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raising two classes of pine, so that, instead of a reduction, there would be an actual increase of duty on the total lumber imports from the United States for the first six months of this year of over $6,000.
They lowered the duty on kerosene one-half cent per kilo, and made a similar reduction on lubricating oils; they lowered the duty on tobacco, canned goods, furniture, and some other articles; but, in the main, unless raised, the duty on our exports to this country has been left as it now exists.
The Department will note in my letters to the minister of foreign affairs that I called particular attention to the inequalities and harshness of the tariff as applied to our lumber, and the actual prohibition it effected in several lines of manufacture in which we are preeminent and able to compete with the world, notably, farm wagons and canned goods, tomatoes, fruit, etc.
I took the position at both conferences that the action of the tariff commission in raising the duties on farm machinery and lumber was contrary to the spirit of the statements heretofore made to me by the minister of foreign affairs, and likewise the opposite of the views expressed by the Argentine minister in Washington to the Department.
The repeated intimations I had made to the minister of foreign affairs that we felt gratified and secure in the statement given out that it was the purpose and wish of this Government to make liberal concessions to us have not been I think without effect, as at the first conference I was told by the minister, in answer to my inquiry regarding the position of the Government on the action of the commission in raising the duty on agricultural implements, that the Executive would strike out the commission's recommendations and recommend that the present duties and regulations on this class of goods continue during next year.
This is of course no concession, as I pointed out to the minister; but in view of the undoubted protection tendencies of the Government as a whole and its inclination evidenced by the work of its tariff commission to advance duties, I am satisfied this action is all that can be expected at this time.
The lumber schedule was a source of greater difficulty because of the fact that our yellow pine, or pitch pine, as they call it here, pays, under the present excessive and illogical tariff, in duties about $400,000 gold annually, against $68,000 collected on an approximately equal quantity of white pine, the value of the latter wood being twice that of the former.
The position I have taken and endeavored in every way to illustrate and make clear to the Government is that this is virtual discrimination, inasmuch as all the pitch pine comes from the United States, while the greater part of the white pine, although passing through the Cnited States in bond, comes originally from Canada. I urged that, Dot only was the course now being adopted unfair to the United States, but that it put an excessive burden on an article which, under normal conditions, would have a much greater consumption; that the loss in revenue by properly and fairly adjusting the question would, I believed, be made up by an increased use of the wood, and most important, as I thought lowering the duty would materially lessen the cost and thus benefit the people of the country.
The finance minister had present at the second conference a member of the tariff commission, a member of a large importing house, and the secretary of the commission, the purpose being seemingly to sustain the position taken by the commission.
After my refusal to acquiesce in several propositions suggested by the minister of hacienda, an agreement was reached on the general line I had maintained, that the values should be revised in accordance with the facts and that the same duty apply to each of the three kinds of pine.
The present duty anıl value per square meter on each of the three kinds of pine lumber imported here is:
Under the above, the duties paid on the total quantity of each of the three kinds of pine imported from the United States and Canada during the first six months of this year was: White pine...
$33, 076. 14 Spruce pine.
20, 116.30 Pitch pine.
200, 577.75 Total
253, 770. 19 The recommendation of the tariff commission was as follows:
Under their plan the lumber above mentioned would have paid: White pine
$66, 152, 28 Spruce pine..
33, 527. 10 Pitch pine
160, 462. 20 Total...
260, 141.58 Or $6,371.39 more than at present, which would be a “reform” in the wrong direction.
As a result of the conference, the minister has agreed to make the pine schedule read as follows:
15 15 15
35 25 30
Under this scheme the lumber referred to in the last two illustrations would pay: White pine
$77, 177. 67
33, 527. 10 Spruce pine.. Pitch pine
72, 207.79 Total....
182, 912. 56
Or $70,857.43 less than under the present law, and $77,228.82 less than under the commission's scheme.
To make clear the direct benefit such a change would be to our yellow pine, the following table, showing the amount which would have been collected under each plan on the yellow pine shipped to this coun. try from the Cnited States during the first six months of the year, is given: Under present law...
$200, 577.55 Under commission's scheme
160, 462. 20 Under conference scheme
72, 207.99 It will thus be seen that if the Congress adopts the minister's recommendation, there will be taken off our yellow pine about $256,000 in duty in one year, which should enable us to get a slight advance on the lumber and secure a greatly increased demand.
Crude petroleuịn has been omitted from the commission's bill, and my interpretation is that, if passed in that form, it would, under the * omnibus clause” pay 25 per cent; the secretary of the commission said it would still be free, but consented to specifically name it in the bill before it was presented to Congress.
The finance minister, in reply to my request for further opportunity to present for his consideration some other suggestions looking to modifications in the existing prohibitive duty on canned goods and farm wagons, said that he was obliged to decline, as he was asked to present the bill to Congress yesterday; but that he would consider my views if presented to him in writing, and, if he could agree with me, he would go with me before the Congressional committee and ask their adoption.
I shall carefully note the action of the Congressional committee and the drift of public opinion on the changes already made in the bill before deciding what I will do in regard to his request.
We will have secured, by the changes mentioned, if the bill becomes a law, a little better footing commercially than at present. It is, of course, impossible to predict what the Congress will do with the bill, but the general opinion is that, with a few alterations, it will pass.
