Newspaper of The New York Herald, February 20, 1855, Page 2

Newspaper of The New York Herald dated February 20, 1855 Page 2
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FRENCH SPOLIATION. Veto Message of the President. To tv? Hern or Rktrmkitativm : I bare received anil carefully considered the bill en titled "An act to fro vide for tbe ascertainment of claim* ?f American o?tiiens for spoliations committed by the French prior to tbe thirty -first of July, one thousand wght hundred and one," and, in the discharge of a duty imperatively enjoined ?n me by the constitution, I re turn the ?mm, with m> objections, to tbe House of Representatives, in which it originated. In the organisation of the government o( the United Ptates, the legislative and executive functions were separated, and placed in distinct hands. Although the President is required, from time to time, to recommend to the consideration of Congress such measures as be shall judge necessary and expedient, hi' .participation n the formal business of legislation is limited to the single duty, in a certain contingency, of demanding for a Mil a particular form of vote, prescribed by the coustl uticn. before it can become a law. He is not invested with power to ilefeat legislation by an absolute veto, but only to restrain it, and is charged with the duty, in cute be disapproves a measure, of invoking a secoed, and a more deliberu'e and colemn consideration of it on the part of Congress. It is not incumbent on ttie President to sigD a bill as a matter of couie, and thus merely to authenticate he action of Congress, for he must exercise intelligent judgment, or be faithless to tbe trust reposed in him It be approve a bill he shall sign it: but if not, be ahall return it, with his objections, to that house in whicn it shall l.ave originated, for such further action as tbe constitution demands, which is its enactment, if at ail. not by a bare numerical majority as in tbe first instance, but by a constitutional majority of two- thirds of both houses While the constitution thus confers on the legislative bodies the complete power of legislation in all ca?es it proceeds, in the^spirit of. justice, to provide for tbe pro tection of the responsibility of tne I'resident. It does ?ot compel him to affix the signature of approval to any bill unless it actually have his approbation, for, while It requires bim to sign if he approve, it in my judgment, imposes upon lum the duty of withholding his signa ture if he do cot approve. In tbe execution of his offi cial duty in this tepect, he is not to perform a mere me cbamcal part, but it. to decide and act according to con scientious convictions of the rightfulness or the wrong, fulness cf the proposed law. In a matter as to which he is doubful in his own mind, he may well defer to the majority of the two houses Individual members of the respective houses, owing to the nature, variety and amount of business pending, must necessarily rely, for tbeir guidance, in many, peihaps most cases, when the matters involved are nut of popular interest, upon the mvestigation of appropriate committees, or, it may he, that of a K.ngle member, whose attention has been par ticularly directed to the subject. For similar reasons, but even to a greater extent, from the number au>l va riety of subjects daily urged upon his attention, the Pre sident naturally relies much upon the investigation had, and the results arrived at, by the two houses, ami hence those results, in large classes of cases, constitute the basis upon which his approval rests. The l'resideut's responsibility is to the whole people of the United States* as that of a Senator is to the people of a particular State, that of a representative to the people of a Statu or dis trict; and it may be stfcly assumed that be will not re sort to tbe cle irly-deflned andl imited power of arresting legislation, and calling tor reconsideration of any measure, except in obodience to requirements of duty. When, however he entertains a decisive and fixed conclusion, net merely of the unconstitutionality, but of the impro Eiety, or injustice in other respects, of any measure, it declare that he approves it, he is false to his oath, and he deliberately disregards his constitutional obliga tions. 1 cheerfully TecognWe the weight of authority which attaches to tin* action of a majority ol the two houses. Hnt in this rare, an in gome others, tbc trainers or our ctnttltu* ion, for woe considerations of public good, pro vided that rotfcing less than a two-th:rils rote of on? or both of the houses of Congress shall become effaetive to bind the -o ordinate'.mentH of the government, the people, and the several i-'tates. 11 there be anything of seemicg iividiousneas in the official right thus cjd fened on the Presided, it in in appearance only, for the name right of approving or disapproving a bill, accord ing to each one'* own judgment, is conferred on every member of the Senate, ami of the Home of Representa tive* It is apparent therefore, tli?t ' he clreumstancrs m'llt be extraordinary niiich would induce the President to withhold approval from a bill involving no violation o: tlie cons 1 itutlon. The amouttof the claims proposa l to be discharged by the bill betore m* the nature of the transactions in '.vbich those claim- sre al'-egeil to have originated. the 1< ngth of time during which they have ?erupted the attention of Congress and the country, pre eesit such an exigency. Tueir h'?tory renders it impos sible that a President who h*s participated to any c. in rtderable degieo in public allai rs outd have fulled 1 1 form respecting tliem, a decided opinion, upon what he would deem sa'isfactory grounds. Nevertheless, instead ?f resting on form*r op n un", it has seemed to me proper to rev ew and in?re carefully ?a?i?inp tbe whole subject, ?o s? tati-ff cVjrMv tQ det* rmJjn tDu b&' 'i?S find extent ?f my oVi'caiionl in the premise/. I leel called upon, at tho threshold, to notice an a*??^ tion olten repeated, that the refusal of the United States .to Nit.ffv these claims, in the mtnner provide 1 by th>; fWMnt bill, TC!t? as a stain on the justice of our coun try. If it be so. the imputation on the public honor is aggravated by the consideration that the claims are co eval with the present century, and if lias been a persist ent wrong during that whole period of time. The allega tion is, that private property has been taken for public use without just compensation, in violation of express provisions of the constitution: and that reparation Ins been withheld, and justice denied, uat'l the injured par lies have for tl.e mott par descended to the grive. lJut it is not to be (orgotteo or overlooked, that tho?c who represented the peopK in different capacities, at the lime when the alleged obligations were Incurred, ami to whom the ct;?rgeof injustice*, in the first in star) ;e. have also passed aw.ty, snd home with them the special information which controlled tbe'r decision, an 1, it iray be well presume**, constituted the justification of tkir acts. If, however, the charge iu question he well founded, although its admiss on would inscribe on our history a page which we mipht desire most of all to obliterate, anil although, if true, it must pitnftilly disturb Our eon ftdence in the justice sod the high s?nse of moral aal Clltical responsibility of those whose memories we have en taught to cheri?h with so touch revei -nce and re spect, still we have only one course ot' action left to us, and that is, to make tbe m??t prompt snd ample repara tiro id onr powe-. and consign the wrong, as far as ni ly be. to forget fulness Put no such heavy sentedceof condemnation should be lightly passed upon the ?agacious and patriotic men who I artiripated in the transactions out of which the-* claim* are supposed to have arisen, ami who. from their ample means of knowledge of the general subject in its minute details, and from their official position, are pecu liar'y responsible for whatever there isof wrong or injus tice in the dscsions of the gove*nni*nt. Their justification consi?ts In that which constitutes the objection to the present h 11? namely, the absence ?>f any indebtedness on the part of the i tiited Stites. The charge of a den'al of justice in this case, and a consequent stain upon our national character, has not jet been endorsed by tbe American people; hut, if it w?re otherwise, this bill, *o far from relieving the past, would only stamp on the present ? more deep and In delible stigma It admits tbe justice of the claims, concedes that payment has been wroujfully withheld (or fifty years, and then proposes, not to pay them, but to com|?und with the public creditors by providing that whether the claims shall be presented or not, wtie ther the fsum appropriated slisll pay m ich "r little ot what shall be tound due. the law itself shall ensti tute a per|*tual bar to all future demand*. This is cot. in my judgment, tbe way to atone for wrongs, if they exist, nor to meet subsisting obligations. II new tacts, not snowu or not accessible during the administration of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. MadWon, or Mr. Monroe, bad since l.een brought to light, or new sources of information discovered, this would greatly relieve the subject of embarrassment. But nothing of this nature has occurr< d That those eminent statesmen hadjthe best means of arriving at a coned conclusion, no one will deny. That they ne\er recogn'seu tb" alleged obligation on the part of tbe government, is shown by the history of their respective admin stration-. Indeed, it stands, not as a matter of controlling authority, but as a fact of histo ry, that these claims have never since our existen ?