No. 461.
Mr. Evarts to Mr. Lowell.

No. 66.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 77, of the 15th ultimo, and to say in reply that, having communicated the substance [Page 788] thereof, together with a copy of the Spanish royal order of February 28, 1878, relative to the admeasurement of American vessels (or the acceptance of their registers), at the ports of Spain, a transcript of which you inclosed to the Secretary of the Treasury, that officer has addressed a reply to the Department in which he observes as follows:

“American registers show the measured spaces of a vessel in detail, the aggregate of which is the stated gross or total tonnage; and the register also shows what spaces (if any) have been omitted from admeasurement. Spanish registers give the total or gross tonnage only, without giving the details. Whether the total tonnage stated includes all spaces which are measured in American vessels, can only be ascertained by an examination of the vessel.

It is suggested that this fact be brought to the notice of the Spanish government, with the view of having Spanish registers conform to the requirements of our own. The circular of this department, July 11, 1877, applies to Spanish vessels the rule which prevails with respect to all other foreign vessels, and is intended to provide for any deductions or omissions which by the law of the foreign country are allowed to be deducted or omitted in making up the total, or gross tonnage stated in a register.

I may remark that I do not see how Spanish vessels can be prejudiced by the application of this rule.”

You will please lay the views and considerations of the Secretary of the Treasury, as above stated, before the minister of foreign affairs.

I inclose a copy of the circular of July 11, 1877, referred to.

am sir, &c.,