No. 387½.
Mr. Porter to Mr. Strobel.

No. 112.]

Sir: I transmit herewith a copy of a telegram just received from the consul-general of the United States at Havana, and of a letter from Mr. William H. F. Hughes, of the firm of James E. Ward & Co., of New [Page 801] York, agents of the “Ward line” of steamships, both relating to the unexplained delay in the enforcement of the recent royal order for the due execution of the commercial agreement of January 2, February 13, 1884.

In the absence of the detailed information expected from the consul-general, the Department refrains from presently instructing you in the premises farther than to suggest that you call Señor Moret’s attention to what appears to be a conflict of authority in Cuba, whereby the enforcement of the royal order in question is delayed to the serious injury of American commercial interests in that island.

I am, &c.,

Acting Secretary.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 112—Telegram.]

Mr. Williams to Mr. Bayard.

Mr. Bayard is informed by Mr. Williams that, while the Intendente appears to be in favor of executing the royal order, the Administration Central de Aduanas declines to do so. That, by virtue of an understanding with the former, he has drawn up a protest which he will lay before the Governor-General on the following day, the latter’s order for carrying into effect the royal decree having appeared in the Gazette of August 3.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 112.]

Mr. Hughes to Mr. Adee.

Dear Sir: After a severe struggle in Havana between our agents, aided by our consul, Mr. Williams, and the custom-house officials, we succeeded in having the recent decree of the Madrid government, equalizing American and Spanish vessels and admitting foreign goods same as by Spanish, published officially. At about that time we shipped some foreign rice which, under the new law, should pass customs under the third column of the tariff; but up to the date of our last letters, although we are informed that official orders were issued, and in fact served by our consul in person, it seems that no attention whatever is paid by the officers and the rice mentioned remained on the public wharf, and old rates of tonnage tax have been demanded. We just received a telegram saying nothing settled yet about rice or tonnage, and urging the intervention of our Government. * * * Doubtless Consul Williams has already cabled to your department how matters stand, and I hope that you will see the necessity of taking prompt and very earnest measures. * * *

Yours, &c.,