No. 58.
Mr. Dougherty to Mr. Bayard .

No. 167.]

Sir: On August 12 last, in obedience to the instructions contained in your circular letter dated July 9, 1887, this legation addressed a note to the minister of foreign affairs of Italy, communicating the desire of the United States Government to establish a basis of thorough reciprocity with Italy in the matter of tonnage and equivalent charges on navigation. A copy of the said circular was therein inclosed, I have now the honor to report that I have jest received a reply from the minister of foreign affairs, in which, after assuring me that no discrimination exists in Italian ports against United States vessels compared with those of Italy or any third country, his excellency states that the Government of the King had given the proposal careful consideration but had not deemed it opportune to move any modification of the existing law on the subject. I have the honor to inclose a copy and translation of Minister Crispi’s letter.

I have, etc.,

C. A. Dougherty.
[Inclosure in No. 167.Translation.]

Mr. Crispi to Mr. Dougherty .

Mr. Chargé d’affaires: I have had the honor of receiving the esteemed note addressed to me by Mr. Stallo on August 12 last, proposing to the Government of the King to place itself in accord with that of the United States of America, with the object of assuring to the two countries a perfect reciprocity in the matter of tonnage dues and of those other fees applied to navigation in the respective ports, and moreover, inquiring if in the ports of Italy or its dependencies there exist any differences between the tariffs adopted in respect to navigation dues as against United States vessels compared with those in force for Italian vessels or those of any other country; and, if so, what are precisely these differences.

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As to the second part of the legation’s note I beg to inform you that vessels of the United States are subject to the same conditions as Italian vessels and those of all other countries.

In regard to the first part of said note I desire to notify you that the Government of the King has taken into serious consideration and carefully examined the proposal of the United States Government of establishing a perfect reciprocity between the two countries in the matter of tonnage and navigation taxes.

To render possible, however, such an accord, it would foe necessary for the Royal Government to undertake the modification of a law recently adopted, which is that of December 6, 1886, No. 3547 (3d series), and which regulates the anchorage taxes (tasse di ancoraggio) for vessels arriving from foreign parts in ports of the Kingdom.

At the present time it does not seem opportune, for reasons of availability (indole), administrative as well as economical, that the provisions of said law should be changed.

It is therefore with regret that the Royal Government finds it impossible to accede to the desire manifested by the Cabinet of Washington.

Be good enough to accept, etc.,

F. Crispi.