« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
remain in force, so far as it applied to waters within which it was necessary for safe navigation to have a local pilot.
The Delaware, 161 U. S. 459 (1896).
The Aurania and The Republic, 29 Fed. Rep. 98, and Singlehurst v.
It having been represented that "American vessels of 80 tons and over” were liable at the port of Halifax to compulsory pilotage, while Canadian vessels were “exempt up to 120 tons," the British Government replied that at Halifax all vessels, whether British or foreign, coming from foreign ports and over 80 tons register, were required to pay pilotage dues, and that the exemption as to vessels of not more than 120 tons applied only to vessels registered in the Dominion and engaged in trading or fishing voyages within ports in the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, and St. Pierre, Miquelon.
Mr. Lincoln, min. to England, to Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, Jan. 6, 1890,
For. Rel. 1890, 322.
(4) FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND OF THE PRESS.
“In a charge by Chief Justice McKean, in Philadelphia, in 1791, the attention of the grand jury was called to certain publications of Cobbett and others, grossly attacking the King of Spain as the “supple tool’ of the French nation. From this charge, the following passages are extracted:
“'At a time when misunderstandings prevail between the Republic of France and the United States, and when our General Government have appointed public ministers, to endeavor to effect their removal and restore the former harmony, some of the journals or newspapers in the city of Philadelphia have teemed with the most irritating invectives, couched in the most vulgar and opprobrious language, not only against the French nation and their allies, but the very men in power with whom the ministers of our country are sent to negotiate. These publications have an evident tendency, not only to frustrate a reconciliation, but to create a rupture and provoke a war between the sister Republics, and seem calculated to villify-nay, to subvert—all republican governments whatever.
“ • Impressed with the duties of my station, I have used some endeavors for checking these evils, by binding over the editor and
H. Doc. 551-vol 2-11
printer of one of them—licentious and virulent beyond all former example—to his good behavior; but he still perseveres in his nefarious publications. He has ransacked our language for terms of insult and reproach, and for the basest accusations against every ruler and distinguished character in France and Spain with whom we chance to have any intercourse, which it is scarce in nature to forgive-in brief, he braves his recognizance and the laws. It is now with you, gentlemen of the grand jury, to animadvert on his conduct; without your aid it can not be corrected. The Government that will not discountenance, may be thought to adopt it, and be deemed justly chargeable with all the consequences.
* • Every nation ought to avoid giving any real offense to another. Some medals and dull jests are mentioned and represented as a ground of quarrel between the English and Dutch in 1672, and likewise called Louis the XIV. to make an expedition into the United Provinces of the Netherlands in the same year, and nearly ruined the commonwealth.
“ • We are sorry to find our endeavors in this way have not been attended with all the good effects that were expected from them; however, we are determined to pursue the prevailing vice of the times with zeal and indignation, that crimes may no longer appear less odious for being fashionable, nor the more secure from punishment from being popular. (See Whart. St. Tr., 325; Whart. Cr. L., § 16120.)
“ The bill against Cobbett was ignored by the grand jury, as, under the circumstances, might have been expected. The party contest between the friends of a French and the friends of an English alliance was then at its height, and never was there a party contest more bitter and more unscrupulous. The prosecution was instituted no doubt by persons in sympathy with the Democratic party,
the bill was signed by Mr. Jared Ingersoll, then the Democratic attorney-general of Pennsylvania, and it was not to be expected that those members of the grand jury who detested France would give it their votes. But while this explains the ignoring of the bill against Cobbett, on the same principle as may be explained the verdict of acquittal in Bernard's case, the result does not in any way affect the authority of Chief Justice McKean's ruling as a matter of law. He was not only a learned, well-trained, and experienced lawyer, but he was thoroughly familiar with the history of our institutions, and with the relation of the States to the Federal Government and to European sovereignties. Ile had been for seventeen years a member of the Pennsylvania legislature. He was the only member of the Continental Congress who remained in continuous service during the whole Revolutionary war. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was president of the Congress in 1781. He was Chief Justice of Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1799, and during that long period he was regarded by the bar of Philadelphia, a bar of singular learning and cultivation, as a master in jurisprudence, and as a judge who never permitted himself to be swayed by partisan or personal temper. Nor was there at that time any dissent from the position that if libels on foreign countries were published in the State of Pennsylvania, it was the function of the State of Pennsylvania to prosecute the authors of these libels. Congress, in Mr. Adams's Administration, did not hesitate to pass a statute making . seditious libels'indictable in Federal courts, but it limited its action to such libels as attacked the Federal system. Libels on foreign powers were left to the action of the several States, and within the jurisdiction of such States they still remain."
