No. 262.
Mr. Langston to Mr. Evarts .

No. 14.]

(Received December 22.)

Sir: In accordance with instructions contained in your No. 4, dated November 7 ultimo, I have communicated with the Hon. Felix Carrié, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. A copy of my communication is herewith inclosed. I await the reply of the Honorable Secretary.

I have, &c.,

JOHN MERCER LANGSTON.
[Inclosure in No. 14.]

Mr. Langston to Mr. Carrié.

Sir: I have the honor to address you with regard to the imposition and collection of a tax of one per centum on the value of all consignments of merchandise shipped from the United States to Hayti, under a law passed by the Corps Legislatif, August 23 [Page 416] last, and which took effect and became operative on the 1st day of October last. It is very difficult to comprehend how this charge can be exacted as consular fees for certifying invoices. The amount of the charge is so great as to preclude such idea. And besides, the law itself provides that 15 per centum of the charges collected under it shall be used as such fees; the language of Article II being, “On these charges for authentications and certificates the consuls shall have a right to reserve (for themselves) 15 per centum.”

Such charge cannot be regarded by the Government of the United States in any other light than as an indirect levying of a discriminating import duty imposed by Hayti on the commerce of the United States; and, as such, being in direct contravention of the spirit and letter of the treaty of November, 1864, between the Government of the United States aud that of Hayti.

It evinces, moreover, on the part of Hayti, an absence of that feeling of reciprocity in the commercial relations between the two countries which it has been the special desire of the Government of the United States to cultivate and encourage as alike advantageous to both nations, and especially calculated to illustrate the spirit of friendship which should characterize the relations of two neighboring republics.

I embrace this opportunity to bring this subject to your attention, and to express the hope indulged by the Government of the United States, that the necessary orders will be issued by the Government of the Republic of Hayti for the discontinuance of this exaction, and provision made for refunding such amounts as may have been wrongfully collected.

Asking reply hereto, at your earliest convenience, I beg to present assurances of my highest esteem.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN MERCER LANGSTON.