* as a nation, been deemed by any President worthy of re commendation to Congress. Claims to payment >an rest only on the plea of indent ed?es? c,n the part of the government. This requires that It should tie shown that the l nited States have in enrred liability to the claimant*, either by such acta as deprive them of their property, or by having actually taken it (or public use, without just compensa tion for It. The first brunch of the proposition? that on which an equitable claim to be indemnified by the I'mted States for losses sustained might rest ? requ.res st lea?t a cur eory exsminsttHn of the history ot tbs trans ittions on which the claims .epend The fire*, link, win ni in the chain of events arrests attem on, is the treaties of alii aace and of amity an I commerce between th- 1,'nlted 8tates and Km nee, negotiated in 17 if1. 11/ th'ise treaties, peculiar privilege, were secured to the arm d vessels ot each of the contracting parties in tr.e ports of the ether, the freedom of trade was rreaily enlarged; and mutual obligations were incurred oy each to guarantee to th ? ?ther the;r territorial po-sss.ione in Am-rica In 1*92- '3, when war broke out between France au 1 Great Britain, the former claimed privileges in American Kirts whieh our government ui 1 nut ail ml a dediiclblw em the treaties of 1 7 Th, an I w'dcli it wss b-l I were iu conflict with obligations to the otner belligerent Towers The liberal principle of one of the treaties referred ti ? that free ship* make free gon..s, and that suhsiatenee and snpplie* were net contraoaud of war, unless des tines] to a blockaded port ? w*< found, in a commercial view, to operate diMWvantag-msiy to Krance, as com pared witli her enemy. Great llritain, the latter assert ? ng. under the law of nations, the right to c ipturc, as contraband, supplies wBen bound for an enemv s p ?rt . Induced seamly, it ie believed, by these cons', the government of Krance tfecreel, on th" 9th ot May, 1793, the first year of the war, that "the Fren-u people are no longer permitted to Iu19l towarls th- neutral Powers in general th* vows th?y have so often mani Tested, and which they onatantlv as ike for th< full an I entire liberty of commerce and navisation.' an I. a" s counter sasn-urs to the course of (ireat ilritnu. a ith >r. aed tbe set sure of neutral vessels bound to an *n?n?v'a port, in like manner ss that was lone by her great mari time rival This decree was m.vie to act retrospe J ively, aad to continue until the enemieeof Kran-e should desist from depredatlOBs on the nentral ve? ?ts h>un<l to the ports of France. Then followed the embargo, by ?ar vessels were detained in Ror>>tut the soi/ure of British goods on board of our ships, an 1 of the property ?f Avert can citixens, under the pretence t?i at it oeloagevl ts English subjects, and the imprison svent of Aner ran l.tisens captured on the high seas. " Against these m'raetions of oust n? treaties an 1 viola ? as of oar rights as a nevvrtl i*ow*r, we conplaineJ and remonstrated. For the property of our injured etti tM if vi dcm&uilf4 tbftt due cooiptDMiUoD should he m ede and, from 17V3 to 1797. und every ?mw, ordl nary and extraordinary, to obtain redree* by negotia tion. In tbs laft mentioned year theae eitorU were met by a refu*el to receive a minuter sent by our government with special m*truction* to represent the amicaole dm position of tbe government and people of the Unites Stales, and their desire to remove jealousies, ana to re store confidence by showing that the complaints aga.u*t them weie groundless. Vailing in this, another attempt to adjust all difference* between tbe two republics was made in tbr form of an extraordinary mission, of three distinguished citizen*; but the reriual to receive was offensively repeated; and thus terminated this Hit rtlort to preeerve pea:e and restore kind relatloaH W th our early friend and ally, ?o whom a debt of pratitude was due, which the American people have never been wilhnr tod?pre< iate or to forget. Years of negotiation nad not only failed to secure indemnity for oor oUiMM und exemption from further depredation, but these long continued effort* had brought upon the government the suspension of diplomatic intercourse with *rance. and such indigities as to induce President Adams, in his roes H?ce of May 16, 1797, to Congrens. convened In special session, to present it as the particular matter for their consideration, and to speak of it In term- of the highest indignation. Thenceforward the action of our govern ment assumed a character which clearly indicate* that hope was no longer entertained from tbe amicable feei ng or justice of the government of France, and hence the subteauent measures were those of force. On the 28th of May. 17f6. an act was pa*sed for the employment of the navy of the United States against " armed vessels of the republic of France,'" and authoriz ed their capture, it " iound hovering on the coast or the United States for the purpose of committing depreda tions on the vessels belonging to the citizens thereof." On tbe 18th of June, 1798, an act was passed prohibit ing commtrcial intercourse with France, under the penalty of tbe forfeiture of the vessels so employed. On the 25th of June, the same year, an act to arm the merchant marine to oppose marches, capture aggres sors, and recapture American vessels taken by the French. On the 28th o! June, same year, an act for the ct/tdemna' ion and sale of French vessels captured by authority of the act of 28th of May preseding. Oa the 27 th of July, same year, an act abrogating the trea ties and the convention which hud been concluded be tween the United States and France, ami declaring "that the same shall not henceforth be regarded as legally ob ligatory on the government or citizens of the United States." On the 9th of the same month an act was passed which enlarged tne limits of the hostilities then existing, by authorizing our public vessels to capture armed vessels of France wherever found upon the high seas, and conferred power on the President to issue commissions to private armed vessels to engage in like These acts, thongh short o' a declaration of war, which would put all the citizens of each country in hostility with those of the other, were nevertheless ao tnal war, partial in its application, maritime in its chii racter, but which required tbe expenditure of much of our public treasure, and much of the blood of onr pat riotic Tcitizens who, in vessels but little suited to the purposes of war, went forth to battle on the high seas for the rights and security of their fellow-citizens, and to repel indignities offered to tbe national honor It ii not. then, because of any failure to use all availa ble means, diplomatic and military, to obtain reparation, that liability for private claims < an have been incurred by the United States, and if there is any pretence for such liability, it must flow frjin the action, not from tan neglect, of the United states The first complaint on the part of France was against the proclamation of Presi dent Washington, o' April 22, 1703. At that early pe riod in the war which involved Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, the United Netherlands, and Great Britain on the one part and France on the o'.her, the great and wise man *ho was the Chief Executive, as he was and had been the guardian o < our then infant republic, proclaimed that " the duty and interest of the United States require that they should, with sincerity and good faith, adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial towards tne belligerent Powers." This attitude of neutrality, it was pretended, was in disregard of the obligations ol alliance between the United 8t*tes and Frai.ce. And thl?, to gether with the often- renewed complaint that the stipu lations of the treaties of 1778 had not beet observed and executed by the Uni'ed States, formed the pretext lor the series of outrages upon our govirnment und its citi zen" which finally drove us to seek redress ar-d safety by ar appeal to force. The treaties of 1778, so long the subject ol French complaints, are now understood to be the foundation upon which tre laid tbe'-e claims of in demnity from the United States for spoliations committed bv me French prior to 1800. Tbe act of our government wuich abrogated Dot only the treaties ot 1778, but also the MMiuent consular convention oi 1788, hi? already been re fened to. and it maybe well here to inquire what toe course of France was in relation thereto. By the decrees of 9th of Msy, 1793, 7th of July, 179fi, and 2d of March, 1797, the stipulations which were then and subsequently most important to the United State* were tendered wholly inoperative. The highly injurious el fects which these de rees are known to have produced show hew vital were the provitlon- of treaty winch they violated, and maie manifest the incontrovertible right of the Unittd states to declare, as the consequence o these acts ol :te other contracting party, tbe treaties aaneod. Hie next step in this inquiry is, whe'.her tt.e act de ckling the ireaties null and void was ever repealed, or whether by any other means the treati?? were ever re vived so an to he either the subject or the source or na tional obligation The war which has been descried wns tern-inaUd by the treaty of Paris of lMHj, aod to that Instiumeut it is necessary to turn to find bow much , f pre existing obligations between 'he two governments ,,fl?W the hostilities in which they had been engaged. Bv thtUCUB* of treatv of isnoit was JecUr ? ?