to Mr. Evarts.
Mexico , May 31, 1879. (Received June 17.)
Sir: The Mexican Congress adjourned to-day after the usual session of two months. The preferred business of the session was the consideration of the government financial estimates, which were voted in accordance with the recommendations of the different executive departments.
In previous dispatches I have referred to the annual heavy deficits in the federal treasury. An effort has been made to equalize the receipts and expenditures by reducing the latter, and especially by increasing the receipts by voting additional taxation. Extra stamp duties have been levied, but the measure which has provoked the most discussion has been the bill proposed by the executive establishing a tax upon cotton and wool fabrics of domestic manufacture, which, after very strong opposition, was finally passed just at the close of the session.
With the object also of improving the financial situation, a law was [Page 812] passed making smuggling a penal offense. I will have occasion to refer to these subject! in a subsequent dispatch, when I have an opportunity to examine the laws.
The bill authorizing the holding of an international exposition was not passed, it never having been reported from the committee to which it was referred in the Chamber after its return from the Senate.
The contract or concession which the executive made last year with H. H. Hall, in representation of certain New York gentlemen, for the construction of a railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, was approved by Congress with certain amendments. Although the concession is not all that the company desire, I believe it is the intention to accept it and proceed with the organization and work, in the expectation of securing the desired provisions by future legislation.
The charter or contract for a submarine telegraphic cable from Vera Cruz to Galveston, or other point in the United States, made by the executive with a New York company, failed to be approved by Congress.
Congress has continued to show itself unfriendly to railroad connection with the United States. Two concessions or contracts made by the minister of public works with American citizens or companies were pending in Congress—the International Railroad from this city to the Rio Grande frontier, and the Sonora Railroad from Guaymas to Tucson. Neither of these received sufficient support to be brought to a vote in the lower house.
The next session of the present Congress will meet on the 16th of September.
I am, &c.,