Mr. Plumb to Mr. Seward.
Sir: An importat step in the direction of commercial reform has been taken by this government in the appointment of a commission for the formation of a new tariff.
I inclose herewith a translation of the order from the treasury department, making the appointment, which at the. same time indicates the general basis of the reforms proposed.[Page 409]
The simplification and unification of the tariff will, as I understand, be more especially sought than any general reduction of duties.
The commission has already commenced its labors, and it is probable a report will be prepared in time for the new tariff bill to be submitted by the executive at the next session of the congress, which commences on the 1st of April and terminates on the last day of May, and which, by the constitution, is to be dedicated in preference to the consideration of financial subjects.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.