Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, For the Year 1887, Transmitted to Congress, With a Message of the President, June 26, 1888
Mr. Manning to Mr. Bayard.
Mexico , April 5, 1887. (Received April 13.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith copy and translation of the address delivered by President Diaz on the night of the 1st instant, upon the occasion of the opening of the second period of sessions of the Thirteenth Mexican Congress.
I am, etc.,
Address delivered by the President of the Republic upon the opening of the second period of sessions of the Thirteenth Congress of the Union, on April 1, 1887.
Messrs. Senators and Deputies: With deep satisfaction upon seeing you assembled here to resume your legislative labors, I commence by expressing my conviction that peace, which is prevalent throughout the entire Republic, is now assured by the habits of good order and respect for law that are becoming more widely spread and deeply rooted among the Mexican people.
Our relations with foreign countries present to-day a most friendly character. Beginning with the neighboring nation upon our north, it gratifies me to state to you that there does not now exist any question whatever which can disturb the cordial understanding mutually had between the two Governments. Several occasions have even presented themselves favorable to the development of harmony and cordiality, uninterrupted, as they should be, between both peoples. One of such was the campaign undertaken by United States troops against Indians deserting from their reservations, and which resulted in the capture of the Indian chief Geronimo, the general in command of those troops at the same time duly recognizing the great assistance rendered him by the Mexican authorities and troops.
The United States Congress closed its sessions without having decided upon the so-called Weil and La Abra claims, and as this gave rise to the apprehension that the deposit made some time since might be distributed among the said claimants our minister at Washington, under instructions, called the attention of the United States Government to the inexpediency of such a step.
Fending the enforcement of the treaty touching the restoration of the boundary limits on the line from Paso del Norte to the Pacific, it was agreed to extend the time assigned for those operations, and the United States Senate assented to a modification of the extension. Being cognizant of the proposed alteration, it is to be believed that our Senate will not hesitate in its revision, it being a matter of urgency that the international boundary limits should be clearly fixed, their lack causing frequent and disagreeable complications.
Lately a lieutenant of a small force garrisoned at Nogales, a town partly in Sonora and partly in the Territory of Arizona, committed upon the American side, so it appears, offenses more or less serious, and was arrested by the local police. Forthwith a colonel and two soldiers who had crossed with him what is considered there the boundary line, rescued him by force and retreated to our territory, exchanging with the arresting party some shots. This disturbance did not precipitate a serious conflict, thanks chiefly, be it justly said, to the good judgment of the civil and military officers of Arizona, as well as to the efficient and prudent intervention of the governor of Sonora, who immediately went to the scene of the occurrence. The lieutenant I refer to, who at first escaped, was vigorously pursued by our military authorities and promptly arrested, while a due process was instituted against him, for the purpose of punishing according to their deserts the originators of that disturbance.
The treaty concluded with the Guatemalan plenipotentiary for the extradition of criminals is now pending the exchange of ratifications. The treaty with that Republic designed to extend the term for the operations of the boundary commission is in a similar status.
Our telegraphic system being united with that of Central America, as I will inform you in detail when I touch upon the department of public works, the secretary of foreign affairs, on February 5 last, signed, in addition to a provisional agreement concerning the same, a telegraph compact which, if approved, will insure many [Page 703] advantages to the two countries, not alone for their official correspondence, hut also in the interests of the public and of commerce. Said compact will be at once submitted to the Senate.
The treaty of friendship and commerce with the French Republic, signed in Mexico on November 27, 1886, requires similar action by the Senate; meanwhile two modifications to its articles, in the form of protocols, have been made, which will accompany the same to the Senate.
It pleases me to inform Congress that the laws decreed for the restitution of public confidence upon the highways and the railroads have fully met their purpose, serving rather to prevent than to punish the evils they were designed to remedy, for very rare have been the cases calling for an application thereof.
The elections in the State of Jalisco were verified in regular form; and the newly-elected governor took possession of his post on the first day of the past month.
In Guerrero also the elections to the legislature were effected and that body was installed.
The postal movement is incessantly on the increase and the Executive devotes special attention to that branch. Frequently a new office is opened to public service or a new route is established j or else the offices now opened are improved by the increase of weekly mails, or by new combinations designed to economize time in postal transmission. Among these improvements I will mention that communication with the port of Manzanillo via Guadalajara, Ciudad Guzman, and Colima have been reduced to one-half the time heretofore used by the mail to that port, so that now correspondence is exchanged three times a week, while the mail with Guadalajara, Ciudad Guzman, and Colima is daily.
