Count de Lichterveld to Mr. Hay.

Mr. Secretary of State: It is of the utmost importance to the firm of Ingenohl, of Antwerp, which has an establishment in Manila, to make its yearly purchases of tobacco, as it would otherwise be subjected to considerable loss. For that purpose, it would have to be authorized by the American military authorities in the Philippines, to charter one or more neutral vessels, which would be authorized to carry on the coasting trade on the coasts of the islands during the continuance of hostilities.

In pursuance of the instruction of the minister of foreign affairs, I have the honor to apply to your excellency to have the necessary instructions sent to General Otis to grant the permission desired.

I avail myself, etc.,