No. 242.
Mr. Evarts to Mr. Comly.

No. 52.]

Sir: Referring to department’s No. 47 of July 3 last, I have now to inclose for your information a copy of the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury upon the question involved in the discussion between yourself and the Hawaiian authorities, and presented in your No. 74, of the 9th of June, 1879, as to whether the tariff collected by the Hawaiian customs officials upon cotton goods manufactured into clothing, the same being the growth, manufacture, or produce of the United States, is not in contravention of Article II of the reciprocity treaty between the United States and the Hawaiian Government.

From the correspondence herewith transmitted it will readily be seen that the reasoning, which seems to be full and explicit, of the Secretary of the Treasury in regard to the construction of Article II of the treaty in question, providing for the free admission of “cotton and manufactures of cotton, bleached and unbleached, and whether or not colored, stained, painted, or printed,” &c., is clearly opposed to that of the collector-general of Hawaii, who 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.

[Page 545]

The concluding paragraph of the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury is in the following language, viz:

In the opinion of this department, therefore, ready-made clothing of cotton is entitled to admission free of duty into the Hawaiian Islands under the treaty mentioned, and it may he stated that this view is concurred in by the collector of customs, the United States appraiser, and United States naval officer at New York, and by the United States appraiser at Boston, all of whom have considered the question.

The Hawaiian Government having expressed the wish to receive the interpretation of the Treasury experts at this capital upon the disputed phrase, you are instructed to communicate for its information a copy of the inclosed correspondence, and the sense of this instruction founded thereon, adding the hope that the views therein contained may be considered satisfactory for determining the question at issue.

I am, &c.,