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for adopting this resolution, assuring them at the same time, that in order to give fresh proof of friendship and good will towards the British government and people, I would permit the persons appointed to these consulships to protect the commerce and interests of English subjects in the capacity of agents for the protection of sailors and commerce. The commissioners accepted these terms with pleasure, without refuting the strong arguments on which my denial of the exequatur was grounded. If the congress will call to mind, that in my former message I pledged myself that in the course of the negotiation about to be opened with the commissioners of his Britannic Majesty, I would not lose sight of the dignity of the government, and the interests of the Colombian people, it will perceive by the present statement, that I have strictly redeemed my pledge. Public right does not recognize the admission of consuls as a bounden duty from one nation to another. The obligation so to admit them arises solely from treaties or conventions celebrated between the parties, or from a state of peace and friendship between nations whose independence is reciprocally admitted. This principle, which the English government itself has lately observed towards the consul - general of Buenos Ayres in London, would have authorized the Executive to withhold the exequatur, even had the commissions of the consuls been addressed to the republic and government of Colombia. Since this occurrence nothing has transpired in furtherance of the recognition of our independence. The government of his Britannic Majesty makes this event to depend on circumstances peculiar to the in

terests of Great Britain, and on the nature of the information it may receive from its respective commissioners. But if the government of his Britannic Majesty be guided by the feeling of the English nation, and that the information given respecting the state of Colombia be dictated by justice and impartiality, we may presume that this important decision on the part of the King of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is at hand.

The commission of the King of the Low Countries has had the same issue. Mr. Quartell arrived in this capital with powers from the governor and rear-admiral of the Island of Curaçoa, issued in virtue of positive orders from his government. The commissioner gave us assurances of the favourable sentiments of the King of Holland towards the republic of Colombia, and of his desire to establish and cultivate such relations of friendship and commerce as might be useful to both parties. The Executive accepted these demonstrations with gratitude, and, in like manner, gave assurances of the same sentiments towards the kingdom of the Low Countries. The commissioner required the exequatur for the consular commissions issued by the governor and rearadmiral of Curaçoa, which the Executive denied, on the plea that the nomination to these offices rests with the government from whence they proceed, and not with its subordinate authorities. But as it was necessary to give the Dutch government a proof of the sincerity of our protestations of friendship, I permitted the persons appointed to these consulships to exercise the office of commercial agents, the same as if this informality had not been observed.

The Executive has sought, by these means, to reconcile the respect due to the rights of nations and its own dignity and honour, with that friendship and harmony which we owe to friendly nations who seek an understanding with us, on behalf of their people, and of universal peace.

The superior authority of Hayti has also accredited to the government of Colombia a public agent, who proposed to celebrate and conclude a treaty of defensive alliance with us, against all invaders of either territories. The language of liberty displayed in the propositions of this agent, and the private services which the liberator and president received from the humane and sensible Petion, at a calamitous moment, did not blind the Executive to the conduct it had to observe in this most delicate negotiation. Hayti had defended its independence against the pretensions of France, of which it formed part, as Colombia now defends hers against those of Spain. A defensive league with Hayti would have subjected us to a war with a nation against whom we have no complaint, and whom we ought not to provoke to hostilities. The interest of the Republic consists in diminishing the number of its enemies, whilst the proposed treaty would have increased them, and have taken place precisely under circumstances when the Spanish government is making every effort to compromise France in the war with America. Never can the interest of Hayti and Colombia be identified with respect to their ancient metropolises. A sympathy, indeed, prevails in this particular between Colombia and those States of America which formerly depended on Spain, and it is on this account

