No. 412.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 231.]

Sir: In commemoration of the establishment of a direct and regular line of steamers between the cities of Vera Cruz, Mexico, and New Orleans, United States, on the 24th of December last a delegation of the chamber of commerce of New Orleans arrived in Vera Cruz, and soon thereafter proceeded to this city. The delegation made their visit upon the invitation of the Lonja Mercantil of this city, and had for its object the cultivation of more intimate commercial intercourse between New Orleans and Mexico. The delegation received the most marked attention and hospitality from the mercantile organizations, prominent private citizens, and public officials, and their presence has awakened a greatly-increased interest in the commercial affairs of the two republics. Among the most notable of the entertainments given them was a dinner at the national palace by President Lerdo, at which time he took occasion to express the deep interest he felt in the development and eulargement of the commercial relations between Mexico and the United States.

The delegation took their leave of this capital on the 10th instant, and, after visiting other cities, will sail from Vera Cruz for New Orleans on the 21st instant. They inform me that their observation and inquiries have deeply impressed them with the great importance of a reciprocity treaty, which they regard as desirable for the commercial interests of the two countries, and without which it will be very difficult to compete with European merchants, who now transact almost the entire business of this republic.

I am, &c.,