Weckherlin to Mr. Bayard.
Washington , May 23, 1888. (Received May 23.)
Mr. Secretary of State: At the request of the general agent at New York of tbe Netherlands-American Steam Navigation Company, I have the honor to apply to your accustomed kindness to obtain an order directing the restitution of the tonnage dues paid at New York in the month of February last by the Dutch steamers Schiedam and Leerdam under the following circumstances:
The steamer P. Caland of the aforesaid company, which sailed directly from the Netherlands for New York on the 14th of January last, met with such serious damages while at sea that the captain put back and entered Plymouth as a port of refuge.
The company then caused the passengers of the P. Caland to be taken on board by the steamer Schiedam, which was then coming directly from the Netherlands, and caused the cargo of the P. Caland to be taken off by the steamer Leerdam, which was also coming directly from the Netherlands.
These two vessels then sailed directly from Plymouth to New York, where, although the service rendered by them at Plymouth partook to [Page 1343] some extent of the character of an act of salvage, a tonnage duty of 6 cents per ton was exacted from them.
I take the liberty to beg you to cause the facts in question to be examined, and, in case you find the foregoing statement to be correct, I shall be very grateful to you if you will cause this question to be settled in the way desired by the company.
Be pleased, etc.