to Mr. Evarts.
Peking, November 30, 1880. (Received January 17, 1881.)
Sir: I inclose herewith replies which I have received from our consuls at Ning-po and Canton to my circular making inquiries about tonnage dues, and duties on imports and exports.
You will observe in them the same difference of testimony as you have seen in the consular replies previously forwarded. They agree that no discrimination is made in respect to vessels which report to the foreign customs. In respect to the native craft—the junks—Consul Lord, while affirming that no one can know what is the practice, yet doubts whether any discriminations exist. Consul Lincoln, on the contrary, reports that it is generally believed by foreigners that at Canton the tonnage dues on native craft and the duties on native goods imported in them, are at least 30 per cent. less than on foreign vessels and their cargoes.
These statements go to confirm the theory I have previously advanced that the usage differs in respect to junks at different ports. How far our government, which excludes altogether all foreign vessels from engaging in our coasting trade, may deem it necessary to take this into consideration, it is not for me to suggest.
I have, &c.,