to Mr. Bell.
Washington , January 5, 1887.
Sir: Soon after the approval of the so-called “Dingley” shipping act of June 26, 1884, the Governments of several European countries laid claim to an Extension to their commerce of the privileges conceded to neighboring navigation under the fourteenth section of that act.
The Government of the Netherlands did not then claim the benefits of the act under the most favored nation stipulations of treaty with the United States.
On the 19th June last an amendatory act was approved, by the eleventh section of which, reciprocal arrangements with foreign countries were authorized, looking to the reduction or abolition of tonnage dues. Since the passage of that act the Netherlands Government has offered to enter into the proposed reciprocal understanding. Copy of Mr. de Weckerliu’s note* of the 8th November, 1886, is inclosed for your information.
I am, etc.,