Mr. Bayard to Mr. Hubbard.
Washington, May 2, 1888.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 452 of March 20, 1888, touching the subject of tonnage or other equivalent charges leviable on merchant, vessels plying between Japan and the United States, and to inclose, for your information, a copy of a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury of the 27th ultimo relative thereto. Mr. Fairchild’s letter covers a report to him upon the subject by the Commissioner of Navigation, who reviews the statements of the Japanese Government, and concludes that the fees levied by that Government on vessels of the United States “should be considered as equivalent to the tonnage tax levied in this country. The tax in Japan may therefore be considered as offsetting that in the United States, and no action should be taken to reduce the existing tax on vessels from Japan unless the Government of that country shall modify its laws favorably to American vessels.”
It will be further observed that the Secretary of the Treasury is “not at present aware of any good reason for dissenting from the opinions he (the Commissioner of Navigation) expresses in regard to the matter.”
I am, etc.,