Dr. Francis Wharton, in 6 Crim. Law Magazine, 176.
the opinion of the Attorney-General, that a libel on the British min-
Dom. Let. 27.)
the Federal courts had common-law jurisdiction of crime; but this
“I lave had the honor to receive your letter of the 23d instant, representing that you had seen published in the journals of the United States the treaty with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and that you consider this publication as impolitic, premature, and not well calculated in the present state of suspense between the two nations.
“ It would certainly have been more respectful towards both nations, in the present posture of affairs, had this publication not been made; but from the nature of the institutions of the United States, the General Government is not to be held responsible for the conduct of the public journals. You appear to be sensible that the publication in this instance is unofficial, and when you learn, as I now have the honor to inform you, that it is altogether unauthorized and that the Executive has no knowledge of the means by which a copy of the treaty has been procured for that purpose, it will not appear to you, I hope, to require more particular attention." Mr. McLane, Sec. of State, to Mr. Morelli, Sicilian cons. general, July 26,
1833, MS. Notes to For. Leg. V. 135.
Libelous letters addressed in this country by a citizen of the United States to a foreign minister may be the subject of judicial prosecution, but not of diplomatic interference.
Mr. Hunter, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Sartiges, French min., May 22,
1852, MS. Notes to France, VI. 178.
"The Government of the United States have no jurisdiction over the press in the respective States, and if such jurisdiction existed, its exercise with a view to prevent or to inflict punishment for any publication criticising or condemning the course of public measures in other countries or in our own would be an experiment upon the feeble forbearance, little likely to be made, and if made, sure to be defeated.”
Mr. Cass, Sec. of State, to Mr. Molina, Nov. 26, 1860, MS. Notes to Central
America, I. 177.
“I have the honor to recur to your note of the 12th of January instant, on the subject of the decision of the Turkish Government in the case of the Robert's College.
“ In that note you have informed me that you have been affected with deep sorrow in reading discourses which were made on the 8th instant in New York, at a meeting assembled, as was a vowed, to come in aid of the insurgent Cretan refugees. . . . You intimate a desire that I will cause it to be understood that those proceedings are disapproved by the Government of the United States.
“I have the honor to inform you in reply, that free discussion by speech and in the press, in public assemblies and in private conversation, of the Cretan insurrection, and of all other political transactions and movements occurring either abroad or at home, is among the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States to every citizen and even to every stranger who sojourns among us, and is altogether exempt from any censure or inquiry on the part of the Government of the United States. The opponents of Crete and the friends of Turkey exercise very freely the same right. On the other hand, this Government makes no inquiry concerning what is preached, spoken or written in Turkey, or in any other country, by the citizens or subjects thereof, although the matters discussed may be deeply interesting to the American people. The maxim was long since adopted in the United States that even error of opinion may be sa fely tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I am therefore so far from being able to accept your suggestions in the matter of the New York meeting that I should rather deem it my duty, if occasion should arise, to commend the liberty of speech, which was exercised in that assembly and of which you complain, to the acceptance of all other nations."
Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Blacque Bey, Turkish min., Jan. 20, 1869,
MS. Notes to Turkey, I, 29. Oct. 24, 1868, the Greek Chambers adopted a resolution expressing their
appreciation of the sentiments of the American people towards the Greek nation, and of the sympathy expressed by Congress in behalf of the suffering Cretans. A copy of this resolution was communicated to the Government of the United States, and was transmitted by the President to Congress. (Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Rangabe, Jan. 18, 1869, MS. Notes to Turkey and Greece, I. 364.)
“ The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, duly received the note of the 20th instant, addressed to him by Mr. Roberts, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Spain, occasioned by a paper relative to the affairs of Cuba, which Mr. Roberts stigmatizes as a libel on the Spanish Government and authorities, and expresses his apprehension that its recent publication in New York may tend to disturb the friendly relations existing between the United States and Spain.
“ In reply the undersigned has the honor to state that, while duly sympathizing with the wounded sensibilities of Mr. Roberts, as shown in his note, he is persuaded that that gentleman attaches undue imiportance to the paper referred to and to its publication in the United States, and that it is believed to be impossible that that or any similar publication should lead to the deplorable result apprehended. In this country the press is entirely free. A signal proof of this is that, for years past, newspapers, in foreign languages, owned and managed by aliens, have been published in the city of New York, which have, without stint, criticised the measures of this Government, and the persons entrusted with its administration. Here, anything can be published which does not injure the character or the business of those who may be attacked. When, however, such an injury shall have been committed, the law provides a process and a remedy for the grievance. Whether the law is applicable to the case presented by the note of Mr. Roberts, it is not the province of the undersigned to determine."
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Roberts, Span. min., June 1, 1869, MS.
Notes to Span. Leg. VIII. 280.
referred to the course of the American journals in republishing mis-
“ Your letter of the 11th instant has been received. It requests for the commission the protection of this Department against charges in the Mexican press like one in a Matamoras newspaper which, with a