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and Norway for the benefit of the lower rate of tonnage dues, and, further, that on the 16th ultimo a bill (H. R. 9748) has been brought into the House of Representatives and has been favorably reported, I take the liberty to bring to your memory the proclamation of the President of January 26, 1888, wherein he declared and proclaimed, by virtue of the authority vested in him by section 11 of the act of Congress entitled "An act to abolish certain fees for official services to American vessels, etc.," approved June 19, 1886, that from and after the date of this, his proclamation, shall be suspended the collection of the whole of the duty of 6 cents per ton, not to exceed 30 cents per ton per annum (which is imposed by the said section of said act), upon vessels entered in the ports of the United States from any of the ports of the Empire of Germany.

But the clear sense of this proclamation has been altered by the interpretation of the commissioner of navigation, who, in contradiction with the reading and meaning of the proclamation, and also with the opinions of the members of the Cabinet, has put in the word "directly," and has decided that only such German vessels which sail direct from German ports to the United States ports are exempted from paying tonnage dues.

My predecessor, Mr. von Alvensleben, protested, with a personal note of February 25, 1888, against the action of commissioner of navigation, as in direct contradiction with the proclamation of the President, and the Secretary of State, by his note dated February 28, 1888, promised to give a speedy remedy and a detailed reply to the protest; but, notwithstanding different verbal communications of Mr. von Alvensleben and myself, no answer of the State Department has until this date reached this legation.

As your attention probably has been recalled to this matter by the steps taken in favor of Sweden and Norway, I avail myself of this opportunity to say that the views my Government takes in this matter are still the same, and that I respectfully beg to be favored with the reply promised to this legation more than 2 years since by the State Department.

Believe me, etc.,

Mr. Blaine to Count von Arco- Valley.

ARCO.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 26, 1890.

MY DEAR COUNT ARCO: Your note of the 1st instant in relation to the imposition of tonnage dues on vessels coming from German ports by indirect voyages to the United States has been duly considered and has formed the subject of correspondence with my colleague of the Treasury.

Your complaint relates particularly to the tax imposed on certain vessels of the North German Lloyd's entering at the port of New York from Bremen, via Southampton, Havre, or other intermediate ports. It is believed that the question to which your note relates has been made the subject of a suit in the courts, which has not yet been decided.

Without reference, however, to that fact, it is proper for me to say that the decision of the commissioner of navigation which it is sought to reverse does not seem to have been altogether correctly apprehended. It is not understood that the commissioner of navigation has decided

that exemption from tonnage dues shall be accorded only to such German vessels as sail directly from German ports to ports in the United States. On the contrary, it is stated that no absolute rule of decision has been adopted, but that all the circumstances attending deviations to other countries in voyages beginning in German ports and ending in ports of the United States are considered and action taken in accordance with the facts in each case.

A misunderstanding as to the effect of the circular of the Treasury appears to have arisen from a verbal departure in that document from the language employed in the proclamation. The proclamation provides for a suspension of tonnage dues "upon vessels entered in the ports of the United States from any of the ports of the Empire of Germany." The circular ordered the suspension of the collection of dues on vessels entered in ports of the United States "direct" from German ports. This was ordered as a matter of course. The cases of vessels not coming directly to the United States were reserved for consideration, and when deviations have been occasioned by distress or an intention to aid other vessels in distress, or analogous cases, exemption from the tax has been granted. While the word "direct" is not found in the proclamation, it is not understood to have been the purpose either of the law or of the proclamation to allow vessels trading with England, France, or other foreign countries to enter free of duty merely because they sail originally from ports in Germany. JAMES G. BLAINE.

I am, etc.,

Mr. Blaine to Count von Arco-Valley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 1, 1890.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith, having regard to previous correspondence with your legation, a copy of a circular issued by the commissioner of navigation, of the Treasury Department, the 28th instant, touching the payment of tonnage dues. It concludes as follows:

Approved:

The fact that a vessel touches at an intermediate port, at which it neither enters nor clears, and which touching is merely an incident in the voyage, will not deprive such vessel of the rights derived from sailing from a free port, such being its port of departure.

