Mr. White to Mr. Sherman.

No. 82.]

Sir: Referring to previous correspondence, and in particular to Mr. Uhl’s dispatch No. 296, of March 15 last, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy, with translation, of a note which has to-day been received from the German foreign office in regard to the freight charges upon woods of American origin on railroads under Government control. A copy of this note has been sent to Mr. Carl Gartner, of Hamburg, upon whose complaint the original action in this matter was taken by the embassy.

I am, etc.,

Andrew D. White.
[Inclosure in No. 82.—Translation.]

Baron von Rotenhan to Mr. White.

Referring to the notes of the late ambassador of February 26 and March 15 last, Nos. 186 and 197, in regard to the tariff levied on American woods on German state railways, the undersigned has the honor to inform his excellency the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the United States of America, Mr. Andrew D. White, that the appropriate home officials, who were at the time informed as to the contents of aforesaid notes and their inclosures, do not find themselves in a position, after a renewed investigation of the matter, to change the tariff rate in the manner desired by the American interested parties. The same reasons have prevailed in arriving at this decision which the undersigned had the honor to place before Mr. Edwin F. Uhl in the note of January 22 last. The larger number of the civil suits which were instituted by importers of American woods against the several railway managements, to which reference was made in the last notes of Mr. Edwin F. Uhl, have, thus far, terminated in favor of the defendants.

In regard to the shipment of oak wood, which was said to be of Galician origin, from Hamburg to Lennep, which was referred to, it is true [Page 246] that the firm in question, C. Gartner, has won the first suit, but the Royal railway management of Altona, fortified by the opinion of an expert, will enter an appeal. That the wood came from Galicia would not of itself prove that it belonged to that class of oak which is the subject of cultivation for commercial purposes in Middle European forests, as is required by the tariff. The possibility still exists that it was oak of foreign origin, and, as the expert claims, of American origin, which had been planted as an experiment in Galicia.

The undersigned, under these circumstances, renews the expression of his regret that the request made can not be complied with. He also permits himself, in order to prove the incorrectness of Mr. Edwin F. Uhl’s presumption, that the application of the German railway freight tariff discriminates against American woods, to call attention to the fact that poplar wood of American origin, for instance, is classified with the woods falling under Special Tariff II, and that the freight is calculated in accordance therewith, for the reason that American poplar wood is, according to expert opinion, the same as the poplar wood which is a subject of cultivation for commercial purposes in Middle European forests.

The inclosures which accompanied Mr. Edwin F. Uhl’s last two notes are returned herewith.

The undersigned avails himself, etc.