the exportation of arms, &c., was as you know, revoked by his order of September 4, 1863, in so far as to allow arms to be re-exported to the place of original shipment. And such re-exportation was placed upon precisely the same grounds and made subject to the same laws with other articles of export. I am advised that the captain of the ---- is ready and willing to comply and has offered to comply with all the laws and regulations of the United States regulating such cases, and to make the proper affidavit to entitle him to clear his vessel for the port of Hamburg. He asks no special privileges at your hands; he does not require any dereliction of duty on your part; he is willing that you should exact from him all that the law contemplates, and having done this your duty is at an end. What right have you to require more? You are not to make the law. When the laws and orders of the Government which entitle a vessel to her clearance are fully complied with, what right have you to withhold such a clearance? When the proper officer of a registered American vessel sailing under the American flag offers to make the necessary affidavits to entitle him to clear his vessel for any port of any nation with which we are at peace, what right have you to refuse to hear him? The laws give to the captain and owners of a vessel rights as sacred as any given to the collector of the port. It is their right to demand a clearance upon complying with those laws and the orders of the Government. This they are ready and willing to do. They seek to evade no law or order of the Government, and they demand, not as a favor, but as a legal right, that they be allowed to be allowed to comply with such laws and orderse, and that upon such compliance a clearance be granted them in accordance with their request. But I am told you suspect that it is their intention to take these arms to Mexico, and therefore you will not allow the vessel to clear for Hamburg. Are you not in this matter going beyond the strict line of your duty? When you have seen that parties have complied with all the requirements of the law, is not your duty fully discharged? The law has determined the manner in which you shall get at the intention of the party navigating a vessel, and you cannot go beyond it. In the nature of things you can have no certain proof a mther than from himself and the law has provided the way in which that shall be expressed under the solemnities of an oath. Having taken that oath, you will not be allowed to presume that the party who has so sworn intends to commit a perjury. Perjury is a grave crime, and is never to be presumed against any man under any circumstances.
I may last week have intended to take my vessel to Hong Kong, but to-day I determine to clear her for Hamburg, and I make the necessary affidavits for that purpose. Have you any right to refuse to receive my affidavit, or to presume that I am about to perjure myself, because I had formerly announced my intention of going to Hong Kong? When you have taken my affidavit your duty is done. You have complied with the law; I have complied with the law also in so far, and you have no right to presume that I will not do so to the end. You say you intend to be careful not to offed France by allowing, by any possibility arms, to be shipped to any country with which she is at war. I submit that, if even these arms were intended for Mexico, France would have no occasion for offense. She is not at war with Mexico and any discrimination in her favor would be on your part a work of supererogation. I understand, also, that you think possibly this second order applies only to arms imported before its date. In this opinion, if you entertain it, I am sure you are wrong. The first order, dated November 21, 1862, reads, "No arms shall be exported from the United
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