that the government of the Republic has promoted and concluded a confederation among the new American states. The treaties existing between these and ourselves, prevent us, by their very nature, from entering into alliances with countries which have not belonged to the Spanish nation; and a defensive alliance with Hayti would arouse a new enemy against our allies without their knowledge or consent. You know, gentlemen, that the eastern part of the island of St. Domingo belonged to France, in virtue of the treaty of Basilea, and that it was afterwards restored to Spain by the treaty of Paris: that in the year 1822 the inhabitants of St. Domingo proclaimed their independence; that in the last days of their political existence they raised the Colombian standard; and that the chief of Hayti has reduced this territory to his dominion, for reasons that are not accurately known, although its fundamental law is urged as a pretext. It does not seem that the conduct of the president of Hayti ought to draw on him the enmity of Spain, which is the only nation with which we are at war; because, when the authorities of Hayti occupied that part of the island which was formerly Spanish, they did not take possession of a Spanish territory, but of an independent country, which had manifested a wish to place itself under the protection of Colombia. All these considerations have induced the Executive to refer the proposition of the Haytian agent to the united assembly of the plenipotentiaries of the American governments, and France and our allies will observe in this upright proceeding the principles and good policy of the Colombian government: the

former, especially, must perceive that we act with sincerity and good intentions, in the steps we have taken to incline his most Christian majesty in favour of the Republic, and that we do not attribute to the French government the suspicious and treacherous conduct displayed by those persons who arrived here in the frigate Tarm, and whose voyage seems to have had for its object a visit to the country merely to pry into the state of our affairs. The tranquillity enjoyed by the Republic has enabled the Executive to make arrangements for the extension of the new method of instruction in the first rudiments of learning, for increasing the number of scholars, establishing new professorships, and reforming some colleges which still languished under the ancient colonial system of education, and the horrors of the war. The progress of public edu cation must necessarily be slow, whilst the funds of the colleges continue as small as they are at present; and perhaps we might mistrust the benefit of the establishments that have been founded, did we not observe the youth of the country eager to learn, and the teachers devoting themselves to public instruction, without other incentive than their own zeal and respect for their characters. I hope that, in the course of this session, time will be found for digesting a general plan of study, the want of which is every day more sensibly felt.

The project of laws for the political and judicial administration of departments, which were laid before the Executive at the close of the last session, will be returned to you, with such objections thereto as seem to me expedient. I will not assert that such objections will


render these important laws perfect, but your intelligence, and the time that will be afforded you for their deliberate discussion, inspire me with a confidence that your labours will make them so, and that their utility will be acknowledged throughout the republic. Executive is persuaded that these two laws will correct the errors which exist in the government of departments, and will partially improve the administration of justice, by making it a positive and substantial blessing to the people, who complain with much reason of the extensive jurisdiction embraced by the only three tribunals of appeal which we possess, and of the circumscribed power of the municipalities. But that this blessing may be rendered complete, it is absolutely necessary to issue a law respecting the revenues of corpora tion lands, since the health, convenience, and ornament of our towns, the state of the roads, and the facilities of communication, require certain funds, without which, the municipalities will be mere ciphers in the state.

I may state to you, that in general no unfavourable change has occurred in the progress and regularity of the constitutional regime. The authorities daily respect our institutions more and more; and the citizens enjoy the free privilege of demanding the fulfilment of the laws. It would indeed be a phenomenon in politics, if an infant society like ours could arrive at its height of prosperity without obstacles and slight oscillations. Colombia has still to experience the effects of the wanderings of ignorance and the incessant intrigues of our enemies; although it is true, that neither can impede her advance to that point at which she

must one day arrive. The disturbances in Pasto, which, from the nature of the country, and the character of the people, threatened to be of long duration, have subsided; and the government has visited them with as much indulgence as was compatible with public security. That activity and vigilance which suffocated this germ of disunion, will do the same on all occasions where deluded persons suffer themselves to be seduced into the commission of disorders. The people desire to live in peace under protection of the laws, and whilst they themselves take charge of the public tranquillity, and support our institutions, the Republic will enjoy internal quiet, and the standing army will have fewer duties to discharge.

