to Mr. Bayard.
Stockholm , July 21, 1888. (Received August 6.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit you under this date, in separate cover, a printed copy of the “Tull-Taxa,” or tariff laws of the Kingdom of Sweden.* These laws were enacted at the recent session of the Diet, and went into force by royal proclamation July 1, current. I have marked the principal items imported from the United States, upon which duties are imposed. Cotton, and the products of cotton, are exempt. After the year 1888 coal-oil is on the free list. Breadstuffs, meats, sugars, coffees, and tea are made dutiable.
The manufacturing interests are not specially benefited, while spirits of all kinds and tobacco in its various forms are heavily taxed.
The bill is framed in the interest of the estate proprietors, who hope to increase their profits derived from agriculture by taxing the food supplies of the people. This present result has been reached only after a long and bitter contest extending over some years, and through the operation Of the election laws, which gave the conservative party a majority of the Diet, while the popular vote was very largely against that party.
It is too early to judge of the effect of the law, except to say that it is not popular. It is an entire change from the policy maintained in the Kingdom for years, and I doubt that it will be of long continuance.
I have, etc.,
- Not printed herewith.↩