No. 388.
Mr. Strobel to Mr. Bayard.

No. 111.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that I have had a conversation with the minister of state in reference to the apparent conflict of authority among Cuban officials, and consequent delay in executing the royal order of June 22, 1886, as announced in your instruction No. 112 of the 21st ultimo.

[Page 802]

On hearing my statement Señor Moret replied that the construction of the modus vivendi of February 13, 1884, as meaning “American goods in American vessels,” had been so long sustained by the Spanish colonial office, and had become so firmly wrought into the mind of the Cuban custom-house officials that he could well understand how some such difficulty as reported might have arisen. He said that there was not the slightest doubt of the explicitness of the order, and requested me to make a note of the facts I had stated. I therefore left with him a memorandum of the same, a copy and translation of which I beg to inclose.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No, 111.—Translation.]


The Chargé d’ Affaires of the United States begs to call the attention of his Excellency the Minister of State to the fact that the execution of the royal order of June, 1886, suppressing the differential flag duty, and admitting foreign goods, transshipped in American ports in American vessels, under the third column of the tariff as allowed to Spanish vessels, has been disregarded by the administration central de Aduanas, although favored by the intendente, and in spite of the fact that the order of the governor-general commanding the execution was published in the Gaceta, of Havana, on the 3d of August.

The firm of James E. Ward & Co., of New York, about the time of the issuing of the order shipped some foreign rice to Cuba. The custom-house authorities refused to allow its admission under the third column, and on August 19 it was still lying on, the public wharf.

In the expectation of more detailed information on this subject, the attention of his Excellency is in the mean time directed in this informal manner to what appears to be a conflict of authority in Cuba, whereby the enforcement of the order is delayed, to the serious injury of American commercial interests in that island.