Our internal commerce requires some regulations, in order to suppress the abuses committed by our sailors, and to protect navigation; and our commerce carried on with the coasts inhabited by wandering tribes, requires some special laws, in order to spare the Executive those embarrassments which it has experienced in this particular of late years. I require from Congress a law denying letters of citizenship to individuals of any nation with whom the Republic may be at war. This is a law to be found in the code of a nation that may be truly called free, and any demonstration of its necessity appears to me superfluous.

The exhaustion of the national treasury will continue to be sensibly felt whilst the payment of arrears falls on the annual revenue, and the system continues to prevail of not fixing the public expenses, and providing correspondent funds for meeting them. To these causes of fiscal embarrassment may be added,

at present, the necessity we have been under of increasing the standing army, with a view of opposing a vigorous resistance to the hostile undertakings of Spain. I cannot give you an accurate idea of the improvement that has been made in the treasury department, in virtue of the laws issued in the last session, owing to the short period that has elapsed since their publication. The Executive has given that tone and impulse that were so essentially wanted in the general administration, the custom-houses, and treasuries of departments, always consulting, however, the strictest economy. I hope that in the course of the present legislature, you will digest a systematic arrangement of the tithe rents, a reform in the law of direct contribution, and such other objects as the Executive will point out to you in virtue of the privilege it derives from the constitution to that effect.

The various and unpleasant questions that were agitated regarding the loan of March 1822, have been set at rest in a manner satisfactory to the parties, and honourable to the republic. For this purpose, the Executive had recourse to the powers granted by you in the act of the 1st of July 1823, and the result shall be in due time laid before you. The Congress must be highly gratified in learning that our conduct in this transaction has met with the general approbation of those respectable persons in foreign countries who were best able to appreciate the difficulties which enveloped it.

I shall likewise give you a most circumstantial account of the mode and the terms on which the loan decreed on the 30th of June of last year has been raised. To those

who are acquainted with the histories of other nations, the conditions of this loan have appeared highly favourable. The Executive has observed, that its agents have confined themselves to the instructions they received on leaving the capital: their operations have been conducted under the eye and direc tion of the Colombian minister in London, and the conduct of this public functionary has obtained the applause of all who have observed him narrowly. It has been a source of great satisfaction to the Executive, that the new loan was not negotiated until the question of the old one had been satisfactorily disposed of; and the consequence was, that the former was contracted under most favourable circumstances, which, by having been taken advantage of at the moment, saved us from the burthensome conditions to which we must, other wise, have submitted. You will examine the documents which will be presented to you with accuracy and discretion, and you will receive all the necessary information thereon from the secretary of the treasury, since in this examination are comprised the interests of our constituents, the honour of the government, and the good faith of the republic. I can congratulate myself, by anticipation, with the assurance that the congress and the nation will be well pleased with this transaction.

It is essential to the public prosperity and national credit, that you employ a portion of your labours in funding the national debt. Every year that passes accumulates fresh embarrassments in this particular for the succeeding ones. The debt embraces various periods, objects, and creditors, without a proper classification of each. You

know well that it is absolutely necessary that a classification of these periods be made, as well as provision for the punctual payment of the interest, and the gradual extinction of the principal. Although a law on this subject was passed last session, you will agree with me in thinking that it is imperfect and informal.

The standing army continues to give proofs of its obedience to the laws. Although no enemies are to be found within the republic with whom to contend, it has remained on the war footing required by the state of European politics. The Executive has carried into effect so much of the law which provided for the levying 50,000 men as was necessary in order to reinforce the auxiliary army of Peru, to cover the coast departments, and to organize several corps of reserve in the interior.

Orders have been given for forming the national militia throughout the country, on the principle laid down by the Congress of Cucuta ; insomuch that several corps of citizens, who recognize the defence of the country as their first duty, are now added to our battalions. You will examine the provisional decrees which the Executive has issued for the due observance of the law on this subject, and will establish a permanent system for the national militia in all the branches and objects of its organization. These measures, and the abundant elements of war which we possess, have placed the republic in a condition to present itself armed at all points, in defence of its liberty and independence.

Our naval force is undergoing that improvement and increase which, in our immediate circumstances, it requires. The Colombian

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