{.?* ?t ? -M?r<iotentiary of the two patties, ed that tl.e ministers j~ i-#v treaties of alli not being able to agvee respecting '"atics or a ll once, amity and commerce of 17iS, aniHhi CO-.? n or 1788 n< r upon the imlemnit es mutually due or rlaimel, the partes wltl negotiate further on these sub ects at a convenient time; and until Oiey shall have agreed upon these points the said treaties aod couveution shall have no operation. When the treaty ?ubm'tted to the Senate of the I nited States tbe second article was disagreed to, and the treaty amended by striking it out an.l inserting a provisicn fiat the convention then maie should con tinue in force eight years from the date of rati Station, which convention thus amended was accepted by the First* onsui of France, with the addition ol a note ex planatory ol his construction of the convention, to the elTei I that by the retrenchment or the se. ond article the two States renounce the respective pretentions which *ere He object of the said article. , . ! It will lie perceived by the language of the second ar tide as originally Iramed by the negotiator*, that they had found themselves uosbl- to adjust the controversies on which years of diplomacy and of hostilities had been expended; aud that they were at last compelled to post pone the discussion or those questions to t h*t ir.o<t in vlehmte period, a "conven'ent time. All, then, of these eubje,ts which was revived by the convention was the risht to renew, when it should be convenient to the parties, a discussion which had already exhausted uego tisiion, involved the two countries in a maritime w sr. aid on which the parties bad approached no nearer to c< ncurience than they were when the controversy begun. The obligations or the treaties of 1778, aud the con vention ol 17C8, were mutual, and e.timatwl to be equal. But, however onerous they may have been to th- I in ted States, they had been abrogated, and were uot revived by the convention of 1S00. but expressly spokeu or as snsr ended until an event which could only occur by the pleasure of tbe United States, it seem* clear, then, that the liited Mates were relieved of noobligatiou to V ranee by the retrenchment of the second article of eonv.n ion; aud if thereby. France was relieved of any valid claims ? gainst her. the United States riceived no consideration in retuin, aud that if private property <vas taken hy the t nited States from their own citizens, it was not for pub lic use. Hut it i* here proper to inquire whether the United States did relieve France Irom valid claim* against h?r on tbe part of citizens of the United States, auldid thus deprive them of their property. The complaints and counter c omplaints of the t wo g ertnients bad been, that treaties were violated, and tnat both public and individual rights and interests ba t been ..scriticed. The correspondence of our ministers engaged 111 negotiations, both be'ore and after the convention ol 1800. su tViciently proves how hopeless was t he effort to obta'n full indemnity from France for injuries inflicted on our commerce from 17ti'l to 1800, unless it should bv an account m which the rival pretensions of the two governments -hould each be acknowl 'dged, and the bal ance struck between them. It is s opposable, and may be infeired from the contem poraneous lns'orv as probable, that had the 1 nited Ststes agreed in iVOO to revive the treaties of 1*78 aud 178S with the construction which France had placed til en them, tbat the latter government would, on tne other hand, bsve agreed to make indemnity for those spoliation* which wtre committed under the pretext that the United States were laithless to the obligations ol the alliance between the two countries. ? Hence the conclusion that the United States did not sacrifice private rights or propeity to get rid of public obligations, but. only refused to r?assum? public obliga tions for the purpose of obtaining tbe recognition of tne claims or Americsn citizens on thep.rtol Iranae All those claims which the French government w?> willing to admit *ere carerully provide.i for elsewhere iu the convention, and the declaration or the Hrst toasul, which was appended in lil? additional rote, had no ot.ier application than to the claims which had been mutually lnvie by the governments, hut on which they had nev"r spproxiimted to an adjustment In confirmation or the tact tbat our govertment did not Intend to ceaae trum the prosecution of tbe jnst claims of our citizens sgsinst > ranee, teretence Is here made to the annual message or I resident Jeflersoa of l>eremb?r 1M>1. which open* with expressions ot bis gratlflcat on at the restoration or peace among sister nations, and aft?r spiking of the assurance* re,-eive?l rrom all nation* with whom we had principal relations, and of tbe confidence thus insp re l tbat our peace with tbem would not have been disturb ed If they had ortinnued at war with each other, he pro " 'ko" '"cessation of Irregularities which hal afflicted the ci mmeroe ot neutral natii ns, and of the '"'t**'?"* and in ur.e? prtxluced by them, cannot but add to tins , onfldence. ind strengthen at the same time .he ho,* tha' ?rong? comm ttad on unolfend ng frienls, u ? .? ? i>ressure or circumstances, will no? be revi-wei wi u candor, and will be considered as founding just claims or retribution for the past and new assurances ror me ' The* zeal and diligence with which the claims or oor citizen* against France were prosecuted, appear io tlie diplomttic correspundence or the threo year* n-*xt suc ceeding the conventicn of 1800, and the effect of those efforts is made manifest In the convention o. lwM, in which provision was made for payment of a clas* of cas*s, the consideration of which France ba.l at sll previous periods r?fii?ed to entertain, and which are of toat very class which It has been often assumed were release! by striking out the second article of the convention of lw>0. This is shown by reTerence to the preamble, and to the fourth and firth article* or tbe convention of lffa, hy which were admitted smong the debts due hy France to citizens of the United States the amount* chargeable for "prizes made at sea <n which the appeal hae been properly lodged w.thin the rime mentioned in the said convention of tbe 30th of September, 1800," an] thie claes sm further defined to be only "capturee of which the council of prizes shall hav* ordered res-.itt tlos it being well understood that the claimant cannot have reconrse to the United States, otherwise than he ni ght have hail to tbe French re; nblic, and only in case ?f :b? insufficiency tf the captor*." If as til affirmed on all band*, the convention of lMttt was .n tended to elM *1 uuestion* between tbe go vsrimenis of France and the I oiled States, and twenty millu n* of franc* ware wt apart a* a iuk, which m girt exceed, but could not fall snort, of tbe debt* due by France to tbe citizens of tbe UniteA State*, how are we reconcile the claim now preeente-d with tbe estimate* ma<;e by those who were of th% time and immediately connected with tbe event*, vnd whose intelligence and integrity lave in no *m?ll degree contributed to tbe character and proaperity of tbe oountry In wbieh we lire? Ii it rational to aaanme that tbe claimant*, who now preeent themselves for indemnity by tbe United Stales, represent debt* which would have been admitted and paid by France but for tbe intervention of the I mted Stateiy A nd 1* It possible to escape from the ef fect of tbe volumnious evidence tending to establish the fact that France resisted all the** claims? that it wa? only aft?r long and skilful negotiation that tbe arents of tbe I nited States cbtained the recognition of sucli of the claim* as were provided for In tbe convention* ot 1800 and 1801* And is not tbi* conclusive against any pre tentions of possible success on the part of the claimant* if lelt unaided to make their applicaticns to France ; that the only debts due to American citizen* which have teen paid by France aie those which were assumed by the I nited States, as part of tbe consideration in tbe purchase of I.ouisiana There ti little which Is creditable either to the judg ment or patriotism of thoae of our fellow-citizen* who at this dsy arraign tbe justice, the fidelity or love of coun try of the men who founded tbe republic, in represent ing them ss having barter*! away the property of Indi vidual* to escape from publie obligations, and then to have withheld from them just compensation. It has been gratifying to me in tracing the history of these claims, to find that ample evidence exists to refute an accusation which would impeach the purity, the justice, *nd tbe magnanimity of tbe illustrious men who guided snd controlled tbe early destinies of the republio. 