The Secretary of State to Minister Furniss.
Washington, October 23, 1906.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 105, of the 4th instant, in which you state that an American merchant, Mr. Makhle Boutros, imported a large shipment of merchandise from New York by the steamship Prins Maurits. Of the merchandise listed on the bill of lading, all was delivered except 75 boxes of soap and 8 barrels of tobacco, which you state were evidently left behind on the wharf at New York.
Under the Haitian law, Mr. Boutros was compelled to pay the duties on the missing as well as the delivered goods. The missing goods were brought by the next steamer of the line, arriving about two weeks after the first consignment. On attempting to withdraw them, Mr. Boutros was informed that the new gold duties having come into force, he must forfeit the duties already paid and pay the new duties.
He appealed to you and you report that while the minister of foreign affairs had admitted the justice of Mr. Boutros’s complaint, you deem it necessary to obtain instructions from this department in order to bring about favorable action on the part of the Haitian authorities.
The department approves your course. Should it appear as the result of your careful investigation that the goods included in the manifest were accidentally left on the wharf at New York, and that there is an absence of fraud on the part of the claimant, you may continue to use your good offices in his behalf.
I am, etc.,