Mr. Uhl to Mr. Smythe.

No. 35.]

Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from Messrs. W. P. Clyde & Co.,1 which alleges a discrimination in tonnage dues against steamers and in favor of sailing vessels in Haitian ports.

From the facts stated, it appears that while a tax is levied on every ton of cargo landed by a steamer, on sailing vessels the tax is imposed on the registered tonnage irrespective of the amount of cargo discharged. As a sailing vessel, it is alleged, carries in cargo twice or more than twice her registered tonnage, the result is that the steamship is taxed on every ton of cargo, while the sailing vessel escapes taxation on the excess of cargo over the amount of tonnage.

The detention of sailing vessels referred to in the President’s last annual message has been the subject of many instructions to your legation. It is the opinion of this Government that neither class of vessels should have an advantage over the other. If there exists a discrimination against the steamers of Messrs. Clyde & Co., who control the steamship communication between the United States and the [Page 356] northern part of Haiti, you are instructed, in connection with the negotiations now pending for the relief of sailing vessels from the detention to which they are subjected, to call the attention of the Haitian Government to this complaint and endeavor to secure, from every point of view, the same treatment for sailing vessels and steamships in the ports of the islands.

I am, etc.,

Edwin F. Uhl,
Acting Secretary.
  1. Not printed.↩