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FRANCE.

ADMEASUREMENT OF VESSELS.

Mr. Gresham to Mr. de Marsilly.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 21, 1893. SIR: My attention has been drawn by the Treasury Department to the circumstance that changes of French legislation in the rules of admeasuring merchant vessels, made since the exchange of rates in 1888_'89, whereby it was reciprocally agreed to accept as evidence of the fact the tonnage measurement certificates issued by the respective governments, such alterations have been made that a serious discrepency now exists between the French and American rules.

For instance, there is now pending in the Treasury Department a protest filed by the agent of La Compagnie Générale Transatlantique against the assessment of tonnage tax on the steamer La Gascogne at New York, upon 3,766 tons according to the Treasury rule of measure. ment, while the French certificate gives but 2,913 tons according to the modified French rule.

Attention was drawn to the general matter of these discrepancies by the Department's note of November 3, 1891, and Mr. Patenôtre's reply of March 31, 1893, expressed the readiness of your Government to conclude a special arrangement to settle the question so raised. Further information was asked and furnished on both sides, but since the last note of this Department on the subject, September 3, 1892, which responded to Mr. Desprez's request for the rules governing the admeasurement of British vessels in the ports of the United States, no further action appears to have been taken.

As it is desirable that an understanding in this regard should be reached as soon as may be practicable, to the end that reciprocal acceptance of the respective tonnage certificates may continue, as contemplated in the agreement of 1888–89, provided the pertinent legislation of the two countries be found in substantial agreement, I have to request that you will acquaint me with the present views of your Government thereon.

Meanwhile, in answer to an inquiry of the Secretary of the Treasury, based on the protest in the case of La Gascogne to which I have adverted, I have advised Mr. Carlisle that the arrangement of 1888–189 can not be regarded as effectively continuing in view of the evident and considerable discrepancy which results from applying to the admeasurement of vessels the unchanged rule of the United States, which formed the basis of that agreement, and the subsequently modified French rule. Accept, etc.,

W. Q. GRESHAM.

Mr. Patenótre to Mr. Gresham.

(Translation.)
EMBASSY OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,

Washington, June 16, 1894. (Received June 18.) MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: With reference to the discrepancies existing between the methods of admeasurement in France and in the United States, resulting from modifications introduced during the past few years in the French regulations applying to the admeasurement of merchant vessels, you were pleased to inform this embassy, in a note dated December 21, 1893, that it was impossible for the Federal Gov. ernment to continue in force the agreement of 1888–89 and to request us to join you in seeking the terms of a new agreement harmonizing with American legislation. My Government, to which I had transmitted your communication in good time, informs me, that, in accordance with the decision of the department of finance, it is willing to act upon that proposal. The eventual arrangement might, like that of 1888–89, be concluded by means of an exchange of diplomatic notes.

It might rest, as regards the adjustment of navigation taxes, on the reciprocal acceptance of special certificates of measurement issued by the proper authorities of either country according to the rules enforced in the other. This new arrangement appears to remove all possible difficulty, since the tonnage of our vessels would henceforward be meas. ured in France according to the American rules.

In order to avoid all risks of error in the special certificates which the French customs would be called upon to issue to our vessels, the French administration would wish to be given the official text of rules concerning the admeasurement of merchant vessels as applied in the United States. You would oblige me by enabling me to meet that wish and sending me several copies of the said rule.

I have the honor, for my part, to inclose herewith four copies of the circular of the French customs service, dated February 10, 1893, accompanied by the text of the decree of May 24, 1873, and all the modifications therein introduced by the decrees of July 21, 1887, March 7, 1889, and January 31, 1893. Accept, etc.,

PATENNTRE.

You sug:

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Patenôtre.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 11, 1894. EXCELLENCY: Your note of the 16th ultimo transmits a proposition relative to the admeasurement of French vessels and the assessment of tonnage tax on such vessels in ports of the United States. gest that the matter might rest as regards the assessment of navigation tax on the reciprocal acceptance of special certificates of admeas. urement issued by the proper authorities of either country according to the rules in force in the other, and you state that such new arrangement would remove all possible difficulty, since the tonnage of French vessels would henceforward be measured in France according to American rules.

The subject having been submitted to the consideration of the Secre. tary of the Treasury, I have the honor to make known to you the substance of his reply. He states that the laws formerly in force in the United States were amended by the act of August, 1882, which prescribes that in cases like the present, when it shall be necessary to ascertain the tonnage of a vessel not a vessel of the United States, the said tonnage shall be ascertained in the manner provided by law for the measurement of vessels of the United States. As the law requires admeasurement by an officer of the United States, it is impracticable to accept admeasurements made by French officers. His letter to this Department of December 14th last (which was communicated to you on the 21st of that month), showed that the Government of France had adopted new regulations for measurement not substantially in accordance with the rules now existing in the United States. He considers, therefore, that the acts of Congress governing the matter will not warrant action in accordance with your suggestion. A copy of the regulations requested by you has been forwarded under separate cover, and your attention is invited to page 40 thereof. Accept, Mr. Ambassador, etc.,

W. Q. GRESHAM.

REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA.