1 pass from this review of the history of the subject, and. omitting many substantial objections to theae claim*, proceed to examine somewhat more closely the only grounds upon which they can by possibility be maintained. Before entering on this, it may he proper to state dis tinctly certain proposition* which, it is admitted on all hands, are essential to prove the obligations of the go vernment. First ? 1 hat at the date of the Treaty of September 30, 18C0, these claim* were valid and subsisting as against France. Second ? That they were released or extinguished by the United States in that treaty, and by tbe manner of its ratification. Third, That they were io released or extinguished for n consideration valuable to tbo government, but in which tbe claimants had no mere interest than any other citizen*. The convention between tbe French republic and tbo 1 'nited States of America, signed at Farm on the 30th day of Septtmber.lMH), purports in thepreamblito be founded on the equal desire of the First Consul (Napoleon Bona parte) and the I'residentof the United States to terminate tbe difference* which have arisen between the two State*. It declares, In the first place, that there shall be firm, inviolable and universal place, and a true and sincere friendship, between the French republic and tbe United States. Next it proceed*, in tbe second, third, fourth and filth articles, to make provision in *undry respects, having reference to past differences, and the transition from the state of war between the two countries to that of general and permanent peace. Finally, in the residue of the twenty -seventh article, it stipulates anew the conditions of amity and intercourse? commercial and political? thereafter to exist, and, of course, to be sub stituted in place of the previous condition* of tho trea ties of all ance and of commerce, and the consular con vention which are thus tacitly but unequivosally re cognized a* no longer in force, but in effect abrogated, either by tbe state of war, or by the political action of tie two republics. Except in so far as the whole convention goes to es tablish the fact that tbe previous treaties were admitted on both sides to be at an end, none of the articles arc directly material to the pretent question, save the fol lowlrg: ? Art. 2. " The m'nisters plenipotentiary of the two par ties not being able to agree at present respecting the treaty of alliance of 6th February, 1778, the treaty of amity and commerce ol the same date, and the conven tion of the 14th November, 1788, nor upon tbe indemni ties mutually due or claimed, the parties will negotiate further on these subject* at a convenient tune; and until tbey may have agreed upon these point*, the said trea ties and con vent ion shall have no operation, and the re lations of the two countrit* stall be regulated as fol lower Art. S. " The debts contncted by one of the two na ti<n* with individuals of tbe other, or by ihe individuals of cz>e with tbe indviidual* of tbe ether, sball bo paid, or tie payment may be proiecuted in the ntme manner a* i' then- bed been no misundesstinding between the two Staler. Bu' this clause shall not extend to indemnities claimed nu account of captures or confiscations." <ln this convention being submitted to tho Senate of t'<e United States, they consented and advised to it* ratification with the following pruviso:* "l'tovlded that tbe seu'nd article be expunged, and that ttie following aitlcle be added or inserted: It is sgieed that the present convention *hall be in force for the term ot eight years from tbe time of the exchange of ratification*. ' The spirit and pin pose of this change are apparent and unmistakable. 1 lie convention, as signed by the respec tive plenipotentiaries, did not adjust all the points of controversy. Both nations, however, desired the restor ation of peace Accordingly, as to those matters, in the relation* of the two countrie* concerning which they could agree, tbey aid agree for the time being; and as to tbe lent. con?ernirg which they could not agree, they ?appended and po* poned further negotiation. TI ey ali* ndoned no pretensions, tb?y relinquished no light on either side, but simply adjourned the question until a "convenient time." Meanwhile, and until the [ nrr.Tal of such convenient t me, tne relation* of tbe two j countrfc) vijte to <j" regulated by the stipulations of tho convention. Of :ourt>4, tbe convention was on its face a temporary and piovisioial one. but in the worst possible form of prospective termination. It was to cease at a convenient time. Hut bow should that convenient time be ascer tained? It's plain that such astipulation, while protets nily not disposing of the present cont rove > sy, had within Itself the germ of afresh one; for the two government* n ight at any moment fall into dispute on the question whether tbat convenient time had or had not arrived. Tbe Senate of tbe United State* anticipated and pre vented tbis question by the only possible expedient ? that is. the designation of a precise date. This being done, the rema ning parts of tbe second article became superfluous and useless; for, as all the provisions of the convention would expire in eight years, it would neces sarily follow tbat negotiation* must be renewed within tlMt period; more especially as the operation of the aiiiei.cment which covered the whole convention was that even the stipulation of peace in tbe first articlo be came temporary and expired io eight year*, whereas tbat aiticle. and that article alone, was permanent ac cording to the orU tool tenor of the convention. The convention thus amended being submitted to the First Consul, was ratified by him, accompanying bis act of acceptance by tbe following declaratory note : ? " Ihe government of the United States having added in .ts ratification that the convention should he in force tor t lie -pace of eight years, and having omitted the se cond article, the government of the French ^public con sents to accept, ratify, and confirm tbe abotMrnventlon, with tb<- addition importing that thi convention sball be in force lor the space of eight years, and with the re trenchment of tbe second article : Provide 1 tbat by tbis retrenchment tbe two States renounce the respective pretensions which are the objector the said article." Th)> convention, as thus ratified by tbe First Connol. having been again submitted to the Senate of the Unitsd States, that body resolved that "they considered the convention as fully ratified," and returned the same to tbe I resident for promulf ation, and it. was accordingly promulgated in the usual form by I'resident Jefferson Now it is clear, that in simply resolving that ' tbey considered the convention as fnlly ratified, " the Senate did in fact abstain from any express declaration of dis sent or assent to the construction put by the First Con sul on the retrenchment ot the *econd article. If any inference, beyond this, can be drawn from their resolu tion. I' is, tbat they regarded tlie proviso annexed by the First Consul to his declaration of acceptance as foreign to tbe subject, a* nugatory, or ** without consequence or effect. Notwithstanding this proviso, they considered the ratification as full. If the new proviso intde any change lu the previous import of the convention, then It wss not full. And in considering it a full ratification they n wuhstance deny tbat the proviso did in any re spect change tbe tenor of the convention. By the second article, as it originally atood, neither republic bad relinquished Its existing rights or preten sions either as to other previous treaties, or tbe indemni ty mutually due or claimed, but only deferred tbe con sideration of them to a convenient time. By the amend ment of the t-enaie of the United Status, that convenient time, instead of being lsft indefinite, was fixed at eight years; but no right or pretention of either party wss surrendered or abandoned. if the Senate erred in assuming tbat the proviso add ed by the first Consul did not affect tbe question, then the transaction would amount to nothing more than to have rai?ed a new <|uention to be disposed of on resum ing the negotiations ? namely, the question whether the proviso of the First ( onsnl aid or not modify or impair the effect of the convention as it had been ratified by the Senate. That inch, md ?uoli only, was the true mun n and etteet of the transaction. that it wan not, aud was not intended to be. a relinquishment by the United States of anv existing claim on France, ami especially that it ?M not an *1 ati'lonmeilt of any claims of individual citi zens. nor the aet off of these sgatnst any conceded na tional ohliifations to Kranre, is who en by the faet that President ,!etlrr?nn