Mr. Bayard to Mr. Hubbard.
Washington, February 4, 1888.
Sir: I have received your No. 117 of December 28, 1887, concerning the desire of Japan to enter into a convention for the abolition of tonnage or equivalent charges on merchant vessels plying between the United States and Japan.
A copy of your dispatch was at once communicated to the Secretary of the Treasury, a copy of whose reply, dated the 1st instant, is herewith transmitted. To enable full consideration of the subject and a definite reply to be made to the inquiry of the Japanese minister for foreign affairs as to the future status of Japanese and other vessels proceeding to the United States respecting navigation charges, it will be necessary to ascertain the amount of tax or taxes, equivalent to tonnage or lighthouse dues, imposed in Japan on American vessels.
You will therefore take occasion to obtain this information, which should be set forth in detail, if possible, in accordance with the suggestion of the Secretary of the Treasury.
I am, etc.,