Mr. Langston to Mr. Evarts
Port au Prince, Hayti , January 24, 1878. (Received February 9.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith inclosed, in French and English, copies of the reply of the Haytian secretary of state for foreign affairs with regard to the one per cent. tax on invoices of merchandise shipped from the United States to Hayti. He maintains the position heretofore assumed by the government. As already stated, I do not regard his position as tenable, nor his arguments in this and his former [Page 429] dispatch as in any sense conclusive. I am prepared, therefore, to receive from you positive and decisive instructions on this subject.
In conversation with President Canal a few days ago on this subject, he intimated to me that any difference had between his government and my own with regard thereto might be settled, if need be, by arbitration. I replied that it seemed to me quite apparent that the imposition and exaction were plain violations of the treaty of 1864 and international reciprocity and good neighborhood, and so I believe.
I have been advised that the English minister has been instructed to enter the protest of his government against this imposition, and has already done so.
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There are other infractions of the treaty which I am now investigating, and with respect to which I hope to be able to write you at an early day.
I await such further instructions on this subject as you may be pleased to give.
I am, &c.,