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the avenue through which the commerce of our Western States can be profitably conducted with Asia and the western coasts of this continent, and its ports the only harbors belonging to the United States to which our numerous whalers and other vessels in that region can resort. And yet, vast as are its di. mensions, it contains not a single safe and commodious harbor from its southern extremity until we approach the 49th parallel of latitude.
" It is far from the intention of the undersigned again to open the discussion of the conflicting claims of the two powers to the Oregon Territory. It is sufficient for him to state the continued conviction of the President that the United States hold the best title in existence to the whole of this territory. Under this conviction, he can not consent to jeopard for his country all the great interests involved, and by any possibility, however remote, to deprive the republic of all the good harbors on the coast, by referring the question to arbitration.
“ Neither is the territory in dispute of equal, or nearly equal, value to the two powers. While it is invaluable to the United States, it is of comparatively small importance to Great Britain. To her, Oregon would be but a distant colonial possession, of doubtful value, and which, from the natural progress of human events, she would not probably long enough enjoy to derive from it essential benefits, while to the United States it would become an integral and essential portion of the republic, The gain to Great Britain she would never sensibly feel, whilo the loss to the United States would be irreparable.
“The undersigned is perfectly aware that such considerations can have no bearing upon the question of the title of either party. They are presented solely for the purpose of explaining the views of the President in his refusal to adopt any measure which should withdraw our title from the control of the government and people of the United States, and place it within the discretion of any arbitrator, no matter how intelligent and respectable.
“ The President cordially concurs with the government of Great Britain in desiring that the present controversy may be amicably adjusted. Of this he has given the strongest proof before the whole world. He believes that, as there are no two nations on the earth more closelv bound together by the ties of
commerce, so there are none who ought to be more able or will. ing to do each other justice, without the interposition of any arbitrator. .
“The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew to Mr. Pakenham the assurance of his high consideration.
· "JAMES BUCHANAN. · “ Right Hon. RICHARD PakendaM, &c., &c., &c.” .,
The joint resolution, in the form in which it finally passed the House, was offered as an amendment by Mr. Linn Boyd, of Kentucky; a gentleman whose, usually quiescent course challenges but little of public observation, but whose influence over his party, in regard to some of the late and most important measures of its policy, has been exemplified in a manner not less signal than complimentary. He seems to possess an effective, but unpretending faculty of uniting discordant opinions, and concentrating them upon a general result, not surpassed by that of any member in the ranks of the Democratic party. /
The Congressional Globe thus states the final proceedings on taking the question :
" Just as Mr. Darragh concluded, the finger of the clock rested on the hour of three, and the chairman gave the table one heavy blow with the hammer, indicating that the time for de. bating had passed, and that the hour for action had come. So the committee proceeded, in obedience to the order of the House, to vote on amendments pending, or that might be offered."
"Some few moments were taken up by an effort of the chair. man to induce members to go home to their own places, instead of crowding the area of freedom' immediately in front of the speaker's platform; and something like a clearance having been effected, the chairman was proceeding to put the question.
"Mr. Pettit. 'I move to take up the joint resolution of the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Black].'
“ The Chairman. It is not in order.'
“Now the state of the question before the committee was this :
. . "Mr. C. J. Ingersoll, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, had reported the following joint resolution:
“ * Joint resolution of notice to Great Britain to “annul and abrogate” the convention between Great Britain and the United
States of the sixth of August, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, relative to the country “on the northwest coast of America, westward of the Stony Mountains,” commonly called Oregon. '
16. Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States forthwith cause notice to be given to the government of Great Britain, that the convention between the United States and Great Britain concerning the Oregon Territory, of the sixth of August, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, signed at London, (shall be annulled and abrogated twelve months after the expiration of the said notice, conformably to the second article of the said convention of the sixth of August, one thousand eight hundred and twentyseven.)
