No. 42.
Mr. Roosevelt to Mr. Bayard.

No. 51.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose translation of a note received from the ministry of foreign affairs in reply to a printed circular containing a copy of the act of Congress approved June 19, 1886, entitled “An act to abolish certain fees for official services to American vessels, and for other purposes.” This circular, together with two printed papers to assist in the full understanding of the same, was duly presented to the Austro-Hungarian ministry of foreign affairs on the 31st of August last by this legation, inviting at the same time on the part of the Austro-Hungarian Government cooperation with the Government of the United States in reciprocally abolishing all lighthouse dues, tonnage taxes, or other equivalent tax or taxes on and also all the fees for official services to the vessels of the two nations employed in trade between their respective ports.

This cooperation on the part of the Austro-Hungarian Government the ministry of foreign affairs now respectfully declines on the ground that under the most “favors-nation clause” the abolishment of all [Page 1920] such charges would have also to be extended to other nations and would involve a considerable reduction in the port dues of Austria-Hungary.

I have, etc.,

James R. Roosevelt,
Chargé d’affaires ad interim.
[Inclosure in No. 51.Translation.]

Mr. Szöchýeny to Mr. Lawton.

In the esteemed note of August 31 last, F. O. No. 2, the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, Mr. Alexander R. Lawton, was pleased to propose, by order of the United States Government, an abolishment of lighthouse, tonnage, and other dues and taxes for American ships in Austro-Hungarian ports and for Austro-Hungarian ships in American ports.

After consultation with the respective ministries of both parts of the Empire, the imperial and royal ministry of foreign affairs begs leave to inform the minister of the United States that the imperial and royal Government can not accept this proposition, because the Maine treatment which we accord to American ships would have to be accorded to all other ships of the most favored flags a proceeding which would entail a considerable reduction in the receipts of the port dues of AustriaHungary.

For the minister of foreign affairs.