No. 469.
Mr. Lowell to Mr. Evarts.

No. 110.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that some weeks ago the publisher of two illustrated periodicals, La Ilustracion EspaƱola and La [Page 799] Moda Elegante, called upon me to say that the packages of them sent by mail to America had been returned to him with an inscription stamped on the outside saying that they were returned for neglect of paying duty.

I told him that I had no official information on the subject, and that the proper way for him to seek a remedy would be through the channel of his own government.

A day or two after, I read in an American newspaper an order of the Treasury Department directing that packages of periodicals not exceeding a certain weight would be admitted on payment of postage alone.

Having spoken to Mr. Silvela about the matter, I translated the order and sent it to him, at the same time saying that I could not warrant its authenticity, though I saw no reason to doubt it, and that I hoped the question was settled.

This morning, however, the publisher has called again, saying that his packages continue to be returned as before, and that in spite of an official communication to the Spanish post-office of the Treasury order above mentioned.

I promised to write home for an explanation of the matter, and I now do it, not only on his account, but that I may know what to say if other cases should be brought to my notice.

I have, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.