Ambassador Storer to the Secretary of State.
Vienna , October 7, 1905 .
Sir: I have the honor to report that, following the Department’s instructions numbered 165 and 170, bearing date, respectively, 23d and 28th of June, 1905, I conveyed formally to the ministry of foreign affairs the views therein expressed in regard to the action of the Hungarian Government as to the traffic in emigration and the treatment by it given to the International Mercantile Marine Company, otherwise known as the American Line, in connection with the Société Anonyme de Navigation Beige-Américaine, both in unjustifiably and arbitrarily interfering by its official agents in the traffic of these steamship lines and in unjustly discriminating against them by refusing a reply to the demands for a license formally made by these companies under the terms of law.
For a better understanding of the matter I venture to inclose a copy of my official letter of complaint, addressed to Mr. de Mérey, undersecretary of foreign affairs, who was acting minister at the time.
I have the honor to inclose a copy and a translation of the full and formal answer of the minister of foreign affairs, which, covering as it does the whole principle involved, gives evidence that the matter has been carefully considered and fully weighed by the Hungarian Government. It will be seen that the broad ground is taken that no traffic monopoly can be said to be created by the arrangement with the Cunard Company, because the Hungarian Government has the right to issue a license to do similar business to any other line than the [Page 59] Cunard whenever it may see fit to do so. Further, that as an inherent government right it is for the Hungarian Government to issue such license or withhold it, as it sees fit. Further, that the complaints contained in the letters of the counsel of the International Mercantile Marine Company, which I was instructed to transmit to the foreign office, that no answer had been given by the Hungarian Government to the applications for a license, is specifically denied; and the dates are given of the answers of the Hungarian Government to the communications of that company.
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I have, etc.,