did at onte resume and prose :ute to | successful conclusion negotiations to obtain from I'ran-.e I Indemnification tor the ? laim* cf citizens of the ITn'ted j State exlatint at the date of that convention: for on the 30th of April, 1WKI. three treaties were concluded at I'ans betai en the t'nited State* of America and the I rench republic, one o| which embraced the eeedon of j l.oui?lana another stipulated for the pawsnt of sixty I milium- ol Irani " by the I mt-d States to r'raaoe; and a third piovidci, that foribe satisfaction of auma due by Krsnce to c.Ur?n* of the I n ted Statea at the conclusion of the convention o! Septemuer .to, 1800, and in eipresa I compliance wltti the second and litth articles thereof, a ??..? of twenty milllnnsof franca ahould heap ' pro|-riat?d an 1 paid by the 1'nlted Statea. In the pre I nmbleto the Brst of these treatiea, which ceded l<oul*la ' r.a, it i? wt forth that? "The r resident of the l'nlte<l Statea of America and the First Consul ol the French republic, In the name of the Frvach people desiring to remove all source of mis understanding relative to object* of discretion men tC'Ded m the second and flfth articlea of the convention of the '?th Vendeira!re, an. ft. (riotb September, l#0O.) relative to the rlehts claimed by the United States in virtue Of the treaty concluded at Madrid, the 27th of October. lTVft, between his Catholic Majesty and the aai 1 United States. an ", willing to atr*nirthen the union anl friendship which at the time of the said convention we* l..v I ily re-establ shed betwera the two nation*, have respectively named their pien.potentUriea," who "have agreed to the follow in( articles. '' Here ia the most distinct and categorical ieclarat on of the two governments, that the matters of claim in the f?c??d article of the convention of 1*00 bad not been ceded away, relinquished, or aet off, but they were still rubeirting subjects cf demand ag amst France. The tame Oe'antion af^ears in eq tally emphatic language In the third of these treaties, bearing the same date? th* preamble of which recites thai ? "The President of the United StaUs of America ml the Pfr*t Consul of the French republic, in the nave of the French people, having by a treaty of this date termi nated all difficulties relative to Louisiana, and established on a solid foundation the friendship which unites the two nations, and being desirous, in complin ice with the second and fifth article* of the convention of the eighth Vandemaire, ninth year of the French repuhlie, (30th September, 1800,) to ee cure the payment of the sums due by France to the citizens of the Cnited States.'* and "hare appointed plenipotentiariea,'' who agreed to the following among other articles "Art. 1 The debts due by France to citizens of the United States, contracted before the 8tti of Vandemaire, ninth year of the French republic, (30th September, 1800,) shall be paid according to the following regula tions, with interest at six percent, to commence irom the periods when the accounts and vouchers were pre sented to the French government. Art. II. "The debts provided for by the preceding ar ticle are those whose result in comprised in the conjec tural note (a) annexed to the present convention, and which, with the interest, cannot exceed the sum of twenty millions of francs. The claims comprised in the said note which fall within the exceptions of the follow ing articles tb&ll not be admitted to the benefit of thla proviB'on. Art. iV. "It is expressly agreed that the preceding ar ticles Khali comprehend no debts but such debt* as are due to citizens of the United States, who have been and are aet ci editor* of France, for suppiiea, for embargoes, and prizes made at sea, in which the appeal haa been properly lo-'ged within the time mentioned in the said convention, eighth Vendemaire, ninth year, (30th Hep ember. 1800.) Art. V. "The preceding articles shall apply only? lit, to captures of which the council of prize* shall have or dered restitution, it being well understood that the claimant cannot have recourse to the United State*, otherwise than he might have had to the government of the Fren:h republic, and only in case of insufficiency of the csj.'ors; 2d, the debt* mentioiied in the aaid fifth ar ticle of the convention contracted before the 8th Vende maire, an. 9, f30 September, 1*00,) the payment of which has been heretofore claimed of the actual govern ment of France, and 'or which the creditors have a right to the protection of the United State*; the said fifth arti cle doe.* not comprehend prize* whose condemnation has been or shall be confirmed. It is the express Intention of the contracting parties not to extend the benefit of the present convention to reclamations of American citizen* who shall have established bouse* of commerce In France, England, or other countries than the United States, in partnership with foreigners, and who by that reason, on the nature af their commerce, ought to be re gaided as domiciliated in the place* where tuah house* exist. All agreement* and bargains concerning merchan dise, which shall not be the property of American citi zens, are equally excepted from the benefit of the aaid convention, saving, however, to such persons their claima in like manner as if thl* treaty had not been made. Art. XII. "In case of claims for debt* contracted by the government of France with citizen* of the United States since tbe 8th Vendemaire. ninth year, (September HO, 1800,) not being comprised in this convention, may be pursued, and ihe payment demanded in the same manner as if it bad not been made " Other articles of the treaty provide for the appoint ment of agent* to liquidate the claims intended to be se emed, and for the payment of them, as allowed, at the Treasury of tbe United State*. The following Is tbe con ducing clause of tbe tenth article? "The rejection of aDy claim shall have no other effect than to exempt tbe I'nited States from the payment of it, (be >rench government reserving to itself the right to decide definitely on such claim eo far as it concerns itself." Now, from the provision* of the treaties thus collated, the following deduction* undeniably follow, namely ? First, Neither tbe recond article of the convention of 1(00, as it originally stood, nor the retrenchment of that article, nor the proviso in the ratification by the First Consul, nor the action of the Senate of the United States thereon, wa* regarded by either France or the United States a* the renouncement of any claims of American citizens apa'nst France. Second. On the contrary, in the treaties of 1803 the two governments took up tbe question precisely where it was left on the day of the signature of that of 1800, without suggestion on the part of France, that the claims of our citizens were excluded by the retrench ment of tbe second article, or the note of the First Con sul, and proceeded to lr.ake ample provision for such as France could be induced to admit were justly due, and they were accordingly ditcbhrged in full, with interest, by tbe I'nited States In the stead and behalf of France. Third. Tbe United Stater, not having admitted in the convention of 1600 that they were under any obligations to Franre by reason of tbe abro^atisn of the treaties of 1178 and 1788, persevered in this view of the question by tbe tenor of tbe treaties of 1801), and therefore had no such national obligation to discharge, and did not, either in purpose or in fact, at any time undertake to discharge 'hemselves from any such obligation at the expense and with tb? property of individual citizen* of tbe United State*. Fourth. By the treaties of 1803, the United State* ob tained from France the acknowledgment and payment, as part of the indemnity for tbe cession of Louisiaua, of claim* of citizens of the United States fcr spoliations, so far a* France would admit her liability in the premises; but even then the United Slates did not relinquish any claim of American ol'izen* not privided for by thove treaties; so fur from It, to the honor of France be it re membered, she expresdy teaerved to herself the right to reconsider any rejected claims of citizens of the United States. Filth. A* to claim" of citizen* of the United State* against France, which had been tbe subject of contro versy between the two countries prior to the signature of the convention of 1800, and the further consideration of which was reserved for a more convenient time by the second article of that convention: for these claimt, and these only, provision was made in the treaties of 180'i ? ?I1 other claims being expreaaly excluded by them from their KOpc and putVifw. It If not to be overlooked, though not necessary to the concInsion, that by the convention between France and he I'nited States of the 4th of July, 1831. complete pro vision wa* made for the liquidation, diacbarge and pay nitnt. on both sides, of all claims of cKlzens of either again** the other for unlawful seizure*, captures, *e ?piestrations, or destruction* of vessels, cargoes, or other property, without any limitation of time, so as In teims to run back to the date of the last preceding *et tleiect? at leastto that of 1803 if not to tne commence ment of our national relatione with France. Thl* review of tfce successive treatiea between France ? nd the United States haa brought my mind to the un Uoibting conviction that while the I nited States have in the most ample and the completest manner diacharg ed their duty toward* such of their citizens as may have been at any time aggrieved by acta of the Fiench government, so. also France ha* honorably discharged herrelf of all obligationa in the premise* towards the United States. To concede what this bill assumes, would be to impute undeserved reproach both to France and to the United States. 