No. 272.

Mr. Bayard to Mr. McLane.

No. 37.]

Sir: I transmit to you herewith, for your information, a copy of a letter addressed to this Department by Mr. John H. Flagg, as attorney for various American exporters of petroleum, alleging that the Government [Page 377] of France makes discriminations in favor of Russian exporters of the same article, by admitting into Prance petroleum distillates from Russia of 820° specific, equal to 41 to 42 gravity, at the same duty as is imposed in France on American crude petroleum, viz, 14½ francs per 100 kilograms.

I will thank you to call this matter to the attention of the French foreign office, with a request that the facts may be inquired into with a view to the discontinuance of any unjust discriminations which may be found to exist against American exporters of petroleum.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 87.]

Mr. Flagg to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: Touching the question of recent importations into France of petroleum distillates from Russia, under the false classification of “crude petroleum” (referred to in our personal interview on Thursday last at the Department), and your request that I submit in writing the facts in the case, as reported, to exporters of American petroleum in this city, I have the honor to state that recent importations of such Russian distillates have been admitted into France (of 820° specific, equal to 41 to 42 gravity) at the same duty as is imposed in France on American crude petroleum, viz, 14½ francs per 100 kilos, and that the same is now being worked by the French refiners at Marseilles, Cette, Dunkirk, and other points.

The flagrant injustice which is thus being done to the exporters of American crude petroleum into France (in which country the rate of duty on refined petroleum is virtually prohibitory), not to mention the manifest frauds upon the revenues of the latter country, would seem to warrant a vigorous protest on the part of the Government of the United States against further evasion of the law by the Russian dealers, which I trust you will see your way clear to assert without unnecessary delay.

I have, &c.,

Attorney for American Petroleum Export Association, Standard Oil Company, and others.