Accept, etc.,

[Inclosure.]

JAMES G. BLAINE.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

BUREAU OF NAVIGATION,
Washington, November 26, 1890.

COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, New York.

SIR: In construing the circular from the Bureau of Navigation, dated February 1, 1888, and in determining the liability of vessels to the payment of tonnage dues, collectors will look to the real port of departure and the actual voyage. The fact that a vessel touches at an intermediate port, at which it neither enters nor clears, and which touching is merely an incident in the voyage, will not deprive such vessel of the rights derived from sailing from a free port, such being its port of departure.

Respectfully, yours,

WM. W. BATES,

Commissioner.

WILLIAM WINDOM,
Secretary of the Treasury.

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GREAT BRITAIN.

Mr. Blaine to Mr. Lincoln.

No. 141.]

SIR: I have to inclose herewith for your information a copy of a let. ter of the 15th of October last from Mr. A. Bunker, an American missionary in Burmah, who writes in behalf of the American missionaries in that country, who are said to be a hundred and twenty-three in number. These missionaries are maintained by allowances from missionary boards in the United States and in many instances probably have no other source of support. It seems that the Indian Government at first imposed a tax on these allowances as income, but has now imposed a similar burden on moneys paid for the support of the families of these missionaries in the United States.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, December 6, 1889.

The Department hopes that Her Majesty's Government will look into this matter, which, as stated, appears to involve hardship and injustice to a most meritorious class of persons engaged in labors which have always received the encouragement and support of both Governments. I am, etc.,

JAMES G. BLAINE.

(Inclosure in No. 141.]

Mr. Bunker to Mr. Blaine.

TOUNGOO, BURMAH, October 15, 1889.

MY DEAR SIR: From the knowledge I have of you I do not think I shall ask advice of you in vain.

By way of introduction, I am from the State of Maine, a graduate of Colby University and of Newton Theological Seminary, and a missionary of the A. B. M. Union. I have been in Burmah 23 years.

I am writing you in behalf of 123 missionaries, all American citizens. I reluctantly trouble you in the great affairs of state in which you are engaged, but I do not forget that it is the glory of our country that the humblest citizen can appeal to the greatest, with the assurance that his case will meet with all the attention it merits.

Our case is this: We missionaries give our whole time and strength to the work of Christianizing, educating, and civilizing these heathen English subjects, supported solely by the benevolent in America. We receive not one rupee of English money for our support. We draw nothing from the country by way of trade. We bring thousands of American money into the country, but take nothing out.

The Indian Government has imposed an income tax on its subjects and on us. We have represented the above facts to the governor-general as a reason why we should not pay an income tax, especially as our allowances from America are not regarded by our supporters as remuneration for services rendered; but the reply we receive is substantially as follows: "It pleases the governor-general to tax all missionaries, and you must be taxed." We should submit to this with what cheerfulness we could, but a new order has now been issued, which appears to us to be so ultra rires and so unjust that we can not remain quiet without an effort to secure protection from our own Government. The new order demands that we shall pay income tax on all moneys paid for the support of our families in America. This seems very much like the spirit which 321

FR 90-21

led the English to assume the right to search our sailing vessels on the high seas, which led to the war of 1812. It looks to us like an insult to our nationality in assuming such powers.

I write, therefore, in behalf of my associates to ask if there is any ground on which we may bring this matter before you officially for your interference or help. Any advice you may give us shall be strictly confidential. This matter is a small thing compared with the great questions you are daily considering, but it appears to us to affect a principle, to claim a right, which we, as American citizens, can not safely grant, and which under other circumstances might become of some inportance. It affects us who have families in America most seriously.

If you will advise us, you will add a new boud to those which bind us to the best and most glorious government, that ever existed, which is more beloved the longer we live in a foreign country, and for which we pray daily.

I am, etc.,

Mr. Blaine to Mr. White.

[Telegram.]

A. BUNKER..

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 30, 1889.

Authorizes Mr. White to confer with Lord Salisbury concerning the reëstablishment of diplomatic relations between Great Britain and Venezuela upon the basis suggested by the Venezuelan minister, of temporary restoration of status quo.

Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Blaine.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, January 6, 1890. (Received January 20.)

No. 151.]

SIR Referring again to my dispatch No. 84 of September 19, 1889, on the subject of the discrimination charged by Mr. Phelan as being enforced against American vessels in the port of Halifax in the matter of compulsory pilotage, in which I suggested that in saying that "American vessels of 80 tons and over are liable to pilotage which is practically compulsory, while Canadian vessels are exempt up to 120 tons," Mr. Phelan bad possibly overlooked a distinction between Canadian vessels engaged in their coasting trade and other Canadian vessels. I now have the honor to inclose a copy of a note from the Marquis of Salisbury on the subject, dated the 3d instant, from which it appears that at the port of Halifax all vessels, whether British or foreign, coming from foreign ports, and which are over 80 tons register, pay pilotage dues; but that vessels registered in the Dominion not over 120 tons registered tonnage engaged in trading or fishing voyages within ports in the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, and St. Pierre, Miquelon, are exempted from compulsory pilotage.

I have, etc.,

ROBERT T. LINCOLN.

[Inclosure in No. 151.J

Sir James Fergusson to Mr. Lincoln.

FOREIGN OFFICE, January 3, 1890.

SIR: With reference to my note of the 12th of October last, I have now the honor to inclose an extract from a report of a committee of the privy council of the Dominion of Canada, approved by the governor-general in council, respecting the alleged

discrimination between British and United States vessels in respect to pilotage dues levied at Halifax, which formed one of the subjects of complaint in Mr. White's note of the 18th of March last.

It will be seen from this report that all vessels registered in the Dominion not over 120 tons register engaged in trading or fishing voyages within ports in the Dominion, Newfoundland, and St. Pierre, Miquelon, are exempted from compulsory pilotage dues, but that all other vessels, whether British or foreign, coming from foreign ports and which are over 80 tons register pay these dues.

I have, etc.,

(For the Marquis of Salisbury), JAMES FERGUSSON.

[Extract.]

The minister of marine observes, with reference to the matter of an alleged discrimination between British and American vessels in respect to the pilotage dues levied at the port of Halifax, that by the report received from the pilotage authority no exemption is allowed to Canadian fishing vessels in the matter of pilotage dues other than that permitted by by-law No. 26, which by-law was duly approved by minute of council dated May 24, 1877, and reads as follows:

"All vessels registered in the Dominion of Canada not over 120 tons registered tonnage engaged in trading or fishing voyages within ports in the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, and St. Pierre, Miquelon, to be exempted from compulsory pilotage."

The minister further states that the by-law in question was framed by the pilotage authority under the provisions of the fifty-ninth section of the pilotage act, chapter 80, revised statutes, which provides that ships of such description and size not exceeding 250 tons registered tonnage, as a pilotage authority! of a district with the approval of the governor in council from time to time determines to be exempt from the compulsory payment of pilotage in such district, shall be exempt from the compulsory payment of pilotage dues.

The minister recommends that under the authority of this by-law all vessels regis tered in the Dominion of Canada not over 120 tons, and which are engaged in trading or fishing voyages within ports in the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, and St. Pierre, Miquelon are exempt from compulsory pilotage at the port of Halifax, but the pilotage authority states that" all other vessels, whether British or foreign, coming from foreign ports, and which are over 80 tons register, pay pilotage dues."

Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Blaine.

No. 184.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
(Received March 3.)

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter which I have addressed to the United States consul at Liverpool, stating my reasons for refusing to issue a passport to Mr. Samuel B. Oliver, whose application for the same had been forwarded by Mr. Sherman.

My action in this case is in accordance with my understanding of the views of the Department, gathered from instructions to myself and from the Digest, and I would be glad to be informed if I am in error, as I have an intimation of a future application in which the circumstances of the applicant are not unlike those of Mr. Oliver.

I have, etc.,

ROBERT T. LINCOLN.

London, February 19, 1890.

[Inclosure in No. 184.]

Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Sherman.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, February 14, 1890.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 11th instant, returning the application of Mr. Samuel B. Oliver for a passport with further information transmitted by you.

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