1 am of course aware that the bill propose* onlv to piovide indemnification for such valid claims of slti/.ens of the United States against France as shall not have been stipulated 'or and embraced in any of the treatiea enumerated. But in excluding all such claims it ex cludes all In lact for which during the negotiations France conld be persuaded to agree that she was in any wise liable to the I nited States or our citizens. What remains? And for what is five millions appropriated? In view of what ha? been said, there would aeem to be no ground on which to raiM a liability of tbe United States, unless it l>e the assumption that the United States are to he roiisilered the insurer* and the guaran tor ot all claim*, of whatever nature, whioh any indi vidual citizen may have against a foreign nation. FRANKLIN FIERCE. WVhbixotob, Feb. 17, 1846. Tlic Merchants' Meeting. Nkw York, Feb. 19, 1856. TO THE EDITOR OP TBE HERALD. I enclose a memorandum of tbe preclae words used by me at tbe meeting of merchant* on Saturday, which I would aot trouble you with, but I would wish your re port rorrected *o far a* to include the statement made by me, "that 1 was not present at the last interview be tween Mr. Fish and Mr. tlrinnell," but that the conver sation which took place was repeated to me immediately after MORTIMER LIVINGSTON. I am not going to make a speech, but rise simply to endorse the statements made by Mr. tirinnell. I re main" d with him in Washington until ihe last moment. I was not, however, piesent at his last Interview with Mr. FMi, bu* he immediately after came to my room and repeated to me, almost in the same word* a* he ha* to you. tbe result of the interview. Yon will yourMtve* determine from the statements whether Mr. Fish changed hi* m*m! or deceived Mr. tirlnuell as to the course he Intended to pursue. Tti? Brooklyn Soap Iloaae. TO THK EDITOIt OP THE HKRALD. A* tbi* great and worthy charity, perfectly ayateona lized. ban hern in operation nearly *!x week*, it will probably be worth the apace in your valuable journal to give aone account of it The location in the hot that could be found ? a one ftory building at the junction of Fulton and Wllloughby itrectn, 100 by 80 feet, with ber.ehe* that acsommodate over two hundred that are very often waiting fnr the hour of 11 o'clock 1. II to ar rive, that the hour dealing out in commenced, and continue* ta 3 P. 11.. and very often Una quart ia allowed to an adult, and a pint to each child in the family. The room it heated by two large **ovea, in addition to the heat from the kitchen, when there are four boiler* that will make seventeen barrel* of aoup. Haturday, Feb. IT, the number of familie* tbat had been ?uppiled wa* 1,346, averaging four and a half to afamllv, mtkin; a total of 5,720 adult* and children; an. I nearly a* follow* of tbe following nation*. Tlx: ? Twelve-twen tieth-* lr-h; three-twentieth'* (iermana; two-twen tleth'a colored: one twentieth Kuglnb. one-twentieth American* one twentieth mixed. BROOK LY.VITE AND VISITER (Unemployed Workmen. TO THE KPITOK OF THE RBRALP. In your paper of yeeterday, I perceive my name, in conjunction with other*, aigned to an article headed "I'nemployed \Torkingmen." I bag leave respectfully to atate that although I cordially endvrae moat of tha view* ??t forth In *ald communication, I never aigned or an tb?ri/i-d any perion to attaeh my name to *anl docu ment, an<1 < annot cement that any per*?n or per*on< ehould make a** of my name without ray knowledge or authority. By giving thi* an inaertlon In your valuable paper, you will much oblige BKNJ. RQCl Supreme Court? Special Term. Before Hon. Judge Clarke. In :kr Mmttrr rf (>ptn inp Clip Strttt.? Tha Cjurt mule an order appointing tb* following geutlemen c?mmi**inn > era of eftimate and a**?**ment* ? Horace Hokrn. Geo. | fl. Purter, and Jo?eph W. Rank. XWZ0Z9AL ArriZll, PROGRESS OF THE MUNICIPAL REVOLU TION. TIJE BELQIAN PAUPBK8 AGAIN ? A WHIT OF HABEAS COKPCS TO BE SUED OrT? PROCLAMATION OF THE MAI OH- THE COMPLAINT BOOK, ETC. The Belgian Consul, Mr. Mali, called upon the Mayor yesterday, and told him that ha informal the Belgian Mini ?ter at Washington, by latter, of his Intention to tend tha alleged pauper* back to Antwerp at the expense of the government which he represented, and that he bad received hla reply thereto, declining to take any part in returning them to their own country, In the mean time, preparation* are being made to have a writ of Habeas corpus aued out, and to bring the whole matter befoie a legal tribunal. The counsel engaged for the prisoners is Mr. Theodore Sedgwick; and for the Mayor, Mr. Oakey Hall. If they are not taken out of his power by due process of law, it is the Mayor'* determination to have them sent back at the expense of tlie city govern ment. The following proclamation has just been issued for the arrest of the two young men whose furious driving, while in a ileigb on Broadway, near Seventy-first street, Sunday, the 11th inst., resulted in the death of a lad named John Betts $500 REWARD? PBOCL AM ATION. Mayok'b Office. Nrw Yokk, Feb. 19, 1865. Whereas, John Betts, a lad aged thirteen years, was run over by a hone and sleigh, in Broadway, near Seventy-first street, on Sunday, the 11th lost.; and whereas the said John Betts has since ilied in conse quence of the injuries then received; aad whereas the peiMn who drove said sleigh is unknown to the authori ties, I do. by authority vested in me, oiler a reward of five hundred dollars for the apprehension and conviction of the person who committed said violence, to be paid on conviction of the offender, on the certificate of the Recorder or District Attorney that such conviction waa had upon the testimony of the person or person* claim ing said reward. But all claims not presented to the Mayor within twenly days after such conviction, will be disregarded. FERNANDO WOOD, Mayor. MAYOR'S COMPLAINT BOOK. That Cliff street, between Frankfort and Ferry, is very much annoyed by crowd* of boys, of all ages, who col lect together cursing and swearing, and playing all sorts of games, on Sundays, to the great annoyance of the re sidents of that neighborhood Captain Ditchett, of the Fourth district police, was notified. That the driver of the ash cart neglects and refuses to remove the ashes from the east slds of avenue B, be tween Sixth and Seventh streets, when the same are placed upon the sidewalk. Referred to Commissioner of Street* and Lamp*. That the neighborhood ef Eleventh, Twelfth and Thir teenth streets, near avenue A, is resorted to by loafers, who insult Indie* and others when passing. Captain Hart, of the Seventeenth ward, was notified. That Twenty- fifth street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, is in a filthy condition, and that the sidewalk o? the south side is almost impassable from the dirt and ashes there deposited; and the lots being unfenced, area deposit for all kinds of manure. Referred to Commis sioner of Streets and Lamps. That old carts and wagons encumber the sidewalk in Tenth street, between Third avenue and Broadway, and have become a perfect nuisance. Captain Dilts, "of tbe fifteenth ward, was notified. That the sidewalks in the Second avenue, between Eigtteenth and Nineteenth streets, are not flagged, and are in a miserable condition, ashes being deposited thereon, heferied to Commissioner of Streets and Lamps. That a large hole exists in the sidewalk 2.12 William street. Referred to Street Commissioner lhat Nineteenth street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, is on Sundays the resort of loafers, who disturb the neighborhood by their cursing and yelling, and that they also steal anything that come* in their way. Re ferred to Capt. Stevenson, of the Sixteenth ward. That a large amount of cotton encumbers pier 18 East River, rendering it Impossible for vessels to make fast and discharge their cargoes. Referred to Commissioner of Mreets and I.amp*. That Nob. 7 and 9 West Thirty-second street are not fenced, and that loafers resort thereto and disturb tbe neighborhood. Referred to Capt. Speight, of the Twen ty first ward. That a fruit stand occupies the sidewalk corner of Broadway and Canal street, in length from twelve to sixteen feet by two to three feet wide, and is kept there in direct violation of the law. Referred to Capt. Turn bull, of tbe Eighth ward. lhat tbe stieet and sidewalk corner of Ninth avenue and Thirty fourth street are encumbered with rarts and wagons. 