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NOTE OF THE PORTUGUESE LEGATION TO THE BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT.
PETROPOLIS, April 2, 1894. Confirming the information which I gave you on last Thursday, I have the honor to assure you, being duly authorized, that His Majesty's Government has given the necessary orders that the Brazilian insurgents, in refuge on board the Portugnese men of war, shall be landed as soon as possible on Portuguese soil, where they will be placed under inilitary guard by the competent authorities, and will not be allowed to interfere with the political movements in Brazil. I hope that this attitude of the Portuguese Government, harmonizing the duties of a friendly power, entirely neutral in the civil war, with the sacred principles of international law of all civilized nations, will contribute to further bind the cordial relations existing between Brazil and Portugal, which is so much to be desired for the interests of both nations. I take the occasion, etc.,
CONDE DE PARATY.
VERBAL COMMUNICATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE PORTUGUESE
MINISTRY TO THE BRAZILIAN REPRESENTATIVE AT LISBON, ACCORDING TO THE BEFORE CITED OFFICIAL DOCUMENT OF APRIL 7.
On the 3d instant, being with the president of the council, he showed me a telegram from Mr. Saldanha da Gama, thanking, in his and the names of his comrades, for the hospitality which the Portuguese Government had given them, and asking leave to land in Buenos Ayres, where he hoped for a good reception from the Argentine Government and people. Although he had not yet shown this telegram to his colleagues, as he had just received it, he said to me that his serious roply, as I must suppose, would be positively negative, and he would so notify Mr. Saldanla, and also give positive orders to Mr. Castilho not to land him or any of the refugees; also he would order him to stay a long distance from the wharves, to sail outside the bar for three or four days, to return and go outside again, and to repeat these maneuvers when he found it necessary, and, above all, should he have reason to believe that an attempt would be made to liberate the refugees until they could be removed to this kingdom.
Immediately afterwards I sent you this telegram, partly in cipher: "Lisbon, 4th April, 1894, at 11:30 a. m. Minister Exterior, Rio: Government received to-day telegram Saldanha asking to land with sailors; says counts on good reception from people and Government of Argentine; this Government replies impossible; ordered Castilho keep far from wharves, and in case of any attempt to liberate, sail out over the bar frequently until arrival ship, to bring them to Portugal.”
NOTE OF THE PORTUGUESE LEGATION TO THE BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT.
LEGATION OF PORTUGAL,
Petropolis, April 16, 1894. I have just received a dispatch from His Majesty's Government. I had the honor this morning to send yon à telegram as follows: “The Conde de Paraty has the honor to inform Dr. Cassiano do Nascimento, minister for foreign affairs, after sending his most attentive compliments, that the Portuguese cruisers, in spite of the yellow fever and the want of officers, have left Buenos Ayres, going to meet the transports, thus finishing the attempts of the refugees. Not one Brazilian officer has fled.”
It appears that the Argentine Government has presented a reclamation against
PARATY. To the MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.
NEW COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THIE COUNCIL OF PORTUGUESE MIX
ISTRY TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF BRAZIL IN LISBON, REFERRED TO BY SAID REPRESENTATIVE IN HIS LETTER OF 20TH APRIL.
The president of the council and minister for foreign affairs has continued to inform me of the occurrences in the Bay of Buenos Ayres in relation to the refugees on board the Portuguese ships.
The Argentine Government demanded from the first that the refugees should land to undergo quarantine because of the great crowd aboard, as this fact might cause the development of the epidemic existing in the port from which they had come. The Portuguese Government being consulted replied that it would not allow the landing of the refugees except on Portuguese soil, because it was compromised to this with the Brazilian Government.
Some days afterwards the yellow fever broke out aboard and the Argentine Government notified the ships to land the refugees or go to sea. In view of this, the Portuguese Government, anxious to comply with its given word, ordered the ships to leave the River Plate Bay and to go over the bar and wait for the Pedro III, which had been chartered to convey the refugees to the Island of Assumption directly, from whence they could be transported to Angola and from thence to Portugal.
While the ships were coaling three or four officers escaped and were not missed until afterwards. In spite of the vigilance which Commander Castilho says was exercised aboard, more officers in greater number tried to escape, but being missed and being discovered aboard another vessel a guard was sent for them, arrested them, and brought them back. This fact gave rise to a reclamation on the part of the Argentine Government, becanse of the violence practiced by a foreign power in their waters.
