Mr. Bryan to Mr. Hay.

No. 269.]

Sir: Referring to Department’s instructions, No. 194 of May 23, No. 195 of May 25, and others relative to the Brazilian law of November 14, 1899, forbidding foreign imports to carry labels in Portuguese, I have the honor to report that an amendment to the objectionable law is proposed in the form of a bill, of which I send a copy and translation. I shall object to its enactment in its present form as being a violation of our trade-mark convention with Brazil, provided the intent is to require the proposed “stamping or printing” before exportation. I can, however, see no objection to such requirement for new labels not yet registered at home or to exacting of merchants here such “stamping or printing” before exposing the merchandise for sale.

[Page 60]

I have no doubt that, with the two members of the ministry who have this matter in charge agreeing with me as to its being a violation of commercial conventions, the law of 1899 will be repealed.

I also send herewith a copy and translation of a note from the German minister. Of course my protest against the label law is entirely independent of any action of my German and English colleagues, who have, however, volunteered to consult with me on the subject and to communicate to me such information as they may have obtained.

I have, etc.,

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

[No. 72, 1900.]

Rules that all foreign goods which have borne labels or inscriptions in Portuguese must bear, stamped across such inscriptions, the place of and other facts concerning the manufacture.

The tariff commission, having examined the petition of the commercial association of this capital directed to the National Congress, seeking measures looking to a cessation of the inconveniences that it points out due to the prohibition contained in part 2 of article 45 of law No. 641, of November 14, 1899, and to the manner of determining exchange for the day, as prescribed by article 54 sections 1 and 2 of the same law for the collection of a consumption tax on imported products, and, seeking to conciliate the interests of revenue with those of commerce, as is just, proposes the following legal project, which, in its opinion, will conveniently accomplish the ends in view:

Article I. All the foreign products which have borne labels or any inscriptions whatever, wholly or partly in Portuguese, must carry, printed across such inscriptions or labels in capital letters and with colored ink, the place of their manufacture.

Section 1. Advertising articles, such as chromos, cartoons, show bills, and placards, shall be considered as ‘printed works’ according to the appropriate tariff classification.”

[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

Mr. Arco to Mr. Bryan.

Mr. Minister and Dear Colleague: Referring to previous correspondence, I take the liberty of calling your excellency’s attention to the proposition of the tariff commission concerning the trade-marks in Portuguese, which is reported in the Diario Official for the 18th of the current month. (Diario do Congresso, p. 666.)

The business men of my acquaintance who are interested in this question are especially anxious that commerce should have sufficient time to conform to the new ruling if it should be accepted and put into operation. I am pleased to hope that the business men of your nationality are of the same mind and that, in consequence, I shall have your valuable assistance in my efforts to assure a proper interval between the publication and the enforcement of the ruling in question.

Please accept, Mr. Minister, etc.,

E. Arco.