to Mr. Bayard
Peking , January 10, 1887. (Received March 8.)
Sir: I have the honor to report that I have received from the consul at Amoy a notice that the local authorities of the island of Formosa have made a monopoly of the camphor trade of the island. By this regulation sale of camphor by private producers is prohibited; the Government alone buys and sells camphor. The custom of giving transit passes is abolished.
Mr. Crowell writes that he has brought this matter to the attention of the Department. I have instructed him that under Articles XIV and XXVII of the French treaty of 1860, the augmenting of the number of articles reputed contrabrand or subjects of monopoly is prohibited. The text of Article XXVII is:
The Chinese Government renouncing therefore the right of augmenting the number of articles reputed contraband or subjects of monopoly, any modification of the tariff shall be made only after an understanding has been come to with the French Government and with full and entire consent.
It is further to be noted that in all the treaties for the regulation of trade contraband goods are specified. See Rule III of the treaty with the United States, which prohibits trade in munitions of war and salt only. In all trade conventions camphor is specified in the list of imports and exports and a duty is affixed.
I conclude that the proposed monopoly of camphor is prohibited by the treaties. Owing to the peculiar form of the Chinese Government, as it relates to the provinces, and for other reasons. I have adopted the rule of requiring the consuls in the first place to endeavor to settle with the local authorities all questions arising in their jurisdiction. I depart from this rule, as in the case of the Chungking riots, in those localities only where there is no consul. If the consuls are unable to procure redress, I then present the question to the Tsung-li yamên. I have therefore instructed Mr. Crowell to present his objections fully to the local authorities.
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I have, etc.,