Mr. Bryan to Mr. Hay.

No. 254.]

Sir: Referring to my Nos. 249 and 252 of June 1, I have the honor to report that, not satisfied with the apparent effect of my protest to the minister for foreign affairs against the law forbidding the importation of goods with labels and trade-marks in the Portuguese language, I called at the treasury to enter a like protest directly at that department, where I was promised a postponement until October 1 of the enforcement of the law. Before that date I think that the petition of the Commercial Association—a copy and translation of which I inclose—and the protests of the American, British, and German diplomatic representatives will induce Congress to repeal the obnoxious law.

At the treasury I was frankly told that the minister did not believe that there was benefit for Brazilian commerce in this prohibition. He likewise confirmed the position I maintain that labels are a part of trade-marks, and that consequently the law is in violation of the convention of 1878 between the United States of America and Brazil. I therefore advise all American importers to conform to the requirements of that agreement by registering their marks.

A copy of the circular of the minister of fazenda with translation is inclosed herewith.

I have, etc.,

Charles Page Bryan.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Petition of the Commercial Association.

“The committee, whose signatures appear below, named by the Commercial Association of Rio de Janeiro to draw up and present to his excellency the minister of the fazenda a memorial with regard to the trade-marks on foreign products, all of which it had the honor to carry out, as appears from the inclosed copy, comes, in the further performance of its duty and in the right of petition guaranteed by the constitution of the Republic, to request of your excellencies in this matter such consideration of the objections raised in the memorial referred to as is within the province of legislation.

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“In this way your excellencies will render an important service to commerce and industry by authorizing the Government to regulate, to the satisfaction of those interested and without prejudice to the public interests, the law on trade-marks.

“The committee, trusting in the spirit of justice residing in your excellencies, omits arguments which would be a repetition of its memorial and which the well-known competency of your excellencies appreciates at first glance.”

The address, as its contents indicate, was sent to the Brazilian Congress with a long memorial addressed to the minister of the fazenda setting forth the ill results which would follow the enforcement of the law in question.

[Inclosure 2.]

[From the Jornal do Commercio of June 10.—Translation.]

The circular sent out by the ministry of the fazenda with regard to the importation of merchandise with prohibited labels, which we noticed at the time, is as follows:

“I declare to the chiefs of divisions subordinate to this ministry, for their information and due procedure, that the term fixed in the circular No. 3 of January 17 of the current year for the importation of products the labels of which come under the prohibition of article 57 of the regulation approved by decree No. 3622 of March last, is extended to the 30th of next September.”