Work upon the reforms to the postal treaty with the United States is on the advance, and will be soon terminated, the Executive therefore hoping that he can soon submit it to the consideration of the Senate. He can assert beforehand that the conditions of the treaty will be highly satisfactory for both countries, and will result in greater facilities for the mail service of both as well as for the European mail in transit.
It would be wearisome to here detail all the measures taken to improve the mail service. What I should take note of is that notwithstanding the reduction in the proceeds of the department due to the lessening of the rate, the day is not distant when the receipts will equal the expenses. From the start it was evident that the public were benefited, as the mail has more than doubled.
The Lake Patzcuaro Navigation Company, having organized, has commenced to carry out its contract and has brought there its first steamer, which will soon commence to make its stipulated trips.
In the month of September the contract term, so often extended, and in virtue of which Messrs. Alexandre & Sons, of New York, carried on a service between that and some Mexican ports, expired. The company then solicited a new extension, but a compact was not agreed upon with it, as it could not suit its trips and conditions to the exigencies of the commercial and postal movement of Mexico. Its steamers have continued running, though with less regularity. The respective department is now engaged in the study of a proposed contract offered by the company’s representative for the transportation of the mail, under certain concessions. If that contract is agreed upon the transportation of the mail, reputed to be one of the principal services formerly stipulated for by that company, will be secured without the expenditure of $100,000 per annum formerly paid as subvention.
The contract with Messrs. Bussing &. Co. for the carrying of the mail in the English steamers of the “Harrison Line” and those of the “Imperial German Mail” has been extended for two years; said service is rendered without a subvention.
The Mexican steamer Alejandro is now engaged in running regularly between the Pacific ports specified in the schedule of its contracts.
During the last months matters touching public health have earnestly engaged the Executive. The Asiatic cholera almost disappeared at the close of last year from Europe. Unfortunately it then appeared in the Argentine Republic, communicating from thence to Chili, Uruguay, and some ports of Brazil. Though our direct communication with those countries is not frequent, the necessary precautions were taken to avoid any contagion possible through the ships of the Pacific mail or any other line. Our ports were in consequence closed against vessels coming from the infected ports and the greatest care and most scrupulous attention was recommended in the visits to ships hailing from any nation of Central and South America, at the same time observance of the circular issued on July 16, 1885, was enjoined. Finally, several measures have been decreed and others are being studied with the double view of opposing invasion by that terrible plague and diminishing its ravages should it unfortunately enter our territory. The political and municipal authorities, the superior council of health, and the consulting board of charities have, in accord with the department, moved in this humanitarian mission.[Page 704]
Duly authorized, the board on drainage has advertised for bids for that work to the end that the necessary capital may be forthcoming and the work may be completed as soon as possible. Meanwhile the resources now available are employed advantageously, and the labors, are advancing constantly. The regular reports furnished by the board bear out these statements, to the effect that a number of man-holes have been finished, the tunnel is very well advanced, and a tramway has been laid connecting with the leading railroads, and which will assist in the transportation of materials and in giving impetus to the work.
Construction on the penitentiary in this capital progresses incessantly, the Government giving impulse thereto by all the methods it can dispose of.
The Executive has shown like earnestness in the completion of the penitentiary in the city of Tepic. To that end the old board of directors of that work has been reorganized, and the appropriation voted by Congress for that important undertaking has been duly applied thereto.
For the purpose of helping the poor classes a new ordinance was issued governing the pawn-shops, which commenced operation on January 1 last. It included many favorable amendments for those who are obliged to patronize such establishments.
I am happy to inform you that the National Monte de Piedad is on the point-of liquidating the liabilities it incurred in consequence of the failure, in April, 1834, in its banking operations. It has redeemed its debts and called in its outstanding notes to cancel them, until there remains in circulation at most 2½ per cent. of its paper current at the time of the failure to which I allude.
The medical and executive management of the hospitals dependent upon the public charities has done all that is possible for the relief of the sufferers, but the record is uneventful. The medicines are prepared carefully in the central pharmacy, and while their manufacture is economically conducted the therapeutic results are excellent.
Important improvements have been effected in the service of the correctional school of trades and professions, and the machinery in the shops has been increased.
In accord with the dominant principle in the law creating the normal college, measures have been adopted to introduce modern methods of instruction in the city schools as well as in those connected with the institutions dependent upon the department of the interior.