Mr. Patenôtre to Mr. Gresham.

[Translation.]

EMBASSY OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,

Washington, June 20, 1894. (Received June 21.) MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: The London cabinet having asked, as you are aware, that certain modifications of detail should be made in the draft of the regulations adopted in 1890 by the Washington Marine Conference for the prevention of collisions at sea, the U. S. Government expressed its intention to agree to this proposition, which is now before the Federal Congress awaiting its approval. Great Britain suggested, moreover, that the new regulations should take effect March 1, 1895, so that an understanding among the powers at no distant day seems to be probable.

The Government of the Republic, desiring to facilitate this agreement, is prepared, so far as it is concerned, to abandon the reservations which it originally made, and to adhere to the British modifications. It would, however, be glad to know whether the Washington Cabinet, which took the initiative in the conference of 1889, proposes now to retain the direction of this matter by transmitting to the other powers for their approval the propositions to which it has itself agreed, or whether at intends to leave it to the British Government to secure the acceptance of its draft by its own diplomatic action. In the latter case we should not have to notify the U. S. Government of our adhesion, but that of Great Britain.

I shall be obliged to you if you will enable me to reply to the question which has been addressed to me. Thanking you in advance, I beg, etc.,

PATENOTRE.

1 See Senate Ex. Doc. No. 75, third session, Fifty-third Congress.

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Patenôtre.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 7, 1894. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of you note of the 20th ultimo stating that the Government of France, desiring to facilitate the adoption of the International Regulations for preventing collisions at sea proposed by the International Marine Conference held in this city in 1889, is prepared to abandon the reservations which it originally made and to adhere to the British modifications, which have also been agreed to by the United States.

This Government, which took the initiative in that conference, feels that it should acquaint the other powers of the present situation of the matter. It has, therefore, taken the necessary measures to advise them of the accord reached by the United States, France, and Great Britain, and to urge the governments concerned to assent to the amended reg. ulations, to the end that they inay go into effect and be binding upon all on March 1, 1895.

Meanwhile, a copy of your note has been communicated to the Secretary of the Treasury, with a letter in this sense:

I inclose for your information a copy of an act of Congress approved May 28, 1894, to amend "An act to adopt regulations to prevent collisions at sea." Accept, Mr. Ambassador, etc.,

W. Q. GRESHAM.

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Patenôtre.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, August 6, 1891. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to say, in connection with the Department's note of the 7th ultimo, that, in view of the accord reached by the Governments of France, Great Britain, and the United States relative to the International Regulations for preventing collisions at sea, the President decided to promptly issue his proclamation, fixing March 1, 1895, as contemplated by Her Britannic Majesty's Government, as the date on which the law of the United States ar proved August 19, 1890, as amended by that approved May 24, 1894, shall take effect.

I inclose copies of the President's proclamation of July 13, 1894, and I shall be glad to learn that the Government of France has proclaimed its law upon the subject to take effect March 1, 1895, so that identic rules may come into force on that date.

I shall send to the diploinatic representatives of the United States, accredited to the several states that participated in the International Marine Conference held in this city in 1889, copies of the President's proclamation, and shall direct each to urge upon the governments concerned the adoption of similar legislation in case they shall not already have done so, and the proclamation of the same, so as to go into effect on March 1, 1895. Accept, Mr. Ambassador, etc.,

W. Q. GRESHAM.

Mr. Patenotre to Mr. Gresham.

[Translation.]
EMBASSY OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,

Washington, August 26, 1894. (Received August 29.) MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: In informing me through your note of (date omitted) that the United States had accepted the amendments which England desired to see inserted in the regulations prepared by the Maritime Conference of Washington with a view to preventing col. lisions at sea, you were good enough to acquaint me with the interest that the Federal Government would entertain with respect to bringing about a general agreement among the powers on this subject.

My Government, desirous to meet, as far as it is concerned, the wishes expressed in your communication, instructs me to inform you that from the present time it gives without reservation its definitive adherence to the provisions inserted by the American) Congress in the act of May 28, 1894, and which reproduce in full the English propositions.

I have the honor at the same time to advise you that the Government of the Republic accepts the date of March i, 1895, suggested by the London cabinet for carrying these new regulations into effect. Accept, etc.,

PATENTRE.

ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT CARNOT.

Mr. Eustis to Mr. Gresham.

[Telegram.)
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES,

Paris, June 25, 1894. (Received June 25.) The minister of foreign affairs notified me officially this morning of the assassination last night at Lyons of President Carnot, wbo died to-day at 12:35 a. m. The chamber meets on the 27th to elect another President. In the meantime the cabinet, acting under the provision of the constitution, assumes the duties of the Executive.

EUSTIS.

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Eustis.

(Telegram.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, June 25, 1894. Express to the minister of foreign affairs the profound sorrow with which the President and the American people have heard of the atro. cious crime which has robbed a sister Republic of its wise, humane, and patriotic Chief Magistrate.

GRESHAM.

[Telegram.]
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Eustis.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, June 25. The President directs me to communicate through you to the Government of France and to Madame Carnot the following resolutions

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