No. 77.
Mr. Hall to Mr. Bayard.

No. 750.]

Sir: Under date of the 6th of July last, the Costa Rican Government concluded a contract with one of its citizens, named Pedro Terrés, for the establishment of a line of sailing vessels between Port Limon on the Atlantic, and ports of Europe; in this contract the government concedes a rebate of 5 per centum in customs duties on all merchandise imported into Costa Rica by those vessels, and exemption of the vessels from light and tonnage dues. By a subsequent decree, the same rebate and concessions are conceded to the vessels of Terrés on the Pacific.

From the fact that these vessels are to sail under the Costa Rican flag, it would seem that the exceptional privileges they enjoy are in conflict with articles IV and V of the treaty of 1851, between the United [Page 94] States and that republic, which place the vessels of both nations upon a footing of absolute equality in the ports of each other. I respectfully invite the Department’s attention to the translations, herewith inclosed, of the contract and decree referred to.

I have, etc.,

Henry C. Hall.
[lnclosure in No. 750.—Translation.—From La Gaceta de Costa Rica, July 7, 1887.]

Contract between the Costa Rican Government and Señor Terrés.

Apolinar de J. Soto, secretary of state in the department of war, duly authorized, on the one part, and of the other part Pedro Torrés y Ruis, of age, married, merchant, and resident of this city, have concluded the following contract:

Article 1.

Señor Terras binds himself—

To establish between the port of Limon, of this republic, and the European ports that may suit his interests, a regular and constant service of transports by means of the sailing vessel Anita, matriculated in this country, and the other vessels of the same class that he may hereafter choose to establish, with the object of conveying the products of this republic to Europe and of bringing merchandise destined to the same, at a reduced rate of freights, in benefit of the commerce of this country.
To make a rebate of 25 per centum in the freight upon effects for the government brought by his vessel.
Not to permit on board of his vessels the transportation of troops or munitions of war to the territory of the republic without the express consent of the government, nor to land any arms or war materials in the ports of the nation unless coming consigned to the government.
To place eight passages, annually, by his vessels going to and returning from Europe to this republic and vice versa, at the disposal of the government.
To place his vessel or vessels at the disposal of the same government, whenever solicited, at an equitable remuneration.

Article 2.

The Government of Costa Rica, in conformity with the decree No. 30, of the 4th instant, of the constitutional congress, concedes a rebate of 5 per centum from the custom duties upon the merchandise imported into the country at the port of Limon by the vessel or vessels of Señor Terrés, during the term of this contract; it being understood that inasmuch as the said vessels sail under the flag of Costa Rica, they are exempted from the payment of light and tonnage dues in conformity with Article 15 of the fiscal code.

Article 3.

The duration of this contract shall be for five years from the date of its approval by the president of the republic; In case that Señor Torrés, for any cause, should not be able to keep up the service during the time stipulated, he shall give opportune notice thereof to the government, so that it can decide as to the rescission of this contract.

Article 4.

This contract may be transferred by the con tractor to any person or company whatsoever, but to no foreign government.

In faith of which they sign the present contract in the national palace at San José on the 6th day of July, 1887.

A. de J. Soto,
Pedro Terrés.

Presidential Palace
San Jose, July 6, 1887.

The foregoing contract approved.


[Page 95]

No. 55.

The constitutional congress of the Republic of Costa Rica, at the solicitation of Don Pedro Terrés, and in use of the powers conferred by the seventy-third article of the constitution,


Only article.—The authorization given to the executive power by decree No. 30, of the 4th instant, is hereby amplified to the effect that the same concessions shall be granted to the vessels owned by Señor Terrés which navigate the Pacific as have been given to the vessels which he intends to establish on the Atlantic, conditional with his rendering in compensation the same service to the satisfaction of the executive.

  • A. Esquivel,
    President of Congress.
  • Maximo Fernandez,
  • Manuel J. Jimenez,
    Proto. Secretary.

Let it be executed.