The handiwork executed in the school of arts and professions for women was during the past scholastic year exhibited to the public for several days, and thus revealed the progress reached by the pupils as well as the indisputable usefulness of that institution. Alike in the building occupied by the school as in the foundling hospital, important improvements have been and are still being made in the ornamentation as well as in the better adaptation of the study rooms and the work shops to their respective purposes.
The four justices, including a supernumerary magistrate of the national supreme court of justice, lately elected, have entered upon the discharge of their duties under the declaration of September 30 of last year.
The decree regulating the granting and use of licenses asked for by public employe’s is in revision.
In accordance with the decree of October 23 last the first district court of Vera Cruz has been removed to the port of that same name.
The election of magistrates and judges of the federal district being duly verified, said functionaries have assumed charge of their respective offices from January 1 of the current year.
In compliance with the law of June 3, 1885, and in order to secure the best administration of justice in the territory of Tepic, a lower court has been opened in the capital of that territory.
The normal college for teachers of the first grade, ordered established by the decree of December 17, 1885, was inaugurated on February 24 last.
The Executive has endeavored by all the means at his command to realize this transcendental undertaking, and he is confident that the results thereby obtained will carry out the patriotic and distinguished ideas which gave it birth.
The interests confided to the control of the department of public works have continued to develop, despite the fact that they naturally felt the effects of our protracted financial crisis.
The Central and National railroad companies have pushed their efforts to secure the capital needed for the continuation of construction on the important lines they control. With the assistance of the Executive, several difficulties in the way of the lines to the Pacific have been overcome, and it is to be presumed that they will soon renew construction with the old vigor shown in their prior operations.
The International Railroad Company, whose line starts from Piedras Negras, is now in full construction, and is working so rapidly that probably before this year closes its line will be linked in Lerdo with the Mexican Central Railroad.
Among Mexican enterprises of this character I should mention the line from Merida to Sotuta, which has ironed 16 kilometers in addition to the 4 kilometers previously [Page 705] laid. This track will soon he open to traffic, and is the commencement of a new line in Yucatan.
The increase in railroad mileage has been small, the entire number of kilometers of track laid throughout the Republic now being 6,905.
The lines of federal telegraph have received improvements of great importance. The department of public works will give you detailed information touching the same. I therefore limit myself to specify in this report concerning but one of them, on account of the international character it has. By the stretching of a line of 62 kilometers, the telegraph lines of Mexico were on February 5 last united to those of Guatemala, the two Republics thus becoming linked by land. It was an occurrence that coincided with the anniversary of our political constitution, and it gave rise to the exchange of cordial greetings between some Central American governments.
Construction has continued on the lines, and it can be assured that the greater part are in a good state of preservation. There have been set up 25,000 new poles in addition to the 30,000 already set up. The repairs and improvements have been so economically managed that the estimates for the coming fiscal year have been reduced notwithstanding there are as yet important lines requiring repairs and construction.
The question of the tariff to be charged on the federal telegraph lines has also been studied. The new tariff will soon begin to operate, and it is certain that with the improvements introduced in the service, as well as by the improved tariff, the proceeds of the lines will increase.
In résumé, 1,851 kilometers of new line have been stretched, and general repairs and consolidation of 16,000 kilometers have been effected, that being the present extent of the federal telegraph system, aside from the local lines temporarily ceded to the slates.
On December 31 last the time expired for the presentation of contract bids for the erection of the monument to be raised in the Reforma boulevard in commemoration of our independence. Seven bids were made, and the awarding committee, after being organized duly, selected from among them, after careful study, the one which best met the conditions required in a monument of that kind. The decision of the committee has been communicated to the successful bidders, and the Executive hopes to close the contract soon.
In view of the fact that the company in charge of the Vera Cruz Harbor works failed to obtain a legal standing, it became necessary to nullify the contract and to suspend the subvention granted to the company. In order to preserve those works already completed, an engineer was appointed, who, under inventory and by direction of the district judge, has assumed charge and custody of the materials, machinery, and other effects there delivered by the company, while an appraisement of everything has been proceeded with. The Executive is engaged in arranging the method best calculated to carry forward such an important improvement in the first port of the Republic.
