Mr. Olney to Mr. Ewing.

No. 228.]

Sir: In view of a letter from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury of the 24th instant, I have to request that you ascertain and forward a complete statement showing the designation, amount, and purpose of taxes levied on shipping in the various ports of Belgium, and by what authority such taxes are levied; also, whether any discrimination is made between American and Belgian vessels in the imposition of such taxes.

As pertinent to this I inclose for your information a copy of a note from the Belgian minister at this capital of the 18th instant, and of my reply of the 27th touching the possible exemption of vessels from Belgian ports from the payment of tonnage dues upon entering those of the United States.

You will give the subject prompt and careful consideration.

I am, etc.,

Richard Olney.