Mr. Stenersen to Mr. Fish.
Washington, January 14, 1875. (Received January 15.)
Mr. Secretary of State: The method of admeasuring vessels which has been in use in Sweden since the year 1865, having presented some practical difficulties, the government of the King ordered, under date of May 15, 1874, that a system of admeasurement, agreeing exactly with that which is known as the Moorsom system, should be adopted on the 1st of April next. This system, in addition to its well-known intrinsic merit, also possesses that of having already been adopted by the principal maritime powers, [Page 1271] thus forming the basis of a unification of the regulations which govern, this matter. As regards Norway, the question is not yet decided, a law which was passed on this subject not yet having taken effect. Several foreign governments have already made proposals to the government of the King for the reciprocal recognition of certificates of admeasurement, in order to spare merchant-vessels the expense and loss of time which they incur in consequence of the necessity of their re-admeasurement on their arrival in a foreign port, and the government of the King would be happy to see such reciprocity established, so far as Sweden is concerned, with all countries that have adopted, or intend to adopt, the Moor so m system.
It is with this object in view, Mr. Secretary of State, that I have the honor, by order of my government, and in its name, herewith to transmit to you a translation of the principal articles of the royal ordinance of May 15, 1874, in relation to admeasurement, and to propose to the American Government to establish, on the 1st April next, reciprocity as regards recognition of the certificates of admeasurement mentioned in article 3.
Galling your attention to the fact, Mr. Secretary of State, that article 6 of the ordinance mentions the deductions to be made from the gross tonnage in order to find the net tonnage, and that both will be found inscribed upon the certificates of admeasurement, I take the liberty to add that my government presumes that, if our proposal is accepted, the official publication at Washington and Stockholm of the advantages granted to the vessels of both parties will be sufficient to give the required sanction to our agreement; bat that, if the American Government deems it necessary for said agreement to be made in a more solemn form, the government of the King proposes, to that end, an exchange of ministerial declarations.
Be pleased to accept, &c.