The president of the council told nie on this occasion that he had received a telogram from his chargé d'affaires communicating that the steamer Pedro III had received provision and would sail from Buenos Ayres on the 10th, and that on the 17th the refugees would embark and would proceed to the Island of Ascension, escorted during four days by the Alfonso de Albuquerque.
After this interview, which took place on the 17th, I did not again see the prosident of the council, and I do not know whether the ship sailed or not. Health and fraternity to the minister for foreign affairs, Rio.
I. P. Da Costa MOTTA.
Finally, to the note of the Brazilian Government sending his passports to Conde de Paraty, this diplomat replied as follows:
LEGATION OF PORTUGAL IN BRAZIL,
Petropolis, May 14, 1894. Most ILLUSTRIOUS AND EXCELLENT SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of the note of the 13th instant which your excellency has sent me, informing me that his excellency Marechal Floriano Peixoto has determined to suspend all diplomatic relations with Portngal. With grief I note this fact, and because of it, on the part of Portugal, I refrain from discussing the incidents which your note includes. I hope that history will do justice to His Majesty's Government, and that shortly relations of perfect friendship will be restored, which for many motives should exist between Portugal and Brazil. Thanking, etc.,
CONDE DE PARATY. To Dr. CASSIANO DO NASCIMENTO,
Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Senhor Mendonça to Mr. Uhl.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF BRAZIL,
Washington, June 22, 1894. (Received June 22.) SIR: Referring to my interviews with yourself on the 18th and 21st instants, in the first of which you manifested the desire to know if the Brazilian consul at Lisbon was exercising any diplomatic functions as chargé d'affaires, ad interim, during the suspension of the diplomatic relations between Brazil and Portugal, as well as if, in case of necessity of protection to Brazilian citizens in Portugal or its dependencies, the requisition for such protection should be made directly by the party needing the protection or through the said Brazilian consul at Lisbon, I had the honor to inform you in our interview of yesterday that I had cabled to my Government and had received from the minister of foreign relations at Rio de Janerio, uuder date of the 20th instant, the answer that the Brazilian consul at Lisbon had no diplomatic character, and that he had been instructed by cable not to hold correspondence with the Portuguese Government on diplomatic matters, and that the requisition for protection could be made, at the choice of the American minister, either directly or through the said consul for the purpose of identification of the person or persons applying for protection.
In the same mssage of the 20th the minister of foreign relations says that he does not know as yet if the Portuguese Government had given its consent to he protection of Brazilian subjects by the minister of the United States at Lisbon, and although I had the honor to be informed by you in the two interviews referred to in this note that the answer of your diplomatic agent in Lisbon, that he should follow the instructions of the State Department, implied that the communication of the subject to the Portuguese Government had been made and its consent obtained, I beg you the favor of letting me know the answer of the Portuguese Government when such answer is received by the State Department in order to inform my Government. Accept, sir, etc.,
SALVADOR DE MENDONÇA.
Mr. Gresham to Senhor Mendonça.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 16, 1894. SIR: Referring to my note to you under date of May 31 last, I have the honor to inform you that the Department is in receipt of a dispatch from the United States minister at Lisbon, No. 40, of June 27, 1894, stating that in an interview had with the minister of foreign affairs regarding Brazilian citizens resident in Portugal, his excellency was extremely courteous, and said that in case of need during the suspension of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Portugal it would be entirely agreeable to His Majesty's Government to have Brazilian citizens resident in Portugal placed under the protection of the American minister. Accept, etc.
W. Q. GRESHAM.
Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Petropolis, September 12, 1894. (Received October 9.) SIR: Under the constitution of Brazil the sessions of the National Congress terminate upon the completion of three months from their opening, but may be continued from time to time as the necessities of the public service may require. In accordance with this provision Congress has continued the present session until October 7. I inclose copy of the decree with a translation.
This action of Congress is believed to have no material political sig. nificance beyond the fact that it has been the desire of the vice-president to have an adjournment during the continuance of the state of siege, but the state of siege has expired and he has tacitly given his sanction to the continuance by the promulgation of the decree.
On the 1st instant the state of siege expired and no attempt was made in either house to have it continued. The State and Federal elections have taken place in Santa Catharina and those in Rio Grande do Sul and Parana are called for the early part of the coming month. Brazil has, therefore, regained her normal condition, the first time since the commencement of the Federalista movement in the south. In consequence, trade is rapidly improving, and with it a material advance in the rate of exchange and Government securities. It is a source of much pleasure to see the Government, after passing through so many difficulties, again firmly established. It is a triumph for republican institutions.
