페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

matter in the way outlined in this dispatch, as soon as my status will permit, and at such time I will not omit to urge the reasons in this behalf suggested in your No. 2. In response to your suggestion that the matter has been discussed with Messrs. Douglass and Durham 1 beg to refer you to Mr. Durham's No. 228, which suggests alternative remedies, and to which I can tind no reply. I am, etc.,

HENRY M. SMYTHE.

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Smythe.

No. 4.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, November 16, 1893. SIR: I have received your No. 2 of the 2d instant in regard to the practice of the Haitian authorities in detaining sailing vessels in their ports until the duties on their inward cargoes are paid.

Following the general tenor of Department's instruction No. 2, you may assume the utterances of the President of Haiti, in his message of 1891, to be authoritative and conclusive, and start from that point in your discussion.

Until the question of the legality and equity of the practice has been thus presented, it is not deemed necessary to consider the alternative suggestions advanced by Mr. Durham iu his No. 228. I am, etc.,

W.Q. GRESHAM.

Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 9.]

[ocr errors]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Port au Prince, Haiti, November 28, 1893.

Received December 13.) SIR: In answer to your No. 4, relating to the detention of sailing vessels, I have the houor to note your instructions aud to suggest that an entirely new phase has been added to the question. I have by diligent inquiry and study of the matter reached the following conclusions: First, by custom the sailing vessels are permitted to discharge their cargoes direct into the warehouses of the consignees, and hence the customs agents have not the sample security” suggested in your correspondence, having in fact only the good faith" of the consignees and the 66 tody of the vessel.” It has been suggested that this custom has grown out of the necessities of the situation to some extent, because very often the consignee finds it convenient to realize on his cargo before paying the duties.

The disclosure of this state of affairs has prevented me from bringing the matter up in the way suggested, and leaves to this legation now as far as I can see only one course and that is that sailing vessels be placed on the same footing as steamers, which discharge the cargoes direct into the custom-house, and hence are not detained. The object of this dispatch (after replying to your No. 4) is to make it plain to the Department that the customs agents have no custody of the cargoes of sailing vessels, they having been allowed to deliver their goods direct to the consignees. Whether this may be the fault of sailing masters FR 94.

-23

in not having proper “agreements” at their ports of clearance seems to be a question. At any rate the facts disclosed place the whole subject in an entirely new light, and I feel that I should report the new status to the Department.

Incidentally. I may add that a change now, such as I suggest-li.e.,) to place sailing vessels in the same category as steamers—would work more or less inconvenience to merchants who have been utilizing the time (so irksome to the masters of vessels) in disposing of enough of their cargo to pay off the duties.

At the first opportunity I shall endeavor to determine the attitude of the Haitian Government in the matter. I have, etc.,

HENRY M. SMYTHE.

Mr. Gresham to Mr. Smythe.

No. 12.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 16, 1893. SIR: I have received your No. 9 of the 28th ultimo, stating that you have learned that the reason of the detention of sailing vessels in the Haitian ports until the duties on their inward cargoes are paid is based on the practice of permitting them to discharge their cargoes directly into the warehouses of the consignees, instead of into the Government custom-houses, as is done by steamers, and that owing to the uncertainty of its ability to follow the goods, the Haitian Government is compelled to detain the vessel as a security for the payment of the duties.

The practice you report is unreasonable, because shifting the usual and rational responsibility from the consignees to the carrier for the convenience of the former and without corresponding advantage to the latter. It would certainly justify shipowners in the United States in looking to some contract with the owners of the goods in order to guard their interests.

You may ascertain the views of the American mercantile community in this regard and report further, suspending action meanwhile. I am, etc.,

W. Q. GRESHAM.

Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 49.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Port au Prince, Haiti, March 6, 1894.

(Received March 19.) SIR: In my No. 19 I said that I had an assurance from the foreign secretary that reasonable propositions made by my Government in regard to the question of the detention of sailing vessels in Haitian ports would be favorably considered. I have to report that I find now that any change that seems practicable would inure to the injury of the sailing vessels, and in this opinion I am sustained by all the sailing masters who touch at this port. As I before observed (in former dispatches), only the vessel is held and the cargoes are discharged into the warehouses of the consignees, who as a rule endeavor to dispose of a

portion of their goods to pay customs duties. If they were placed on the same footing as steamers this advantage would be lost to the sailing vessel, and merchants would order by the steam vessel to secure prompt delivery. The lines of steam vessels touching at these ports are principally under the protection of other powers, and inasmuch as the complaint originated with the sailing interest, which is almost entirely American and has been withdrawn (or abandoned), in the absence of any further instructions I will consider the matter closed. I am, etc.,

HENRY M. SMYTHE.