The distribution of premiums to the Mexican exhibitors in the expositions of Buenos Ayres and New Orleans had been arranged for the 5th of February of the current year, but the iron and crystal pavilion, known at the New Orleans exposition as the mining pavilion, and which was the leading edifice there in the Mexican department, having arrived in this capital, the distribution of the prizes has been deferred, till May 5 next, when the edifice will be completed and the ceremony to which I allude will then and there be carried out.
During the first six months of the fiscal year 1886–’87 there was coined in the mints of the Republic $14,098,292, as follows: $191,327 in gold,$13,788,592 in silver, and $118,373 in copper.
The coinage of the $200,000 in copper cents, decreed by the law of May 10 last, should be accomplished during the present fiscal year. But by reports received from the governors of the states it appears that the supply is yet insufficient to meet the demands of the public and of business, and a bill will shortly come before, you to the effect that the issue of cents may be increased till the demand is fully met.
Desirous to render uniform the type of money coined in, all the mints, the department of public works made a contract with certain parties for the establishment in this capital of the central bureau of engraving, to take charge of the manufacture of all the dies under said contract. The bureau began to furnish the dies on January 1 of this year, using the old matrices. But a new type for our monetary unit is now being designed, which-will improve the engraving without in the slightest manner changing the value, dimensions, or other requisites fixed by law. This will perfect the type, and at the same time raise another difficulty in the way of counterfeiters.
The operations tending to qualify the desert lands for occupation have continued throughout various states, being conducted by private companies without, further expense to the public treasury than the cession of the tracts of lands given to the companies in compensation for their labor. With reference to the law of July 20, 1863, the denouncements have been effected constantly, and private parties have frequently repaired to the department of public works for the purpose of legalizing the [Page 706] excess in their property. All this movement and the demand at home and abroad, for these lands has raised them in price, and the Government has been enabled to place them on the market under increasingly improved conditions. Some of the boundary commissions who held contracts for the colonization of lands they proved up and others who had by different titles acquired lands have commenced to introduce and establish colonies. In this way new colonies of foreigners have been settled in Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinal oa, and Lower California, and Mexican families have also become incorporated therein.
Public order having been restored in the towns along the Yaqui and Mayo Rivers, the Government being desirous to assist the people to locate permanently and in the best manner in those places, has ordered the chief of the geographical exploration commission to proceed to Sonora with a corps of engineers to engage in the survey of the hereditary lands and inclosed tracts of each town-site, as well as to distribute lands to the residents under the system employed heretofore. The Executive confides in the integrity of the commission going to Sonora, and to its efforts in behalf of the condition of those Indians, and hopes that the efforts of the commission to that end will tend to establish peace throughout those territories and to revive the broken confidence of the rebellious Indians.
Agriculture and mining continue to receive special attention from the department of public works. Aside from the regular and the extra publications touching those interests which have been constantly in print, special attempts have been made in the interests of agriculture to develop certain plants, such as the mulberry, the ramie, and others, and seeds from abroad have been distributed.
Mining has continued in steady development, aided by uniformity in legislation and by the protection vouchsafed to the companies who have invested large capital in the working of some mines. The formation of companies in foreign countries to develop our mining resources gives an idea of the confidence inspired by the country and its Government and also facilitates the incoming of new capital.
Let it suffice me in closing my allusions to the Department of Public Works to recommend to you the dispatch of several bills designed to meet urgent necessities, among them those referring to patents or inventions, trade-marks, and to the regulations on waters and forests. The proposed law touching the depreciation of sliver having been approved by the House of Representatives It is to be hoped that the Senate will devote its attention thereto, and will determine the best action upon the points not settled by the new tariff.
The Constitution having prescribed that financial matters shall be given the preference in this period of sessions, I should, above all, inform Congress, even if briefly, touching the status of this important branch of the Administration.
In due time and in accord with the fundamental law the estimates of expenditures i for the ensuing fiscal year, the proposed bill of receipts, and the distribution of the finances during the past year were laid before you. With these and other data which the Treasury Department was enabled to place at the disposal of the people’s representatives, if required by the latter, Congress is in a position to decide advisedly the financial question, which is by far the one of most importance for the equable progress of a constitutional Government.
