James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 17 April 1816

Department of State, April 17, 1816.

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the resolution of the House of Representatives, requesting the President to cause to be laid before that House information relative to the duties laid on articles imported from the United States into the British provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; relative to the duties on articles exported to the United States from the said provinces; the duties laid on goods, wares, and merchandise imported into the British West India islands, or any of them, from the United States, or from colonies in America owned by other foreign European Powers; and likewise as to the duties on imports and exports to which vessels of the United States are subject in the ports of the British East Indies, has the honor to state that, as the information received by the Department on the subject of these inquiries since the peace, from public agents, has been very defective, he has been under the necessity of resorting to the collectors of the customs and other respectable sources within the reach of the Department to enable him to comply with the call of the House, which produced inevitable delay in making this report. He begs leave further to state that the accompanying tables, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, embrace all the information that he has been able to obtain relative to the objects of the resolution. It is believed that it is substantially correct, though less particular and precise than might be wished. From these tables, it will be seen that the vessels of the United States are excluded from all participation in the trade by sea of the provincial or colonial possessions of Great Britain in America, with the exception of Bermuda and the Bahama islands, where they are restricted to a very limited commerce, particularly designated in the table numbered 4. It will be moreover seen that this trade is confined exclusively to British vessels, and in most instances to British merchants, and articles of minor value as respects both imports and exports. Whether, under the existing regulations in Canada, the trade by inland navigation between the United States and those provinces is confined to British vessels, is not distinctly understood. Respectfully submitted.

James Monroe

Printed Source--American State Papers. 38 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1831-61)..

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