. “This resolution Mr. C. J. Ingersoll had moved to amend by striking out all that portion embraced in brackets, and inserting, shall be annulled and abrogated at the expiration of the term of twelve months from and after said notice shall be given, conformably to the second article of the said convention of the 6th of August, 1827. ." And Mr. Hilliard had heretofore moved to amend the original resolution by striking out therefrom the words 'forthwith cause notice to be given,' and inserting, ‘be empowered, whenever in his judgment the public welfare may require it, to give notice.'
“Mr. C. J. Ingersoll inquired if it would be in order for him to withdraw a single word from the resolution he had offered. He wished to withdraw the word · forthwith.
“ The Chairman. “From which proposition that of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, or that which the gentleman himself introduced ?
“Mr. C. J. Ingersoll. “From the original proposition. I wish to expunge the word “forthwith." !
“ The Chairman. “It can be done by unanimous consent.' “Objections were made.
“Mr. Jacob Thompson submitted that the gentleman had a right to modify.
“Mr. G. S. Houston. "Not to modify the original proposition, for it is the report of a committee.'
“ The original resolution was read, as also the amendinent proposed by Mr. Ingersoll.
“ Mr. Hopkins suggested that, before the question was taken on the motion to strike out, it would be proper to perfect the original resolution, by carrying out the views of the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. C. J. Ingersoll]. It would be remembered, that after one proposition had been stricken out and another inserted, it would not be competent to amend. "I move, therefore, continued Mr. H., 'to strike out from the original resolution the word “ forthwith.”
"The chairman said the motion would be in order after the question on the pending amendment had been taken.
"Mr. C. J. Ingersoll remarked, that the insertion of the word * forth with’ was a mistake, and he had at an early day endeav· ored to make the amendment in the original resolution. * " The chairman said all debate was out of order. ,
"Mr. Ingersoll. 'I am only stating a fact, not debating.'
"Mr. Preston King inquired of the chairman whether the amendment could not be made by unanimous consent. “ The chairman assented. .
But objections were made. " Mr. Vinton inquired if the pending amendment was a substitute for the original bill.
“ The chairman said not.
“Mr. Dromgoole supposed, he said, that it would be in order now to offer a substitute for the entire report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and he sent to the chair the following proposition :
, • • Whereas, by the convention concluded on the twentieth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, between the United States of America and the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, it was, in the third article thereof, agreed, that any country that may be claimed by either party on the northwest coast of Amer. ica, westward of the Stony Mountains, shall, together with its harbors, bays, and creeks, and the navigation of all rivers within the same, be free and open, for the term of ten years from the date of the signature of the present convention, to the vessels, citizens, and subjects of the two powers, it being
well understood that this agreement is not to be construed to the prejudice of any claim which either of the two high contracting parties may have to any part of the said country, nor shall it be taken to affect the claims of any other power or state to any part of said country, the only object of the high contracting parties in that respect being to prevent disputes and differences among themselves: And whereas, by a convention between the same parties, concluded on the sixth of August, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, it was agreed to continue in force for an indefinite period the provisions of the third article of the convention of the twentieth of October, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and was also further agreed and provided that it shall be competent, however, to either of the contracting parties, in case either should think fit at any time after the twentieth of October, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight, on giving due notice of twelve months to the other contracting party, to annul and abrogate this convention; and it shall, in such case, be entirely annulled and abrogated after the expiration of said term of notice: And whereas it is thought fit, on the part of the United States, to annul and abrogate said convention,
“* Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the said convention shall be annulled and abrogated at the expiration of twelve months after the date of the delivery to the government of Great Britain of the due notice required to be given.
«• Be it further enacted, That the President of the United States is hereby authorized and required, in such solemn and respectful mode as he may deem proper, to cause the said due notice to be given in the name of the United States, one of the contracting parties, to the government of Great Britain, the other contracting party.
"• Be it further enacted, That, for the purpose of enabling the President to comply herewith at as early a day as he may think advisable, there be appropriated a sun not exceeding
dollars, to be used if necessary, and to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated; but nothing in this act is intended to interfere with the right and discretion of the proper authorities of the two contracting parties to renew