Mr. Comly to Mr. Evarts
Honolulu , June 9, 1879. (Received June 26.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit correspondence with the Hawaiian foreign office upon the question whether the Hawaiian tariff upon American cotton goods made up into clothing is not in contravention of Article II of the reciprocity treaty.
The Hawaiian Government having asked an opinion from the Treasury experts at Washington, I refer the whole correspondence, and respectfully ask instructions.
I beg to direct especial attention, however, to the fact that this is not exactly a parallel case to one resting wholly upon an expert interpretation of the meaning of the phrase, as submitted by the Hawaiian Government.
In deciding upon the meaning of the phrase relating to cotton goods in this treaty, it seems to me the phrases relating to textile manufactures made of a combination of cotton, wool, &c., must be considered, and whether the use of the phrase “other than when ready-made clothing,” as applied to these textile combinations, and the omission of this phrase in the paragraph relating to all-cotton goods, does not imply that cotton goods, when ready-made clothing, ought not to pay duty.
The collector-general seeks to enlarge the meaning by injecting the phrase “other than when ready-made clothing” into the paragraph as to cotton goods where it does not occur. This he does, not because of anything in the treaty authorizing such interpretation, but because of the opinion of one of the commissioners that the words were meant to have been in the clause as to cotton goods also.
I have, &c.,