'Referred to the Captain of the Twentieth dis trict police. That loafers congregate in Fourth street, between First snd Sect nd avenues, on tbe Sabba'h, fighting cocks and dogs, to the great annoyance of the neighborhood. Referred to the Captain of the Seventeenth ward police. That the ashman will not remove the ashes from 169 West Twenty second street, unless pla-ed on the side walk, which is contrary to law. Referred to Committee on Streets and Lamps. That the sidewalks in Attorney street, between Riving - ton snd Delaneey, are encumbered with olfl sleigbs and ear's, snd other nuisances. That the correr of Anthony streetand Kim is the resnrt of losfers on the Sabbath, and that they insult tbe pass ers by. THE SUNDAY LIQUOR TRAFFIC. The police captains reported sixty liquor stores open throughout the city, on Sunday, the following being the proportion in tbe different wards:? First ward, 1; Se cond, 4; Third, 1; Fourth, 6; Fifth, 1; Sixth, I; Seventh, 6; Eighth, 0: Ninth, 4; 'tenth, 6; Eleventh. 2: Twelfth, 0; Thirteenth, 1; fourteenth. 0; Fifteenth, 2; Sixteenth, 0; Seventeenth, -1; Eighteenth, 5; Nineteenth, 0; Twen tieth, 2: Twenty first, fl; Twenty second , 2. Total #0. A large number of the barber shops were closed, aad it i* expected in two or three weeks there wll not be one open in the city on Sundays. ARREST OP SUPPOSED BCTMl.iRS. IB th# Herald of Sunday we published an account of the attempted burglary on the boot and shoe store on the corner of John street and Broadway, and of the ar rest of one ot the supposed burglars, named John WUson. They were detected in the act of breaking into the store by Officer Kincer, of ths Reserved Corps, who, while at tempting to arrest one of them, wan severely injured by a blow which he received in the face from a jimmy in the hands of one of the party. Yesterday morning John Meyer alias Ferdinand Hoffman, and Harry Bloomingdale alias Finniman, who were engaged in the bulglary with Wilson. were arrested at 604 Twelfth street, and in de fault of bail in $2,000 eacn, were committed to prison. Two ether charges of burglary have been preferred ?gainst them, the Brat by Mr. George Meyers, of 17 Duane street, and the second by .lo?ei>h Maur, of ITS Broadway? both of whom swear that their shot- store* were broken into, and that the shoes on the prisoners were stolen from them. AN ATPKAL TO THB MAYOR FROM THE MILITARY FOB , CLEAN STREETS. To nnt Hororaru Khknaxpo Wood. K-g., Mayor: ? DrarSir ? The military of this city appeal to you to lave the streets cleaned on the occasion of celebrating tbe 22d of February, the birthday of the illustrious Fath er of Our Country, as the majority of us are unused to tba hardships of war, such an wading through bog* and marshes, over icy rocks, &c . Arc. By attending to thia matter, you will be doing a (real favor to the com munity in general, as well an the military of New York rity. A NATIONAL GUARDSMAN. Feb. 10, 1866. BOARD OF ALDERMEN. Fkr. 19 ? The President, Isaac O. Barker, Esq., in the chair. The minutes of th* last meeting were read and approved. HISrKU.A.VKOt K IMl'KRS. A vaat number of paper? passed on by the Board of Councilmen were received and referred to the varloua cc remittees. A remonstrance from Goodhue k Co., and several other persons, against the removal of the location of th* new City Hall from the I'ark Referred to Special Committee, i*crf.amc or PountmtN nv nr vARiors warps. Th* report of the Committee on l'olie* in favor of increasing th* number of policemen in several ward*, was received. The committee recommend the Increase aa follows ? To the Fir?t ward, Ave additional polic*men; Fourth ward, Ave; Eleventh warl, seven; Twelth ward, ten, Fourteenth ward, four; Seventeenth ward, two, In addition to the present respective force of thove aeveral wards. Alderman Vooriikh movel to strike out from th* re prrtthe increase to all the *ards except the Flrat, tliete being so much property exposed there on the wharve*. The increase in the other ward* would be un necessary if the Aldermen would aid Mie Mayor in his effort* to close the rum holes on Sundays. Alderman Howarii complained that the police force Id his ward was not sufficient. He would never insist on the stores in his ward being closed on Sundays. IN solicited the votes of those men before the election, and be would not now break hi* word with them. Several member* spoke in favor of the Incrfaae. Alderman Brigok was oppeeed to tbe Increase of po licemen, as many of them were appointed for politlca' purpose*, and required watching themselves. Aldeiman Et.v said he had received from tbe Chief of Ptlice a return of all the men detailed In the varies* wards, and be moved a postponement of the subject for four weeks, when, perhaps, there would be another ap point Lg power. Alderman HkRRlCK opposed the postponement, If it wan for the purpose of taking the appointment out of th* bands of the Mayor, who waf doing everything to the satUfactiun of the community at larg*. Alderman VoowiLi would vote for th? postponement, but not for the reasons stated by the Alderman of the Seventeenth ward, (Ely) because he believed that Mayor Wood, having closed tbe ramsbops on Sunday*, had don? more to check rowdyism than all the uoliee of the city could do. Kernan<!o Wood can now do more with half the p< iicemen than could be don* before with double the aumt>er. * Alderman Wiuwnos waa opposed to the poetpene m?nt, because be was not (although a political opponent of the Mayor,) inclined to join in any crusade against him He did not speak from any personal motive* he bad received oo favor* trom the Major, nor did b* want sny, but he was oupoeed to any motion that would take from lnm any of those powers which he 1* exercising to so rnnrh advantage to the city. Aldermen Brow* and Kkllv were also opposed to the postpone meat The latter gentleman defended the Chief of Polke and the body of men who acted under him. He doubted if there were, m any other city, more eDclent nf a. He contended that tbe ac opted ciuten*, when they coadaeted tb? Mtelvee properly, were a* mu4b titled to the privilege* of this country u any man V here , jet wBat do they get after all?? the office of a p policeman, cr perhape a iweeper of tbe itreet. Aldermen Bkjgu* repudiated tUe idea that thia wa wir upon the police foree, because of mane of lta m< ber* being bora abroad, but he underitood that man] them were appointed for political force, and that f< policemen in ose ward had served thtir time in tbe Bl prison. The motion to postpone being pnt, waa carried V vote of eleven to ten. lltKiCI FROM TBK MAYOR WITH ORDUxilCI RBtPltTINO ' ACCIDKMM ON TBI CITY RAILROAD*. ' The following letter, containing ordinance, wae rec? ?d from hie Honor the Mayor Mayor s Ou ter, N?w Yoaa. Keb. It, lhi To th> Hohorarli thi; Common Coi-aciL oftncC or N?:w York GtKUiMrN? It cannot bare (leaped yonr notice that cidenta, not unfrequently causing death, have occurred consequence of persons getting on and off city railroad c at tbe tront platform near tbe driver, instead of at tbe lv platform where the conductor etands. It falling in the tempt to itet on or off at tbe front platform while the ca1 in motion, the liability to l.e run over i? ?o great that escape. In connftWH with these dangers to whieh people are constantly exposed, partly from their own ci Jessness, and also from the want of pro|?r preventive* i caution upon the part of the railroad compaaiee i their aeenti. 1 must alio refer to another danger a in* from tbe modern mode of continuing stage ? mnibue sleighs. with fine platforms on cither vide. i?> as llow pasaengers to stand thereon, to the (Treat liability le loaa of life and limb. Without ileairing to micro upon your I.esixlative prerogatives, which givo von the ri ' to ltitiate ordinances, I have prepared and t ere with auh one for your conaideratinn. which will, if adoi ted, eatlr > emove the dangers referred to. Tbe preventive* are aim nd very easily constructed, and will ne attended with li<; expense to the proprietor* of the railroad cars or sleisi ? nd will no doubt fo readily adopted by them, on the pass of the proposed ordinanoe. Verv rcspeetfnllv. FERNANDO WOOD, Mayoi An Ordinance to Proridefar the Bi tter Seruritii of Piur geri in City Kttilroatl Can and Omnifjut Hltttrht. Tbe Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the city of N York, in Common Council convened, do ordain as follow Ssc. 1. All railroad cara ruuulug nudor Kraut from ? city of New Yorlc, to and from any points of route in a city, si. nil have at each side of tv? front and rear platfc of said oar*, light gatci of iron wire, of tbe same height w the railing around each of said platforms, and so construe that they may be made to swing closed upon the entrain to each of said platforms, at each aide thereof, u* well :ui| swing entirely open, so that each of said gates may fold bil upon the railing of said platforms parallel therewith. ? Sec. 2. The drivers and condnclors of said car* shall ti. oare, whenever said cars are started from the points of ginning on any trip, that the gates on each side of the pl| form upon whloh the driver stand*, and balng tho platfo immediately behind the bor*es. .