No. 357.
Mr. Bell to Mr. Bayard.

No. 119.]

Sir: In a recent interview with the minister of foreign affairs, I considered it useful and prudent to make use of the sense of the expression contained in your No. 44, of the 8th ultimo, to the effect that it was unfortunate that the impression should have so largely been prevalent in Holland that the United States tariff act was intended to discriminate against and especially disfavor Sumatra tobacco.

The minister responded that the impression might be unfortunate, but it was nevertheless well founded, as it was clearly indicated by the declarations made in the Senate while the project was under discussion by that body, that its provisions were especially intended to operate against the Sumatra production.

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His excellency said that no formal remonstrance had heretofore been made against the operation of the act, because the Dutch people, desirous of avoiding controversies, were willing that the law should remain as it is, but that the present dissatisfaction arose from the proposed measures looking to an increase of the tax to $1 or $1.50 per pound.

I again intimated to his excellency that I would be glad to communicate to my Government any statement which he thought proper or desirable to make in support of his views.

His excellency at once replied that he had already communicated with the Dutch minister at Washington, Mr. Weckerlin, upon the subject, but that he would also willingly avail himself of my suggestion.

I concluded by giving him clearly to understand that I would gladly hasten to communicate to you any views he had to offer.

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I have, &c.,