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RETURN to an Address of the Honourable The House of Commons,
"COPIES of the Commercial Treaty entered into, in the Year 1862, between His Majesty the King of Burmah, and Her Majesty's late Viceroy and Governor General of India:"
"And. of the Report, or Extracts from the Report, forwarded to the Viceroy by the Envoy who negociated the Treaty, to the Secretary of State for India, and of the acknowledgment thereof."
India Office, 1 J. W. K A Y E,
12 May 1864. J Secretary, Political Department.
COPIES of the Commercial Treaty entered into in the Year 1862, between
The Governor General of India in Council to the Right Honourable Sir Charles
Sir, Fort William, 19 January 1863.
We have the honour to forward, for the information of Her Majesty's Govern- Parliamentary ment, a copy of a *treaty concluded ou the 10th November last, with Wongyee Paper, No. 327, or Thado Mengyee Maha Menghla-thee-ha-thoo, Plenipotentiary of the King of Session 1863. Burmah, by Lieutenant-Colonel A. P. Phayre, whom we deputed to the Court of Ava. The treaty was ratified by us on the 13th ultimo.
2. In a demi-official letter dated 15th April, Lieuientant-Colonel Phayre submitted a memorandum of certain points requiring adjustment with the Court of
Ava, and he proposed visiting Mandalay to negotiate arrangements either by"
3. As regards the customs duties taken on the British side of the Burmese frontier, under Act XXX. of 1854, the Chief Commissioner recommended their abolition apart altogether from the consideration of any return to be made by the Burmese. The return from these export and import frontier duties, is upwards of 5,70,000 rupees a year. But owing to the heavy pressure of taxation in Pegu, Colonel Phayre was of opinion that the abolition of these duties was absolutely necessary, unless abatement were otherwise made in the amount of taxation; and he urged as one reason for abolishing these duties, the fact that the revenues of Pegu from other sources, exclusive of local taxation, are steadily improving, and have increased from 46i lakhs in 1859-60, to 54 j lakhs in 186162. We were of opinion that the extension of British trade in Burmah, and the opening of a route to Yunan, were quite worth the sacrifice of these customs duties. While giving Colonel Phayre a wide discretion, both as to the form and substance of any stipulations to be made with the King of Burmah, we laid down the following as the points most essential to be secured :—
1st. Existing duties whether of import or export leviable on the Burmese
2d. The caravan route from Ava via Bamo to the Chinese province of
3d. British merchants to be allowed to go by that route, or to send their
4th. Chinese traders and labourers from Yunan to be allowed to pass into
5th. Opium to be allowed to pass from the British territories through Burmah into Yunan, either duty free, or on payment of a moderate transit duty.
4. Colonel Phayre was at the same time told that, if a satisfactory arrangement could be made on the above points, we were prepared to agree to the following concessions:—
1st. The seaboard duties on goods imported into Rangoon for export into Burmese territory, to be one-eighth of the rate fixed in the tariff, on the understanding that bulk is not to be broken between Rangoon and the Burmese Custom House.
2d. Land and river duties on English side of Burmese frontier to be abolished.
5. A narrative of the negotiations at Mandalay, will be found in a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Pharye, dated 20th November 1862, which forms No. 2a of the abstract of contents. Another letter to which we beg to refer you, dated 21st idem, contains his comments on the different provisions of the treaty.
6. We beg to bring to your special notice the services rendered by LieutenantColonel Phayre in this instance, and we recommend that some suitable recognition may be conferred on that officer by Her Majesty, for the tact and judgment with which, without any serious departure from our instructions, he has brought these delicate negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion.
We have, &c.
From Lieutenant-Colonel A. P. Phayre, Chief Commissioner, British Burmah, to Colonel //. M. Durund. C.b., the Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department; dated Rangoon, 15 April 1862.
My dear Durand,
I Beg to inclose to you a memorandum on various subjects which are still pending with the Court of Burinah. I trust that the question of abolition of Frontier customs will be considered independently of any return we may get from the Burmese and independently of any reduction of taxes in India by the License Tax Bill being withdrawn. I can assure yois I feel I have hitherto made Pegu pay every farthing she can, and I do desire to see some relaxation. Pegu pays more than any other province in India in proportion to her population, and with such a strain on her, the abolition of the frontier customs has become absolutely necessary. 1 assure you either this must be done or some of the direct taxes (if the income tax is to continue) be reduced. I trust sufficient cause will have been shown to abolish the frontier duties.
Regarding seeding an expedition towards the Yunan frontier, the French bishop in Pegu, Monsieur Bigandct, offers to go, sufficient being given him for his expenses. He is very enterprising, and will get on if it is possible. There is a French mission in Yunan now, and he will endeavour to communicate with it. He will afford us all the information which we desire, and I have no fear of any French national interests in that quarter interfering with what we wish, that is, the means of opening a trade from Pegu across the Burmese territory to Yunan.
If it appears desirable to the viceroy that I should proceed to the Burmese capital, 1 ought to be leaving this about the end of August.