No. 402.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Curry.

No. 126.]

Sir: I inclose herewith for your information copy of a note* of acknowledgment addressed to me by Mr. Muruaga, the Spanish minister here, to whom I transmitted copies of the President’s proclamation of the 13th instant, with a note expressive of regret that the adoption of such a course had become inevitable. Copy* of my note of the 14th to Mr. Muruaga is herewith inclosed.

Mr. Muruaga has had several conferences with me looking to the adoption of some means of averting the undesirable state of things involved in a return to the old system of discriminations on both sides. While he exhibits commendable sincerity, he does not, however, appear to be authorized to submit any plan more acceptable than that suggested by your telegram of the 15th instant, and having in mind the confusion which would be likely to follow a dual examination of new bases of arrangement here and at Madrid, I took occasion to intimate to him that any proposal he might be authorized to make or deem it expedient to suggest would be made the occasion of prompt instruction by telegraph to you as the convenient channel of discussion.

The telegraph necessarily supersedes at this juncture full correspondence by mail; but I may here observe, in connection with the two propositions of the minister of state conveyed in your telegram of the 16th instant, as explained by your added comments thereon, that the scheme involves material discriminations against the carrying trade of the United States, in that it would—

Impose a total discrimination against the ports of the United States as intermediate agencies for the movement of foreign goods—a movement which materially benefits our flag by giving it employment in bringing to our shores merchandise in transit for Cuba and Porto Rico;
Exclude our flag from an important branch of the foreign trade of the Antilles, which is reserved for the Spanish flag—as, for instance, in the case of lines making round trips taking in the ports of a foreign country, as with the steamers under our flag plying between New York, Havana, and Vera Cruz.

Your dispatches, and especially your recent reports of interviews with and memoranda handed by you to Señor Moret, so abundantly exhibit your familiarity with the provisions of section 4228 of the Revised Statutes, which necessarily control the President, as to make elaboration of these points unnecessary at present.

I am, &c.,

  1. Published, pages 836, infra.
  2. Published, pages 834, infra.