Mr. Uhl to Mr. Smythe.

No. 38.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 21, 1894. SIR: I have received your No. 49.of the 6th instant in regard to the practice of the Haitian Government in detaining sailing vessels until the duties on their inward cargoes are paid. You therein state that any change in the custom would prove to the disadvantage of the sailing vessels, and that their masters were of this opinion and had withdrawn their complaint.

The Department's instructions on the subject were based on complaints submitted by American ship-owners. In the lightof your report, and as no further representations have been made by interested parties, the matter may be suffered to rest. I ain, etc.,

EDWIN F. UHL,

Acting Secretary.

TONNAGE DUES.

Mr. Uhl to Mr. Smythe. No.35.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 16, 1894. SIR: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from Messrs. W. P. Clyde & Co.,' which alleges a discrimination in tonnage dues against steamers and in favor of sailing vessels in Haitian ports.

From the facts stated, it appears that while a tax is levied on every ton of cargo landed by a steamer, on sailing vessels the tax is imposed on the registered tonnage irrespective of the amount of cargo discharged. As a sailing vessel, it is alleged, carries in cargo twice or more than twice her registered tonnage, the result is that the steamship is taxed on every ton of cargo, while the sailing vessel escapes taxation on the excess of cargo over the amount of tonnage.

The detention of sailing vessels referred to in the President's last annual message has been the subject of many instructions to your legation. It is the opinion of this Government that neither class of vessels should have an advantage over the other. If there exists a discrimination against the steamers of Messrs. Clyde & Co., who con. trol the steamship cominunication between the United States and the

Not printed.

[ocr errors]

northern part of Haiti, you are instructed, in connection with the negotiations now pending for the relief of sailing vesseis from the detention to which they are subjected, to call the attention of the Haitian Gov. ernment to this complaint and endeavor to secure, from every point of view, the same treatment for sailing vessels and steamships in the ports of the islands. I am, etc.,

EDWIN F. UHL,

Acting Secretary.

Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 62.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Port au Prince, Haiti, April 12, 1894.

(Received April 25.) SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your No. 35, inclosing a letter from Messrs. W. P. Clyde & Co., referring to the practice of the Haitian Government in levying discriminating tonnage duties on steamships, as against sailing vessels, and note your instructions. I have already had a conference with the English consul-general in this connection, and we have agreed to unite in a dispatch to the Haitian Government, to the end that neither class of vessels may be subjected to any duty not equally borne by the other, and to endeavor, in short, to “secure from every point of view the same treatment for sailing vessels and steamships in the ports of the islands." 1 have, etc.,

HENRY M. SMYTHE.

Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 72.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES.
Port au Prince, Haiti, May 15, 1894.

(Received May 28.) SIR:

have to inclose a copy of my note to the foreign secretary in regard to the methods of levying tonnage dues, and their evident discrimination against steam vessels. My note was almost identical with that sent the same day by the consul-general of Great Britain, and I believe the evil will be corrected. I have, etc.,

HENRY M. SMYTHE.

[Inclosure in No. 72.]
Mr. Smythe to Mr. Lespinasse.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES.

Port au Prince, Haiti, April 27, 1894. SIR: It has been represented to this legation that under existing customs regulations of your Government, the levying (or the method of levying) tonnage dues works an injustice to steam vessels as distinguished from sailing vessels in this: That whereas steam vessels pay duties at the rate of per ton on their actual cargo, the sailing vessel pays only on its registered tonnage, and frequently carries freight of twice this amount. This, as you can easily see, operates to the prejudice of steam vessels, which by the reason of their swiftness of passage and regular schedule of time are much better adapted to the requirements of modern commerce than the sailing vessel, and which in consequence of these manifest advantages frequently receive subsidies from governments to be benefited by the increase of interchange growing out of their superior advantages.

This subject having been brought to the attention of my Government, I am instructed, under date of March 16, to call the attention of your Government to this evident discrimination, and to endeavor to secure "from every point of view the same treatment for sailing ves. sels and steamships." In the confident belief that your Government will be swift to correct this injustice, and to place all interests on the same footing of impartial justice, I have, etc.,

HENRY M. SMYTHE.

« 이전계속 »