Count de Lichterveld to Mr. Hay.

Mr. Secretary of State: The conference charged with proceeding to the revision of the duties on spirituous liquors in Africa met at Brussels on the 20th of April last, and closed its labors on the 8th of June following.

I have the honor to transmit to your excellency the text of the convention resulting from the deliberations of the high assembly and the collection of the acts of the conference.

The examination of these documents will enable your excellency to understand the importance of the decisions adopted by the conference. They constitute a remarkable increase over the tariff now in force, the minimum import duty fixed by the general act of 1890 having been raised in the new agreement to more than four times the previous rate.

This result can not fail to be welcomed with deep satisfaction by all who are interested in the great cause of the regeneration and preservation of the native peoples of Africa.

The Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians was commissioned by the conference to procure the adhesion of those States which, like the United States of America, did not think proper to have themselves represented in it, but which reserved the right to adhere subsequently to the decisions that it might adopt.

The Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians is confident that the American Government will not hesitate to approve the clauses of the convention which is (now) submitted to it, and that it will give its adhesion.

I beg your excellency to inform me as soon as possible of the decision of the American Government in the matter, and I avail myself, etc.