The receipts of the public treasury are visibly on the increase, thanks to the efficiency and integrity of those intrusted with the management of the same. It is therefore soundly believed that they will exceed any former receipts. In order to increase them and to satisfy the just demands of society, at the same time harmonizing the interests of industry, agriculture, commerce, and the consuming public, a new tariff has been issued for the maritime and frontier custom-houses, which will begin to operate on July 1 next. There is nothing more difficult than to strike the happy medium in harmonizing the several interests naturally affected by a tariff law. Even among the most advanced nations the question of the tariff is one of most serious and transcendental character presentable to the consideration of the public powers. Upon examining this matter the Executive has endeavored to be guided by the best data obtainable and to act with strict impartiality, and if he has been unable to please everybody, at least, judging by the information at his command, it can be safely asserted that the majority of those interested in and affected by that law will be satisfied.
With the purpose of assisting in the collection of the taxes and the outlay of the expenditures alike in the interests of the tax-payers and of the Government, a law has been issued for the consolidation of the several measures designed to govern the stamp revenue, so that thereby the confusion inherent upon the existence of numerous laws upon the same subject may be avoided.
It being manifestly expedient that the Administration should have edifices of its own for its public offices, especially in the ports, the Executive has earnestly labored for the realization of that purpose, and has purchased buildings adapted for the federal custom-houses in Tapachula, San Bias, and San Fernando. The custom-house at Laredo is being built by contract, and should be ready for business on September 16 next. Work is being pushed on the Santiago Tlaltelolco custom-house in Mexico, to [Page 707] the end that all, the merchandise brought into this capital by the railroads may he dispatched in that one place. The custom-houses at Mazatlan, Acapulco, Frontera, and Vera Cruz, and other points, as well as the toll-gates and customs offices of this capital, have been renovated. Other national buildings are also being repaired. Finally, being desirous of securing competent quarters for our legations in the two neighboring Republics under conditions favorable to the public treasury, a building for that purpose is being erected in Washington, and one has just been purchased in Guatemala.
Not only have the civil and military pay-lists been met, but due attention has been given to the newly-acquired liabilities incurred with various creditors of the Government, who have been paid not only the interest agreed upon but also a large part of the principal. The nation’s ordinary revenue has sufficed to meet these increased expenditures.
With regard to public credit, the Executive will persevere in the path he has entered upon, considering it as being important to the good name of Mexico at home and abroad as well as for the development of her wealth to regard ho effort too great which will aid in preserving intact that great element, origin, and foundation of prosperity among civilized peoples.
Bureaus charged with the recognition and liquidation of the public debt have been established in Mexico and in London, and the general treasury has issued new bonds to the value of a little more than $6,000,000. In London old bonds to the nominal value of something over $45,000,000, our currency, have been presented for conversion.
Being convinced of the expediency of realizing in the matter of its foreign debt the policy initiated by Mexico twenty years ago, the Executive decreed that in the law regulating public credits the claims growing out of past diplomatic conventions should be merged in the common fund of the Mexican debt, drawing the same interest as the bonds of the other holders. I am gratified to inform Congress that this idea is being realized, for part of those claims have been spontaneously presented at the office in Mexico, and the majority of the holders of bonds under the old English convention have accepted, throughout, the law of June 22, 1885, and made an arrangement with the secretary of the treasury for the conversion of their claims. They have agreed that said claims may, without becoming of a diplomatic character, be merged into the common debt and carry 3 per cent. interest, in place of the 5 and 4 per cent. assigned under the now obsolete international conventions.
The payments due on July 1, 1886, and January 1, 1887, to the creditors resident in London, as well as those in the Republic, were paid, after being presented for conversion. The Executive is resolved that the payment of next July and those which follow will be met with the same promptness.
The eleventh installment of the American debt, under the arrangements of the treaty of 1868, was paid, and if, as is to be hoped, the United States Government will act justly in the matter of the Weil and La Abra claims this debt can be considered as fully paid.
I do not need to impress upon you the favorable influence for Mexico of the movement designed to arrange our debt and resume payment. So strong has been the reaction of confidence in favor of our country that, despite the panic prevalent in the European markets during the past months because of the rumored international conflict, Mexican bonds felt the least effect of any of the-universal alarm. That confidence will probably take deeper root in proportion as the opinion touching our solvency is established here, and abroad an opinion based upon a knowledge of our resources, and of the determination of our Republic to faithfully fulfill its pledges.
The interests commended to the department of war and of navy have been the object of special attention on the part of the Executive, who, being authorized thereto by the legislative power, has continued in the important work of reorganizing the army. To that effect the proposed modifications have been submitted to the four united commissions on ordinance and tactics, who are to duly report thereon.
Modifications to the general ordinance are also under consideration, and will soon be finished by the commissions charged with the matter. At the same time the military codes are in revision, especially in the parts bearing upon deficiencies in practice.
