No. 383.
Mr. Gibbs to Mr. Evarts.

No. 305.]

Sir: In the dispatch No. 304, of this date, on the financial affairs of this country, I refer to a law to impose an extra tax on commerce. The object of the impost is to create a special fund for the amortization of the treasury notes.

As this law will to some degree affect our commerce, I inclose copy of the law in the original Spanish, and a translation taken from the South Pacific Times of Callao of the 8th instant.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure No. 1 in No. 305.—Translation.]

additional export and import duties.

[From the South Pacific Times, Saturday, February 8, 1879.]

The government has ordered the following law to be put in force:

The Congress of the Peruvian Republic, considering: That in accordance with article 26 of the law of 27th January last a special law has to be enacted determining the manner and form in which the paper money issued from the exchequer is to be withdrawn from circulation;

That the actual revenues of the State not being sufficient for the expenses of the budget, it is indispensably necessary to create the necessary recourses for the carrying out of that operation, it has given the following law:

  • Article 1. For the redemption of the money of the exchequer the following taxes are established:
    Twenty-five cents of a sol per hundred kilograms on all packages of merchandise embarked or disembarked in any of the ports of the republic. For fractions of less than fifty kilograms the tax will be 10 cents, and 15 cents for those exceeding fifty kilograms.
    Eighty cents of a sol on each ton of weight or measure of charcoal or coal, crude or wrought iron, firewood or timber for building purposes imported from abroad, and on each ton of any metal that may be exported from the ports of the republic.
  • This article is not applicable to the coal and charcoal, nor to the firewood that may be conveyed from one port of the republic to another, nor to the eatables necessary for consumption.
  • Art. 2. The existing specific customs duties on the following articles are increased 30 per cent: Beer, spirits, wines, and liquors of all kinds, tobacco, cigars, and playing cards.
  • Art. 3. The regulations by which certain rights and perquisites are granted to the customs officials on the revenues and increased duties of such establishments are not applicable to the imposts created under the present law.
  • Art. 4. The custom-houses of the republic that collect the taxes established by this law will remit fortnightly the sum collected to the board of management and superintendence of the fiscal emission, and the said board is authorized to dictate, in accordance with the government, all the measures of security and vigilance that it may deem needful for the collection of the said taxes in places where there is no customhouse.
  • Art. 5. The aforesaid board has the power, at any time when it may deem it convenient, to lease out the collection of the said taxes.
  • Art. 6. From the proceeds of the taxes established by this law, the board shall redeem one hundred thousand soles (?) per month, at least, of the paper money, after previously deducting its expenses of administration; and if such proceeds shall be insufficient, the government shall place at its disposal the funds necessary for the redemption of the stated sum of one hundred thousand soles. But if those proceeds should exceed the amount mentioned, the amount in excess should be applied to the further redemption of the said paper money at the end of each year.
  • Art. 7. In addition to the funds created in virtue of the present law, the sums apportioned for the purpose in the general budget of the republic shall be applied to the redemption of the paper money of the State.
  • Art. 8. As soon as the exchange on London falls to 39 pence per sol in paper money of the State, the board shall invest the funds destined for the resumption of such paper money in the purchase of gold and silver bullion which it shall have coined; and the money so obtained shall be given in exchange for the aforesaid paper money, which it shall destroy by burning. If no paper money should be presented for the purpose of effecting that exchange, the money coined with that object shall be deposited in a place to be designated by the board until a sum is accumulated equal to the paper money that shall remain in circulation, and on this being attained the board shall fix a period of three months for the departments of Lima and Callao, and of six months for the rest of the departments of the republic, in order that the circulating fiscal paper money be presented for its exchange, declaring devoid of value any that may not be presented within the periods mentioned. If, on the completion of the said periods, there shall remain any surplus of the coin so deposited, it shall be placed at the disposal of the government for the requirements of the exchequer.
  • Art. 9. Within the first fifteen days of the month of January of each year the board of administration and superintendence of the State emission shall pass in the respective accounts of the fund which they administer to the chief tribunal of accounts, which shall examine and pass them as is done with the rest of the treasury accounts. On the expiration of one year from the date of the presentation of the said accounts, the responsibility of the board shall cease, and the accountant or official intrusted with the examination of the same shall be liable to the responsibilities and penalties prescribed by the regulations of the said tribunal.
  • Art. 10. The taxes established by the present law shall come into force three months after the promulgation of the present decree, and shall cease to be collected as soon as the redemption of the paper money of the State is terminated in accordance with the provisions of said law.

To be transmitted to the executive power, in order that it may give the necessary orders for its fulfillment.

    Vice-President of the Senate.
    President of the Chamber of Deputies.
    Secretary of the Senate.
    Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies.

To be printed, published, circulated, and duly complied with.

  • J. R. Izcue.