Mr. Bayard to Sir L. S. Sackville
Washington, November 17, 1887.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a report made by the consul of the United States at Kingston, Ontario, to this Department, in response to its inquiries in relation to the fees charged on vessels of the United States in the ports of Ontario, Dominion of Canada.[Page 771]
By a proclamation bearing date the 31st of January, 1885, the President, upon information that no duty was imposed as tonnage-tax or as light house money, and that no other equivalent tax or taxes were imposed on vessels of the United States in the ports of Ontario, suspended, under section 14 of the act of June 26, 1884, the collection of the tonnage tax of 3 cents per ton therein imposed on vessels coming from these ports;
By the report above referred to it appears that there is imposed on vessels of the United States in the port of Kingston a fee of 50 cents for entrance and of the same amount for clearance on vessels of less than 50 tons burden and of $1 for each of the same purposes on vessels of 50 tons burden or over. Canadian vessels having taken out a coasting license, which costs nothing, are, even if coming from or bound to ports in the United States, stated to be exempt from these taxes, which thus appear to constitute a discriminating duty upon vessels of the United States in the port of Kingston, and unless removed to require some modification of the proclamation of the 31st of January, 1885.
But before taking any step in this direction, it is desired to bring the matter to the attention of the proper authorities, with a view to ascertaining whether the discriminating duty may not be removed.
I have, etc.,