I shall inclose the proposed bill, together with the President's message accompanying it, as soon as it has been forwarded to the Congress. I have, etc.,
WILLIAM I. BUCIIANAN.
Mr. Uhl to Mr. Buchanan.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 23, 1894. Sir: I bave to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 63, of October 5, 1894, giving the details of your conference on the 211 and 3d of that montb, with the Argentine ministers of foreign affairs and of hacienda, with regard to the new tariff of that country; also of your No. 64, of October 8, 1894, transmitting a copy of the President's message in regard thereto.
Your efforts to secure amendments in the proposed bill, which, if adopted, would result to the advantage of the United States, are warmly commended.
If practicable, you will procure and forward another copy of the Presi. dent's message to the Department for its convenience, that transmitted by your No. 64 baving been sent to the Treasury Department with copy of your two dispatches. I am, sir, etc.,
EDWIN F. UHL,
CERTIFICATES OF NATIONALITY" PAPELETAS."
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Buenos Ayres, July 2, 1894. (Received August 13.) SIR: I have the honor to call the attention of the Department to the general use here by all of the foreign consuls, except the consul of the United States, of forms or certificates of nationality, or, as they are known in the language of the country, “papeletas” or “protection papers."
The subject has been brought to my attention by our consul, and also by instances arising from the fact that, under the regulations governing the mobilization of the national guard now in progress, the police have authority to arrest persons liable for duty between the ages of 17 and 45 not reporting for drill unless they present a “papeleta” evidencing the fact of foreign birth or citizenship.
I find a wide difference in the form of certificate used by the different consuls.
These papeletas" are printed in Spanish, and are asked for by foreigners, even though carrying a regular passport, to enable them to avoid impressment into the national guard and as a means of prompt identification should any trouble occur wherein the bearer found it necessary to establish at once the fact that he was not an Argentine subject.
In issuing these certificates the usual requirement of our consul has been an affidavit by the applicant that he is a citizen of the United States, supported by two witnesses known to the consul, who certify to the truth of the applicant's statement.
Section 143 of the Consular Regulations of 1888 contemplates the use of such a certificate where "prescribed by the laws of the country in which the legation or consulate is situated.”
In the present instance, I do not understand, from an interview held last week with the minister of foreign affairs, that the Argentine Government prescribes any form of certificate, but that they accept the different forms now in use.
In all cases, the minister says, the papeleta” is advisable in preference to a regular visaed passport, the police regulations contemplating that a foreigner shall have presented himself to his consul here and, being registered, be given a “papeleta," which is the only form of certiticate known to or accepted by the police. I requested the minister to favor me with a copy or a reference to the laws requiring or prescribing this; he could not at once cite the law, but said that it had been and continued to be the usage and custom of the Argentine Government, and that the requirements were assumed in all regulations concerning the general subject.
In view of the general use of such certificates by all foreign consu
lates or legations, I have the honor to recommend the adoption of some form of certificate for this legation and our consulate, and respectfully suggest such modifications or changes in the inclosed form as suggest themselves to your judgment.
In the event that some form is adopted, which I hope will be the decision of the Department, I beg to be advised of the conditious required to precede the issuing of such a certificate, and respectfully request the opinion of the Department on the following points:
(1) The certificate certifying ouly to the fact that the bearer is a citizen of the United States, and being valid in this Republic alone, to what extent will the rules now in force in relation to granting passports govern the issuing of such a certificate!
(2) Can such a certificate be issued to a kuown American citizen temporarily located here who has no passport?
(3) Can such a certificate be issued to a native or naturalized American citizen resident here, engaged in business with the United States, intending at some indetinite time to return to the United States, who bas no passport and has had none for more than two years past?
(4) Can sach a certificate be issued to a minor, born of American parents in the United States, who has since his early youth resided here with his parents, his father having no passport and presumably not entitled to one under the rules of the Department by reason of his seeming permanent residence here; the boy, however, declaring it to be his intention to go the United States before he becomes 21, and there become a citizen as provided by law? The 6 certificate" in this instance is necessary to secure him immunity from service in the national guard, le being over 17 years of age.
(5) Can such certificate be issued to persons of known American birth long resident here, who still claim the United States as their country, who are engaged in commerce largely between this country and the United States, who have no domicile in the United Staes, no citizenship here, no passport, and no definite intention of returning to the United States except to visit it in the interest of their business, who assert their nativity and allegiance to the United States, and are zealous in doing everything they can to further the interests of their country and of their fellow.citizens? I have, etc.,
WILLIAM I. BUCHANAN.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Buchanan.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 15, 1894. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 33 of the 2d instant. You therein call attention to the general use by all foreign consuls at Buenos Ayres, excepting the consul of the United States, of forms of certificates of nationality known as “papeletas,” and you state that under the regulations governing the mobilization of the national guard the police have authority to arrest persons not reporting for duty unless they present a "papeleta” evidencing the fact of foreign birth or citizenship, which being the only form of certificate known or accepted by the police, is considered preferable to a regularly visaed passport. You inclose the forms of certificates used by the foreign consuls and recommend, in view of their general use, the adop