to Mr. Thomas O. Osborn.
Washington , April 30, 1879.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 218, of the 4th ultimo, has been received. It relates to what are called the “Banda Oriental” light dues.
In answer to your request for instructions upon the subject, I have to [Page 20] state that your course and that of Mr. Baker, the consul, in advising masters of vessels to decline to pay the charge so long as it was not exacted from vessels of other nations, is approved.
The treaty secures us entire equality in that respect with other foreign nations.
It appears, however, that the light on the “English Bank,” so called, though within the jurisdiction of the “Banda Oriental,” is useful, if not necessary, to vessels bound to and from Buenos Ayres. If this be so, a fair compensation for the advantage might be expected from foreign vessels.
This, however, should be moderate in amount, and should be impartially collected. How far the Argentine Government can properly act as the agent for that collection will be reserved for consideration when their Congress shall have authorized the President for that purpose, of which you say there is a probability.
I am, &c.,