-hall ho securely closed n|* tho two entrances to such platform, so that no persons wb ever can get on or oil the said ear trom the said platfor and sneh gate* shall remain closed until the trip it tori nated and the horsce are changed to the front of tbe oti platform of said car. ' See. 3. The gates of the plstlorm which shall become rear platform of the ear when iu motion. shall remain ot' during the trip, securely fastened, parallel with the rail of the said platform, in the manner provided fer in seetio, of this ordinance, so that passengers may set off and oni tbe said platform unoh*tmcted. It shall he the duty of cv j conductor to prevent passengers from climbing over s gates. Sec. 4. The associations or corporations running said ee together with the driver or conductor of any car, shall I liable to a penalty of ten dollars for any vlolatione of t toregoing provisions of this ordinance; all complainteof a violation to be mad* before tbe Mayor, wbo may, in hi* i cretloa, either proceed forthwith to hear, and to determi, said complaint, and discbarge tbe same or imposo tbe pen' ty, or he shell send it to the office of the Corporation Att< ney, for prosecution in one of tbe district courts of ? , city; and whenio sent, It shall he the duty ot the said C poretlon Attorney forthnith to prosecute the same to Ju ment, and to collect ilie said penalty for tbe benefit of t. city treasury. In cuse such penalty be not paid wit, twenty-four nours after It le imposed by the Mayor, or ju ment obtained therefrr by the Corporation Attorney t' Ma or shall revoke tbe license of any or all tho cars run I such assaoiation or company. I Sec. ft. Every one of tbe said cars referred to and nan, in thia ordinance shall come to a full stop whenever a p senger hails or notifies the conductor or driver of the a.' car, in order to get on the seme, or desires to leave the s* cer. i See. 6. All sleighs run by any ttago or omnibus compai, or stage or omnibus proprietor, shall be oonstruoteri w fonder* *t the side thereof, mado in any manner of fieji which may effectually prevent any persons from stand thereon; and the driver or conductor of every such stage omnibus sleigh shall prohibit or prevent any person fri etagding tberon, or attempting to s'und tberoon, under p? alty of live dollars lor each offence; tbe same to he co plained or and dealt with in like manner as provided in s lion 4. Sec. 7. This ordinance shall be printed and put up c> spicuonslv in every railroad car and sleigh referred to here S?c. H. It is made the duty of every policeman to comph of every violation of this ordinance ty anv car ortleii and to enforce it at all pointsiof route of said car or sleit See. 9. The provisions of this ordinance shall takeeffs a? to the railroad cars named herein, on and alter the tfai tieth 'lay succeeding its passage, and as to sleigh* on a. after the first day ol December A. 1> lf.VJ; and on tbe p.' sap- In rcof, it shall I c the duty of the Inspector of liar, to rerre a copy of this ordinance on every railroad en pany, stage compan> . cr omnibus proprietor in this city. Tbe communication was ieferre<I to tbe Committee Ordinance!1, and diiecled to lie enter*. 1 at length on t minute*. < THE SUFFERING POOR. I A resolution wa* ollered l>y Alderman, call! upon the Board of Councilman to give to the sever ward committees tbe sum of ?.'00 each, to tnable tlx to continue their reiief to tbe poor. ,, Alderman Howard said that out ?jI the S10,000 appi priated for tbe relief of tho poor, there wae not a ce given to the Sixth ward. The cons etjuence wae, thai " number of gentlemen got together, and euhscribed i] ' be relief of the poor or that ward He (Alderman P had got a number of ticket* from the Commissioner* | ho Almshouse, and he distributed them to the starvi r oor, hut, on going for rtliet, tbe y were refused. V Kelly had told htm that the person* he sent f rem t J Sixth ward weie not citizens, (..augbter.) i'oor ? men could get no relief, because they were not flee yen in tbe c tv. He (Al<!?rman H.) snppoaed the Comm i loner* of Alma were Know Kotbinirs. (Laughter.) Alderman Vooitius said the gentleman of the Six abored under a mistake. There was more money e pended for the relief ot the Sixth ward than any other i he city. Aldeiman Stick rh spoke In favor of the resolution, a etailed tome of the miierlf* which prevailed among t: oorof hie (tbe Eleventh) ward. The resolution wa* adopted by a vote of II to 8. Adjourned toThurkday next, at 6 o'clock. BOARD OF COUNCILMES. Fm. 16.? The Board met at 5 P. II.. pursuant to a journment ? D. D. Connover, Esq., President, in tl chair. The minutes of the last meeting were read ai approved, rermojru rotkrkd. Of divers citizens, for iasprorement* in Fortynint street, between Third and Sixth avenue*. Of Dr. A. B. Chadwick, for profeswional service* und the direction of the Twentienth ward police. Of the ofllcera and members of the 6th company, 71 Regiment of National Guard, for rooma for armorie*. TOT AMK1DEI) CUAKTKI. Councilman Matotr moved to take up the followii preamble and resolution*, laid over at a previoni moe ing:? Whereat, a paper hat been prepared and tinned by tweni gentlemen who at prerent hold the ( thee of aldermen in th city; and ehereat, ?0"li tigncrt have appended their otflci character to their respective oamei, aa appear* by said m mortal, is print: and whtrcae, tald paper purport* to bt ' Memorial of tho Common Council of the city of New Yor praying for an amended charter lor taid city, and ia addret ed "To the llonoraMe tlir Senate and Attemhly of the 8ta or New York." and wbireas, no (neb memorial ha* e? l ean l efore the Common finiiell, or On far aa thl* Board informed and lelieve*.) the Hoard of Aldermen? therefore, Retolved, That (aid meioorial U an indienity to this boa' , ?a faiac pretence ? aad entitled to no weight, influence < consideration at or for what it purport* to be. Resolved, That this hoard will, at an early day,*?pre their view*, la a formal manner, upon the snijeut matter the charier, and in conformity with what they I elieie to > the (eatimenta of the people whom they represent. Councilman MATintR juatifle<l the position taken i theae resolution*, aad moved tbeir adoption, aa expre* ing the sense of the Board on the subject to which th* reierred. The resolution* were adopted on a division, by 4.1 to nut ioi.raox*. To grade and flag sidewalk* of lota 437 and 439 Fourt avenue. Referred. Directing Committee to inquire at what price the rig! to use the 'steam generator'' can be purchased . also i report upon the practicability of applying steam to fli engines aa a meana of fire defence. Adopted. 'lhat It be referred to the Comm'ttee on ?treeta to r? port their opinion of the method of paving known ? the "Nicholson pavement,-' which ba? teen teste! wit iiucce** in the city of Boston Adopted. That the committee appointed to superintend the eel< bration of Waahington's hirtbilay be re juested to ful nlsh no spirituous liquor* on tliat occasion. ix>*t. That the Cemptn ller be reque?ted to Inform this Boar why be has not purchased, at directed hy tbe late Con en on Council, a lot of ground suitable for* location. Hose Company No. 24. Adopted. That it be referred to the Finance Comoiittee to i, quire Into the expediency of pun-basing tbe ship cam, across the upper portion of tin* Maud, in the vicinity < , 109th street, and that they be empowered to make tucV lettJemeat with tbe original proprietors, to enable t*4 city to complete the proposed improvement. l-o?t. * import Of Committee on I aw Department, aubm tting form, i lor subparts*, 4c. Adopted. KOMIOIC roMVKTW. The special committee upon the Immigration ofForei* I'aupert and Convict*, reported, and in connection y. tbeir report, the following resolutions were presented and referred te the Committee of the Whole: ? That tbe apecial committee In relation to tb* Impoi tation of foreign pauper* and criminal* he requ??tad t proceed to Washington, and use their exertion to cau* tbe pa*tage of the bill now befere Congress o' the Unite States, having for ita objest the correction of the evil That the Board of Aldermen be requested t*? appoint like committee, and that the snm of be appropriate to defray tbe expense* of tbe same. Numerous papers were received from the Roard ef AI d< risen, and referred to the appropriate committee*. The Board then went into Committee of tbe Whok The adoption of a few paper* ws* recommended, whlc1 i weiw lobsequently ordered to a third tvh .,ng by th Board. The Board then adjonrned. BOARD OP 8UPKRVI80R* Km. 19.? Hi* Honor the Mayor presiding The m nute* of the last meeting were read and approved. Several petitions for the remission of taxes were re ceivrd ana referred, and tbe Board then edj.iurMl t-1 Thursday nest, (Washington's birthday.) Hnprenae Comit. Stiunlay Moliini.?A new calendar of Saturday mi lions will be made np for Saturday next. Feb 34. .Special Term CaJewi/ar ? Wednesday. Feb 28, is th last day for filing notes of Issue for the March Ppeeia Term calendar Note- of itsne mutt state the dates (of iatne) attor nej's and titles and will l>? placed upon the calk lendar according te the priority of issue. 411 lem irrsdl ? net be ditt ictly ilaiej aa ?uch, and w ill take pre* ceceace. J

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