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into the Commission as to break it up. If he goes on the other appointment to Raskaskia he will produce a revolt of that settlement from the U. S. I thank you for

your attention to my outfit. For the articles of household furniture, clothes, and a carriage, I have already paid 28,000 livres and have still more to pay. For the greatest part of this I have been obliged to anticipate my salary from which however I shall never be able to repay it. I find that by a rigid economy, bordering however on meanness I can save perhaps $500 a month, at least in the summer. The residue goes for expences so much of course & of necessity that I cannot avoid them without abandoning all respect to my public character.

Yet I will pray you to touch this string, which I know to be a tender one with Congress with the utmost delicacy. I had rather be ruined in my fortune, than in their esteem. allow me half a year's salary as an outfit I can get through my debts in time. If they raise the salary to what it was, or even pay our house rent & taxes, I can live with more decency. I trust that Mr. A.'s house at the Hague & Dr. F's at Passy the rent of which had been always allowed him will give just expectations of the same allowance to me. Mr. Jay however did not charge it. But he lived æconomically and laid ир топеу. .

I will take the liberty of hazarding to you some thoughts on the policy of entering into treaties with the European nations, and the nature of them. I am not wedded to these ideas, and therefore shall relinquish them chearfully when Congress shall adopt others, and zealously endeavor to carry theirs into

If they

effect. First as to the policy of making treaties. Congress, by the Confederation have no original and inherent power over the commerce of the states. But by the 9th article they are authorized to enter into treaties of commerce. The moment these treaties are concluded the jurisdiction of Congress over the commerce of the states springs into existence, and that of the particular states is superseded so far as the articles of the treaty may have taken up the subject. There are two restrictions only on the exercise of the power of treaty by Congress. 1!" that they shall not by such treaty restrain the legislatures of the states from imposing such duties on foreigners as their own people are subject to. 2dly nor from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any particular species of goods. Leaving these two points free, Congress, may by treaty establish any system of commerce they please. But, as I before observed, it is by treaty alone they can do it. Though they may exercise their other powers by resolution or ordinance, those over commerce can only be exercised by forming a treaty, and this probably by an accidental wording of our Confederation. If therefore it is better for the states that Congress should regulate their commerce, it is proper that they should form treaties with all nations with whom we may possibly trade. You see that my primary object in the formation of treaties is to take the commerce of the states out of the hands of the states, and to place it under the superintendence of Congress, so far as the imperfect provisions of our constitution will admit, and

until the states shall by new compact make them more perfect. I would say then to every nation on earth, by treaty, your people shall trade freely with us, & ours with you, paying no more than the most favoured nation, in order to put an end to the right of individual states acting by fits and starts to interrupt our commerce or to embroil us with any nation. . As to the terms of these treaties, the question becomes more difficult. I will mention three different plans. 1. that no duties shall be laid by either party on the productions of the other.

2. that each may be permitted to equalize their duties to those laid by the other. 3. that each shall pay in the ports of the other such duties only as the most favoured nations pay.

1. Were the nations of Europe as free and unembarrassed of established system as we are, I do verily believe they would concur with us in the first plan. But it is impossible. These establishments are fixed upon them, they are interwoven with the body of their laws & the organization of their government & they make a great part of their revenue ; they cannot then get rid of them. 2. The plan of equal imposts presents difficulties insurmountable, For how are the equal imposts to be effected ? Is it by laying in the ports of A. an equal percent on the goods of B. with that which B. has laid in his ports on the goods of A.? But how are we to find what is that percent ? For this is not the usual form of imposts. They generally pay by the ton, by the measure, by the weight, & not by the value. Besides if A. sends a million's worth of goods to B. & takes

back but the half of that, and each pays the same percent, it is evident that A. pays the double of what he recovers in the same way with B. This would be our case with Spain. Shall we endeavour to effect equality then by saying A. may levy so much on the sum of B.'s importations into his ports, as B. does on the sum of A's importations into the ports of B. ? But how find out that sum ? Will either party lay open their custom house books candidly to evince this sum ? Does either keep their books so exactly as to be able to do it? This proposition was started in Congress when our institutions were formed, as you may remember, and the impossibility of executing it occasioned it to be disapproved. Besides who should have a right of deciding when the imposts were equal. A. would say to B. my imposts do not raise so much as yours ; I raise them therefore. B. would then say you have made them greater than mine, I will raise mine, and thus a kind of auction would be carried on between them, and a mutual imitation, which would end in anything sooner than equality, and right. 3. I confess then to you that I see no alternative left but that which Congress adopted, of each party placing the other on the footing of the most favoured nation. If the nations of Europe from their actual establishments are not at liberty to say to America that she shall trade in their ports duty free they may say she may trade there paying no higher duties than the most favoured nation. And this is valuable in many of these countries where a very great difference is made be

tween different nations. There is no difficulty in the execution of this contract, because there is not a merchant who does not know, or may not know, the duty paid by every nation on every article. This stipulation leaves each party at liberty to regulate their own commerce by general rules; while it secures the other from partial and oppressive discriminations. The difficulty which arises in our case is, with the nations having American territory. Access to the West Indies is indispensably necessary to us. Yet how to gain it, when it is the established system of these nations to exclude all foreigners from their colonies. The only chance seems to be this, our commerce to the mother countries is valuable to them. We must endeavor then to make this the price of an admission into their West Indies, and to those who refuse the admission we must refuse our commerce or load theirs by odious discriminations in our ports. We have this circumstance in our favour too, that what one grants us in their islands, the others will not find it worth their while to refuse. The misfortune is that with this country we gave this price for their aid in the war, and we have now nothing more to offer. She being withdrawn from the competition leaves Gr. Britain much more at liberty to hold out against us. This is the difficult part of the business of treaty, and I own it does not hold out the most flattering prospect. --I wish you would consider this subject and write me your thoughts on it. Mr. Gherry [sic] wrote me on the same subject. Will you give me leave to impose on you the trouble of communicating this to him? It is

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