M. Seward to Mr. Koerner.
Sir:On the 6th of last month a note was received at this department from Mr. Tassara, requesting that a certain shipment of leather accoutrements destined for Spanish troops in Cuba, which had been detained at the New York custom-house, might be allowed to proceed to their destination. The existence of a general order of the War Department, which prohibits the exportation of arms and military accoutrements, forbade a compliance with the request of Mr. Tassara. As information upon this subject will probably be communicated by him to his government, it is deemed proper to bring the matter to your attention, in order that you may be able to explain to her Catholic Majesty’s minister for foreign affairs the grounds upon which the refusal of Mr. Tassara’s request was based. At the present time the resources of the country are taxed to the utmost to supply our own troops, and for this reason the government is compelled to enforce rigidly the executive order of November 21, 1862, prohibiting the exportation of arms, ammunition, and military stores. It is hardly necessary to add, that under other circumstances the request of her Catholic Majesty’s minister would have been most cheerfully complied with.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Gustavus Koerner, Esq., &c., &c., &c., Madrid.