Mr. Terry to Mr. Seward.

No. 7]

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of the Madrid Gazette of yesterday, containing a royal decree reducing the duties upon foreign-grown wheat flour imported into the island of Porto Rico.

It will be seen that the preamble of the decree confesses that Spain is not in a condition to export wheat or flour, and that there is no good motive for continuing other or heavier duties upon United States wheat flour in Porto Rico than those exacted from us by the decree of March 12th, of this year, in the island of Cuba.

The duties upon our flour imported into Porto Rico, on and after the 1st day of January, 1868, according to the decree now forwarded to you, will be as follows :

If imported in Spanish bottoms, $2 45 per 100 kilograms weight, including the weight of the barrel or sack.

If imported in vessels under any other flag than that of Spain, $3 26 per 100 kilograms weight, including the weight of barrel or sack.

You will, perhaps, consider it proper to put this information within the knowledge of our shipping merchants.

With the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


Royal Decree.

In view of the reasons laid before me by the minister for ultramar, in concert with the council of ministers, I decree as follows :

Article 1. Flour made from wheat of Spanish growth, proceeding from Spanish ports under the Spanish flag, shall continue to be duty free on importation at the island of Puerto Rico; and until the 1st of January, 1868, wheaten flour, the importation of which would not be free from the payment of duty, shall be charged in the said island as follows :

Spanish wheat flour coming from Spanish ports, under a foreign flag, shall pay for each 100 kilograms, including the weight of the barrel, one escudo 630 thousandths.

Flour coming from foreign ports, under the Spanish flag, for each 100 kilograms, including the weight of the barrel, four escudos 891 thousandths.

The same under foreign flag, for each 100 kilograms, including the weight of the barrel, six escudos 522 thousandths.

ART. 2. In regard to the imposition of duties on wheat flour proceeding from the United States there shall be Observed what is provided for as a general rule in article five of the [Page 541] decree of the 12th of March of this year, which approved the tariffs of duties of the customhouses in force in the island of Cuba.

Art. 3. The provisions contained in my decree of June 27, 1865, respecting the importation of flour at the island of Puerto Rico, are abrogated.

Given at the palace the 29th of October, 1867.

Under the royal signature,

CARLOS MARFORI, Minister for Ultramar