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Prepared in accordance with the following provisions of "An act to expedite and regulate the printing of public documents, and for other purposes," approved June 25, 1864:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That hereafter, instead of furnishing manuscript copies of the documents usually accompanying their annual reports to each House of Congress, the heads of the several Departments of Government shall transmit them, on or before the first day of November in each year, to the Superintendent of Public Printing, who shall cause to be printed the usual number, and, in addition thereto, one thousand copies for the use of the Senate and two thousand copies for the use of the House of Representatives. And that it shall be the duty of the Joint Committee on Printing to appoint some competent person, who shall edit and select such portions of the documents so placed in their hands as shall, in the judgment of the committee, be desirable for popular distribution, and to prepare an alphabetical index to the same.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the heads of the several Departments of Government to furnish the Superintendent of Public Printing with copies of their respective reports on or before the third Monday in November in each year.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Public Printing to print the President's message, the reports of the heads of Departments, and the abridgment of accompanying documents prepared under the direction of the Joint Committee on Public Printing, suitably bound; and that, in addition to the number now required by law, and unless otherwise ordered by either House of Congress, it shall be his duty to print ten thousand copies of the same for the use of the Senate, and twenty-five thousand copies for the use of the House, and to deliver the same to the proper officer of each House, respectively, on or before the third Wednesday in December following the assembling of Congress, or as soon thereafter as practicable.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
In transmitting to you this, my fourth annual message, it is with thankfulness to the Giver of all good that, as a nation, we have been blessed for the past year with peace at home, peace abroad, and a gen eral prosperity vouchsafed to but few peoples.
With the exception of the recent devastating fire which swept from the earth with a breath, as it were, millions of accumulated wealth in the city of Boston, there has been no overshadowing calamity within the year to record. It is gratifying to note how, like their fellowcitizens of the city of Chicago, under similar circumstances a year earlier, the citizens of Boston are rallying under their misfortunes, and the prospect that their energy and perseverance will overcome all obstacles, and show the same prosperity soon that they would had no disaster befallen them. Otherwise we have been free from pestilence, war, and calamities, which often overtake nations; and, as far as human judgment can penetrate the future, no cause seems to exist to threaten our present peace.
When Congress adjourned in June last a question had been raised by Great Britain, and 'was then pending, which for a time seriously imperiled the settlement by friendly arbitration of the grave differences between this Government and that of Her Britannic Majesty, which by the treaty of Washington had been referred to the tribunal of arbitration which had met at Geneva, in Switzerland.
The arbitrators, however, disposed of the question which had jeoparded the whole of the treaty, and threatened to involve the two nations in most unhappy relations toward each other, in manner entirely satisfactory to this Government, and in accordance with the views and the policy which it had maintained.
The tribunal, which had convened at Geneva in December, concluded its laborious session on the 14th day of September last, on which day having availed itself of the discretionary power given to it by the treaty to award a sum in gross, it made its decision, whereby it awarded the sum of fifteen millions five hundred thousand dollars in gold, as the indemnity to be paid by Great Britain to the United States for the satis faction of all the claims referred to its consideration.
This decision happily disposes of a long-standing difference between the two governments, and, in connection with another award made by the German Emperor, under a reference to him by the same treaty,