to Mr. Bayard.
Madrid , June 23, 1886. (Received July 7.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy of an order issued from the ministry of ultramar to the governors-general of Cuba and Porto Rico, respecting the suppression of the differential flag duties and a proposed [Page 799] equalization of navigation dues in those islands, a translation of the same, and of a note addressed to Señor Moret, minister of state.
The urgent instructions of the Department to use my best exertions to secure a suppression of the “ruinous differential duty,” which practically prohibits a vessel of the United States from carrying to Cuba productions of another country, even when shipped from the United States, and the continued protests of American merchants and shippers against such onerous discriminations, justified the legation, it was thought, in cabling a summary of the royal order.
The authoritative interpretation of the agreement of February, 1884, in accordance with the contention of the United States and in opposition to the past, persistent opinion of the authorities in Cuba and the Government, may almost be regared as a new modus vivendi. * * *
The Department may indulge in some gratification at the termination of a controversy which, in some phase, has perplexed it and annoyed our commerce for half a century.
I have, &c.,