No. 157.
Mr. Denby to Mr. Bayard.

No. 327.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of the answer of the yamên to my dispatch of the 25th ultimo, relating to the increased lekin tax on kerosene at Canton. It will be seen that the yamên asserts the right of levying the increased lekin tax in question. They propose to address me again on this subject.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.
[Inclosure in No. 327.]

The foreign office to Mr. Denby.

Your Excellency: Upon the 28th of February, the prince and ministers had the honor to receive a communication from your excellency having relation to the increased lekin tax levied on kerosene oil at Canton. Your excellency requested that instructions be sent to the head lekin office of that province not to impose any additioal tax on that article, etc.

The prince and ministers would observe that there is no record of the yamên having received a report [from Canton] of the issuance of the proclamation [referred to] in said province increasing the lekin tax on kerosene, But the levy of an additional tax of that nature in the interior is not a tax collected from foreign merchants, and it would seem [in consequence] that the rule governing duties ad valorem of 5 per cent. can not be put forward or applied to the case. Besides, the mere levy of an increased lekin tax from Chinese merchants is not with the intent or purpose of prohibiting foreign merchants from importing kerosene. Since your excellency has addressed us upon the subject, it is right to send a copy of your communication to Canton, and on receipt of a reply the prince and ministers will again address your excellency for your information.

A necessary communication in reply addressed to his excellency Charles Denby, etc.