The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint)

United States; Dept; Of State


Excerpt from The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, Vol. 1

Any remarks on the propriety of publishing a Diplomatic Correspondence, which from its very nature is supposed to be confidential, would seem to be unwarranted in one exercising the ministerial duty of editing it, if the law imposing the duty had not also prescribed that of selecting those parts which ought to be published. The only instruction given to the officer to whom this duty was assigned, was in the act making appropriations for the support of Government for the year 1832, in these words: "To enable the Secretary of State to cause to be printed a selection from the Diplomatic Correspondence between the peace of 1783, and the 4th of March, 1789, remaining unpublished in the Department of State, 12,000 dollars."

No rule being given to the Secretary for his guide in making this selection, it would seem to have been trusted entirely to his discretion, if a previous resolution of Congress for a similar purpose, and the publication made under it, had not given good reason to believe that nothing more was intended than a continuation of the work heretofore published.

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