The Secretary of State to the Siamese Minister (Karavongse)

My Dear Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter which you addressed to the Acting Secretary of State under date of March 6 last, requesting confirmation of a statement made to you in conversation by the former Secretary of State, Mr. Lansing, on December 18 last, in regard to the willingness of this Government to accept the principle of tariff autonomy on the part of Siam.

In reply, I am happy to confirm Mr. Lansing’s acceptance in principle of the right of Siam to levy customs tariffs notwithstanding the restrictions provided by existing treaties. In the formulation [Page 865] of treaty provisions to that end, however, it would of course be understood that imports from the United States, and exports to the United States, would at no time be subject to other or higher duties than those levied upon goods originating from or destined to any other country: and that this Government would feel itself obligated to assent to any proposed increases of tariff only when and to the extent that such increases might be approved freely, and without the requirement of any particular benefit by way of consideration, by all other nations entitled to claim special tariff treatment.

I am [etc.]

Bainbridge Colby