In September of 1886 I announced to you that some special commissions were examining the manual of rules for the infantry and cavalry, to the end of applying to those arms the important advances made in the art of war. I have to-day the satisfaction to advise you that those works have been revised and formulated and that the same will soon be applied to the army.
On that occasion I informed you that, although the people on the Mayo River and some of those near the Yaqui had submitted to the authorities, many of the inhabitants remained rebellious and were in hiding among the forests and mountains. Later on those tribes again took up arms. This necessitated a new campaign, which, being pushed with energy and rapidity, resulted in the complete pacification of the [Page 708] insurrected places. The Indians, numbering about 6,000, including prisoners and those who nominally surrendered, recognize now the authorities of the Republic, and the latter is attending to their wants, through the treasury, pending the distribution among them of the lands they held so long without legal right.
As the greater part of the forces in the first military zone were employed in that campaign, which could bo neither interrupted nor postponed, a largo number of savages from the American reservations succeeded in crossing the Sonoro frontier and committed all kinds of depredations. The Executive, without delay, ordered a prompt pursuit of the hostiles, who were also followed by United States troops in accordance with the treaty then in force between the two countries. At last the American troops, effectually aided by our troops, as I have already had the honor to state to you, succeeded in capturing the chief of the rebellious Indians, Geronimo, who was sent to Florida.
As soon as the campaign on the Yaqui and Mayo rivers ended, the chief of the military zone was ordered to Mazatlan to aid in the pursuit of the roving bands that committed ravages in the State of Sinaloa, crossing occasionally into Durango. It is therefore certain that very shortly public safety will be completely restored in the small towns and villages overrun by the bandits.
By the published accounts in the Diario Oficial, Congress is already aware of the events which transpired in Zacatecas at the close of October and commencement of November of last year. As the arrest and death of General Garcia de la Gadena was the result of the pursuit by the forces of said State of General Cadena, the apparent leader of that sedition, and his band, the judicial authorities of the State which are competent to act in the case are engaged in conducting an investigation of the events.
During last December there was some trouble in Tamaulipas over the municipal elections, especially in Aldama, where the different parties tried to have their candidates elected by force of arms. These troubles, after lasting several days and having resulted in some killed and wounded, had the effect of calling out to the scene of the engagement the federal forces garrisoned at Tampico.
While the Executive has given attention to the movements of the troops, as above specified, he has aided in perfecting other matters in the department of war.
The manual for engineers, so combined as to provide for adaptation to the new forms introduced into the army, is now completed, and will, after its final revision, be put into effect.
The department of engineers of the war department possesses now new books and formulae designed for the study and the practice of the different branches of the department.
Under |he direction of the engineers of this department, in some cases work has been continued, in others concluded in the construction of the barracks, hospitals, and other edifices built by direction of the war department; also the important work, now almost completed, upon the military college.
This plant of instruction has justified, the efforts and hopes which have clustered about it, and this was evidenced by the examinations conducted therein at the close of the collegiate year of 1886. The personnel of the college consisted then of 280 cadets and 12 officers. At that time 53 regular and 135 practical officers graduated and entered the army.
The decree issued on October 1, 1886, for the organization of the artillery service improved that service throughout.
The experiments conducted for the purpose of bettering the gun-carriages for the 80-milrimeter cannon, of the Bange system, were so satisfactory that the improvement as made in our shops was adopted, and the problem hitherto unsolved of resistance and of other indispensable conditions in this class of mountings was thus resolved.
The department o£ the navy has also received careful attention, and its progress has been in sympathy with that of the army. To this end, and in exercise of the faculties conferred by Congress, on December 15 last a decree was promulgated for the organization of the bodies forming our small national navy.
On the 2d of the same December 4 cadets graduated from the military college who had closed their marine studies. They were given certificates of the first class.
Messrs. Deputies, Messrs. Senators:
You will have seen by this message the condition of public affairs, and that none of the administrative branches have been neglected. If any of them were the object of special attention it would doubtless have been that which, by its vital transcendency, surpasses all and recommends itself to every settled government, to that of the treasury, and of public credit. Being deeply conscious that when peace is assured it is most important to strengthen the nation’s credit by strict compliance with its obligations and to foster constantly its prosperity by the development of all its elements, I shall ever endeavor to reach those results by the means placed by the constitution at my command, confident that, in a labor so patriotic, you will never refuse me your distinguished aid.