Mr. Grant to Mr. Blaine .
Vienna , August 1, 1891. (Received August 20.)
Sir: It is a matter of history that the port of Trieste, which became a part of the Austrian dominion in the year 1332, was declared free by the Emperor Karl VI, father of the illustrious Empress Maria Theresa, in the year 1719, and that goods arriving at the said port have been entered without the payment of customs duties from that date to the 1st day of July last, a period of more than one hundred and seventy-one years. This action on the part of the Emperor Karl VI is supposed to have been taken with a view to imparting activity to trade and to enable the inhabitants of the district in which Trieste is situated to enter into competition with the flourishing city of Venice in commercial importance.
By an act passed by the Reichsrath at its present session the port of Trieste has been closed and placed on the same footing, in regard to customs duties, as other cities of this Empire from and after the 1st day of July, 1891.
I have, etc.,