No. 514.
Mr. White to Mr. Bayard.

No. 722.]

Sir: Referring to my-dispatch No. 719, of 6th instant, I have the honor to acquaint you that there have been two sittings this week (on [Page 709] the 10th and 13th) of the International Sugar Conference, at both of which I was present; and I inclose herewith the English translation of a brief statement, based upon your recent instructions, which I made at the first of these meetings, and of which I venture to hope that you will approve.

The conference adopted on the 10th instant the preamble and Article I of the draught convention, as signed in December last, the words “and to propose to their respective legislatures” being omitted from the latter for reasons set forth in the proces verbal

Yesterday’s sitting, which lasted three hours, was chiefly occupied in discussing the method of procedure with regard to the remaining articles of the convention, especially Article II, which is likely to give rise to a large number of technical details, and it was finally decided to appoint a committee to consider these points and to report thereupon from time to time to the conference.

I shall hope to forward next week the printed minutes of these two sittings, and also the replies made by the different powers who signed the protocol in December last to this Government respecting the same.

I also inclose herewith the copy of a telegram, which appeared two days ago in the London papers, from Lille, where an important election to the French Chamber of Deputies is now pending. From this it would seem that the French delegates to the conference are not authorized to ratify the convention unless all the sugar-producing countries agree to do likewise.

I have, etc.,

Henry White.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 722.]

Translation of statement made by Mr. White at the meeting of the sugar conference on the 10th April, 1888.

My Government is opposed to bounties of all kinds.

The United States pays no direct bounties, and the Secretary of the Treasury, in his last report to Congress upon the condition of the national finances, recommended the abolition of the small indirect bounty occasioned by the slight difference which still exists between drawbacks and the import duties.

It is impossible, however, for my Government to adhere to the proposed convention for several reasons.

In the first place, the signature of any such convention would interfere with the right reserved by the Constitution to the House of Representatives of originating all measures affecting the public revenue; neither would it be possible in the United States to establish an excise tax upon the domestic production of sugar, nor to abolish import duties by treaty.

But my Government reserves to itself the full right to conform by legislation hereafter to the international arrangements which maybe adopted for the abolition of export bounties on sugar.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 722.—The Times, Thursday, April 12, 1888.]

Sugar bounties.

To-day, during the sitting of the council-general of the Nord, the prefect read a telegram from the minister of finance contradicting the report that the French delegate at the sugar conference in London had accepted in the name of the French Government the proposal for the suppression of the bounties on sugar. The minister explains that the delegate received instructions to adhere to the suppression of the bounties only in the case of an understanding being arrived at among all the interested countries.