No. 434.
Mr. Andrews to Mr. Fish.

No. 187.]

Sir: On the evening of the 11th instant I had the honor to receive your No. 128 of the 22d ultimo and inclosures relative to securing the co-operation of Sweden and Norway in procuring a modification of Cuban tariff laws; and on the day following I sent to the foreign office a note, of which the inclosed is a copy, together with one printed copy of your dispatch and accompanying memorandum of March 21, to the United States minister at Madrid.

Another copy of the last-mentioned document having been received with the next day’s mail, I to-day handed it in person to the minister of foreign affairs, believing he would like to send it to Norway.

In course of our conversation he said there having been two (Easter) holidays, my note, just laid on his table, had not received his attention. I briefly stated what the practices were which we wished modified, and the remedy that was proposed. He replied that Swedish vessels had suffered many hardships from the ignorance of Spanish revenue officers, especially in their enforcing strict quarantine against such vessels, whenever there was cholera in St. Petersburg. In conclusion he said, “We will gladly do all we can to assist you in this matter.”

I am, &c.,


Mr. Andrews to General Bjornstjerna.

Sir: In compliance with instructions from my Government, I have the honor herewith to hand you a printed copy of a* dispatch of March 21, 1873, and accompanying memorandum, from the Secretary of State of the United States to their representative at Madrid, wherein he is instructed to use his best endeavors to secure a change of the [Page 1066] tariff laws of Cuba, so that tines for errors in manifests may be imposed on goods instead of on vessels, and earnestly to request that your government will instruct its minister at Madrid to make a simultaneous if not identical application to the Spanish government in support of the desired change.

The unjust and burdensome nature of the system of tariff tines which obtains in Cuban ports is abundantly shown in the memorandum. Your excellency will notice that my Government long ago, but in vain, sought relief from the system. The fact that it is still continued seems to render it for the interest of all maritime powers, whose vessels are in the habit of trading to Cuban ports, to make a simultaneous and earnest effort to secure its prompt and just modification.

In the hope that you will lend your valuable influence for the accomplishment of this object, I beg to renew to you, sir, the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.


His Excellency General O. M. Björnstjerna ,
Minister of State and Foreign Affairs.

  1. For inclosure see page 932.