Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward
Sir: I have the honor to enclose you No. 1, translation of a letter of the minister for foreign affairs approving of the convention made with this government, and No. 2, translation of a letter from the same making further reduction of duties. The articles named in the last letter were embraced in the general term “articles de Paris,” and would have been inserted in my convention, but I thought it proper to omit them as an act of courtesy to Mr. de Bellecourt, who had originally proposed such reduction to me, as he is about leaving his post of minister plenipotentiary here to assume that of consul-general at Tunis; having, it is understood, failed to receive the support or meet the approval of his government. I should also have been willing to omit spirituous liquors from the articles admitted at the duty of five instead of thirty-five per cent., had I not supposed he would then have failed to secure such reduction, and thus have subjected myself to the charge of want of friendship for France. It may be well, also, to say that such liquors are purchased exclusively by the foreign residents in Japan. The same change of policy which has induced this government to conclude this convention wish myself after such a long delay has enabled the envoy of the Swiss confederation to succeed in his mission, and also the envoy of Prussia to exchange the ratifications of the treaty with his government.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.