Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Hay.

Sir: With reference to your notes, No. 1271 of November 25 last and No. 1300 of the 4th ultimo, on the subject of the ordinances of Trinidad and Tobago, I have the honor to inform you, by direction of the Marquis of Salisbury, that the dues referred to in your note are not tonnage dues on vessels.

They are in reality landing charges on merchandise imposed to defray the cost of harbor works. They are calculated on the tonnage [Page 336] of the cargo actually landed in or shipped from the colony of Trinidad, this mode of collection having been found to be the most convenient.

It appears, therefore, questionable whether they are to be considered to be analogous to the dues referred to in the President’s proclamation of April 7, 1885, and December 2, 1891.

The above considerations have been put forward by the governor of the colony of Trinidad, to whom the contents of your note No. 1271 were referred, and I am directed to communicate them to your Government.

I have, etc.,

Julian Pauncefote.