Despatch from Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons (17 March 1864)

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Date: 1864-03-17
By: William Seward
Citation: Despatch from Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons (17 March 1864) in Journal of the Legislative Council of the Province of New Brunswick (1865).
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Department of State, Washington, 17th March, 1864.

MY LORD,—I have the honor to recur to your note of the l5th ultimo, enclosing extracts from Despatches addressed to Your Lordship on the 9th and 10th of the same month, by Mr. Archibald, Her Majesty’s Consul at New York, in regard to the restrictions imposed on the exportation of Merchandize, more especially of Breadstuffs and Provisions, from that Port to places within the Queen’s Dominions, and expressing a hope that some measures will be taken without delay, to remedy, or at least to mitigate, the alleged grievances set forth by Mr. Archibald.

Having submitted the subject to the consideration of the Secretary of the Treasury, to whom a copy of your note and of its accompaniments was communicated, I have the honor to inform Your Lordship that, by the Act of May 20th, 1862, (Laws XII. p. 404,) it is provided “that whenever a permit or clearance is granted for either a Foreign or Domestic Port, it shall be lawful for the Collector granting the same, if he shall deem it necessary, under the circumstances of the case, to require a Bond to be executed by the Master or owner of the vessel in a penalty equal to the value of the cargo, and with sureties to the satisfaction of said Collector, that the said cargo shall be delivered at the destination for which it is cleared or permitted, and that no part thereof shall be used in affording aid or comfort to any person or parties in insurrection against the authorities of the United States.” And in accordance with said provisions of Law, Bonds have been required, of which I have the honor to enclose a copy. It appears that the louses known as Messrs. Hunter and Co., and Smithers and Co., complain that the Collector has made the penalty of his Bonds double the amount of the shipment. In this he is believed to have exceeded the requirements of the Act above cited, and he has been so informed. Bonds are not required by Law of all parties. Firms whose high standing for worth and integrity places them above all suspicion, may, if the Collector so please, make their shipments without a Bond; but of this the Collector is the judge, and while the Law stands as it does, it is not seen how lie can be controlled in the discharge of the duties with which he is charged.

I have, &c. (Signed) WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

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