There have, however, been troubles in the north which called for the exercise of federal authority. In the States of Alagoas and Sergipe dissensions in the State governments have arisen, but I believe have now been happily settled.
There have been no new developments in the Portugese difficulties. and diplomatic relations still remain severed.
Telegrams from Paris in the local papers yesterday note that the Brazilian Government has reopened the question of boundary between its territory and that of French Guiana, but no further information has been made public. I have, etc.,
Thos. L. THOMPSON.
REFUND OF EXPEDIENTE CHARGES.
Mr. Thompson to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Petropolis, May 31, 1894. (Received June 25.) SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy and translation of a circular from the office of the minister of finance which appeared in the local press of recent date. This circular has reference to the claims of a number of importers in Rio de Janeiro which were caused by the imposition of a customs tax upon importations of American wheat flour in violation of the commercial arrangement between the United States and Brazil.
The tax, known as expediente, was removed upon the representation of Mr. Markell and Mr. Conger, acting under Department's instructions of February 24, 1893, and reported in Mr. Conger's No. 425, April 19, 1893, and No. 448, June 2, 1893, from which will be seen the origin of the claims. *
The importers, acting presumably under an impression gained from a statement of the minister for foreign affairs that “the money already paid for these taxes would be refunded,” have filed their claims through local attorneys, and the circular inclosed contains the decision of the minister of finance on them.
From this circular it appears that this adverse decision is based upon two grounds, viz: (1) That the taxes of expediente are not in the nature of imposts, and therefore not in contravention of the commercial arrangement; (2) that the importers, having added the amount of the
See Foreign Relations, 1893, pp. 36, 38.
tax to the selling price of the flour, have been fully reimbursed, and to allow the claims now would make a double burden upon the national consumer.
As the decision is adverse, and the claims confined chiefly to Ameri. can merchants, the case will doubtless come before the Department in the near future. The claims, it is said, aggregate $300,000. I have, etc.,
Thos. L. THOMPSON.
[Inclosure in No. 244–Translation - From the Jornal do Commercio.]
CUSTOM-HOUSE CHARGES (DEREITOS DE EXPEDIENTE). On the 21st of the present month the ministry of finance published the following circular:
This ministry has received several reclamations based on circular No. 28, of the 25th May, 1893, for the restitution of expediente charges paid on goods imported from the United States of America anterior to the date of said circular, such goods being exempt from custom-house duties, in virtue of the agreement whose execution was determined by decree No. 1338, of February 5, 1891; and
Considering that the custom-house collected these duties up to the date of that circular, authorized by order No. 60, of March 31, 1891, issued competently from this capital;
Considering that this order stands on a legal base, because, according to our legislation, the charges for service have never been considered as imposts, especially for such goods as are admitted free, in the terms of article 575 of consolidation, and therefore, not from the fact of importation, but only and simply as remuneration for the services of the custom-house employés and for the work of dispatching said goods.
Considering that for this motive these charges were not contemplated in the order of March, 1891, as for importation or additional taxes for importation, the importation duties being only considered in the agreement.
Considering, therefore, that circular No. 28 of May 25 of last year was not in accordance with an indispensable precept, but simply represents a concession, and its effects can not extend to a period anterior to the reclamations and only can contemplate future cases, as is clear from the terms of the circular;
Considering that the restitutions asked for, for the period extending from April 1, 1891, to May 25, 1893, are not only not authorized by the said circular, which does not allude to restitution, but also they can not be granted because the importers of goods dispatched free have already had all the corresponding advantages from the Brazilian consumer from the amount paid for charges for service;
Considering that if these restitutions were granted, to the American importer would accrue double advantages and the onus would be doubled for the Brazilian consumer, who would have to contribute for the expenses made in the custom-house although he had already paid for the goods in the conditions in which they were dispatched;
I declare that the circular No. 28, of May 25, 1893, only, is in vigor for importations made after its date, and I instruct the custom-houses to re-collect the sums which under protection of this circular have been restored, whether under the article 552 of the consolidation or whether under special orders, which orders are annulled.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Thompson.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 6, 1894. April 12, 1893, the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs agreed with Conger the duty on American flour should cease, and duties previously collected be refunded.
Levering & Co., of Rio de Janeiro, and others have claims for duties so exacted, and which Brazil has not satisfied.
You are instructed to call the attention of Brazilian Government, and report upon result.