Baron Fava to Mr. Gresham.

Mr. Secretary of State: Basing their action on the prohibition of importation which is now in force in the Kingdom, the American customs authorities levy upon salt from Sicily and Sardinia the duty established in paragraph 608 of the act of August 28, 1894, which is referred to in circular No. 123 of the Treasury Department.

In point of fact, however, the prohibition of importation in question does not extend to the two islands of Sicily and Sardinia, and the consequence is that, while salt from the United States may be imported into Sicily and Sardinia duty free, Sicilian and Sardinian salt is obliged to pay duty on its arrival in the United States.

I consequently have the honor, in pursuance of instructions received from His Majesty’s Government, to call your excellency’s attention to this disparity of usage which inures to the detriment of an Italian product, and I do not doubt that, fully sharing my views with regard to the principle of strict equity on which this complaint is based, your excellency will be pleased to use your good offices with the honorable Secretary of the Treasury to the end that he may, without delay, issue the necessary instructions for the free admission of salt from Sicily and Sardinia, since this will be entirely in harmony with the privilege accorded to the same article when imported from the United States into those two islands.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,