States." ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, February 23, 1869.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

Referring to my communication to Congress of the 26th ultimo, concerning a decree made by the United States chargé d'affaires in China, on 1st of June last, prohibiting steamers sailing under the flag of the United States from using or passing through the Straw Shoe Channel on the Yangtse River, I now transmit a copy of a dispatch of the 22d of August last, No. 25, from S. Wells Williams, esq., and of such of the papers accompanying it as were not contained in my former communication. I also transmit a copy of the reply of the 6th instant made by the Secretary of State to the above-named dispatch.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, February 24, 1869.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a convention between the United States and the Mexican Republic, providing for the adjustment of the claims of citizens of either country against the other, signed on the 4th day of July last, and the ratifications of which were exchanged on the Ist instant.

It is recommended that such legislation as may be necessary to carry this convention into effect shall receive early consideration.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, March 1, 1869.

To the Senate of the United States:

In compliance with the request of the Senate of the 27th ultimo, I return herewith their resolution of the 26th February, calling for a statement of internal-revenue stamps issued by the Government since the passage of the act approved July 1, 1862.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

VETO MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 13, 1869.

To the Senate of the United States:

The bill entitled "An act transferring the duties of trustees of colored schools of Washington and Georgetown" is herewith returned to the Senate, in which House it originated, without my approval.

The accompanying paper exhibits the fact that the legislation which the bill proposes is contrary to the wishes of the colored residents of Washington and Georgetown, and that they prefer that the schools for their children should be under the management of trustees selected by the Secretary of the Interior, whose term of office is for four years, rather than subject to the control of bodies whose tenure of office, depending merely upon political considerations, may be annually affected by the elections which take place in the two cities.

The colored people of Washington and Georgetown are at present not represented by a person of their own race in either of the boards of trustees of public schools appointed by the municipal authorities. Of the three trustees, however, who, under the act of July 11, 1862, compose the board of trustees of the schools for colored children, two are persons of color. The resolutions transmitted herewith show that they have performed their trust in a manner entirely satisfactory to the colored people of the two cities, and no good reason is known to the Executive why the duties which now devolve upon them should be transferred as proposed in the bill.

With these brief suggestions the bill is respectfully returned, and the consideration of Congress invited to the accompanying preamble and resolutions.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 22, 1869.

To the House of Representatives:

The accompanying bill, entitled "An act regulating the duties on imported copper and copper ores," is, for the following reasons, returned,

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without my approval, to the House of Representatives, in which branch of Congress it originated.

Its immediate effect will be to diminish the public receipts, for the object of the bill can not be accomplished without seriously affecting the importation of copper and copper ores, from which a considerable revenue is at present derived. While thus impairing the resources of the Government, it imposes an additional tax upon an already overburdened people, who should not be further impoverished that monopolies may be fostered and corporations enriched.

It is represented-and the declaration seems to be sustained by evidence that the duties for which this bill provides are nearly or quite sufficient to prohibit the importation of certain foreign ores of copper. Its enactment, therefore, will prove detrimental to the shipping interests of the nation, and at the same time destroy the business, for many years successfully established, of smelting home ores in connection with a smaller amount of the imported articles. This business, it is credibly asserted, has heretofore yielded the larger share of the copper production of the country, and thus the industry which this legislation is designed to encourage is actually less than that which will be destroyed by the passage of this bill.

It seems also to be evident that the effect of this measure will be to enhance by 70 per cent the cost of blue vitriol-an article extensively used in dyeing and in the manufacture of printed and colored cloths. To produce such an augmentation in the price of this commodity will be to discriminate against other great branches of domestic industry, and by increasing their cost to expose them most unfairly to the effects of foreign competition. Legislation can neither be wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many and varied interests at least equally important and equally deserving the consideration of Congress. Indeed, it is difficult to find any reason which will justify the interference of Government with any legitimate industry, except so far as may be rendered necessary by the requirements of the revenue. As has already been stated, however, the legislative intervention proposed in the present instance will diminish, not increase, the public receipts.

