Mr. Planten to Mr. Gresham.
Sir: In the Journal of Commerce of yesterday I notice that the Department of the Treasury at Washington, D. C., still persists that import duties on salt are levied in the Dutch West India Islands, Oruba, St. Martin, and Buen Ayre, and bases its decision on the official publication of the international customs bureau at Brussels.
In my letter of August 31 last I wrote your excellency that this supposition was erroneous, because our minister of foreign affairs cabled me that import duties on salt in all our West India islands had been abolished six years ago.[Page 1020]
The international customs bureau at Brussels must be laboring under a mistake, for I cabled to the governor of Curaçao as follows: “Buen Ayre, St. Martin salt dutiable because you reimposed duties December, 1892,” and I have just received the following answer: “Error; import duty on salt never reimposed;” which seems to leave no room for any doubt whatever.
As there are some cargoes of salt expected here from these islands, I beg your excellency to inform the Secretary of the Treasury of the foregoing facts.