The enactment of such a law is urged as necessary for the relief of certain mining interests upon Lake Superior, which, it is alleged, are in a greatly depressed condition, and can only be sustained by an enhancement of the price of copper. If this result should follow the passage of the bill, a tax for the exclusive benefit of a single class would be imposed upon the consumers of copper throughout the entire country, not warranted by any need of the Government, and the avails of which would not in any degree find their way into the Treasury of the nation. If the miners of Lake Superior are in a condition of want, it can not be justly affirmed that the Government should extend charity to them in prefer

ence to those of its citizens who in other portions of the country suffer in like manner from destitution. Least of all should the endeavor to aid them be based upon a method so uncertain and indirect as that contemplated by the bill, and which, moreover, proposes to continue the exercise of its benefaction through an indefinite period of years. It is, besides, reasonable to hope that positive suffering from want, if it really exists, will prove but temporary in a region where agricultural labor is so much in demand and so well compensated. A careful examination of the subject appears to show that the present low price of copper, which alone has induced any depression the mining interests of Lake Superior may have recently experienced, is due to causes which it is wholly impolitic, if not impracticable, to contravene by legislation. These causes are, in the main, an increase in the general supply of copper, owing to the discovery and working of remarkably productive mines and to a coincident restriction in the consumption and use of copper by the substitution of other and cheaper metals for industrial purposes. It is now sought to resist by artificial means the action of natural laws; to place the people of the United States, in respect to the enjoyment and use of an essential commodity, upon a different basis from other nations, and especially to compensate certain private and sectional interests for the changes and losses which are always incident to industrial progress.

Although providing for an increase of duties, the proposed law does not even come within the range of protection, in the fair acceptation of the term. It does not look to the fostering of a young and feeble interest with a view to the ultimate attainment of strength and the capacity of self-support. It appears to assume that the present inability for successful production is inherent and permanent, and is more likely to increase than to be gradually overcome; yet in spite of this it proposes, by the exercise of the lawmaking power, to sustain that interest and to impose it in hopeless perpetuity as a tax upon the competent and beneficent industries of the country.

The true method for the mining interests of Lake Superior to obtain relief, if relief is needed, is to endeavor to make their great natural resources fully available by reducing the cost of production. Special or class legislation can not remedy the evils which this bill is designed to meet. They can only be overcome by laws which will effect a wise, honest, and economical administration of the Government, a reestablishment of the specie standard of value, and an early adjustment of our system of State, municipal, and national taxation (especially the latter) upon the fundamental principle that all taxes, whether collected under the internal revenue or under a tariff, shall interfere as little as possible with the productive energies of the people.

The bill is therefore returned, in the belief that the true interests of the Government and of the people require that it should not become a law.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

[SEAL.]

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the President of the United States has heretofore set forth several proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to persons who had been or were concerned in the late rebellion against the lawful authority of the Government of the United States, which proclamations were severally issued on the 8th day of December, 1863, on the 26th day of March, 1864, on the 29th day of May, 1865, on the 7th day of September, 1867, and on the 4th day of July, in the present year; and

Whereas the authority of the Federal Government having been reestablished in all the States and Territories within the jurisdiction of the United States, it is believed that such prudential reservations and exceptions as at the dates of said several proclamations were deemed necessary and proper may now be wisely and justly relinquished, and that an universal amnesty and pardon for participation in said rebellion extended to all who have borne any part therein will tend to secure permanent peace, order, and prosperity throughout the land, and to renew and fully restore confidence and fraternal feeling among the whole people, and their respect for and attachment to the National Government, designed by its patriotic founders for the general good:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested by the Constitution and in the name of the sovereign people of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare, unconditionally and without reservation, to all and to every person who, directly or indirectly, participated in the late insurrection or rebellion a full pardon and amnesty for the offense of treason against the United States or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof.

In testimony whereof I have signed these presents with my hand and have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

By the President:

A PROCLAMATION.

Done at the city of Washington, the 25th day of December, A. D. 1868, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninety-third.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

F. W. SEWARD,

Acting Secretary of State.

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