The Danish Minister (Brun) to the Secretary of State

No. 15

Sir: I have the honor to refer to previous correspondence relative to the rates of tonnage duties collected on Danish vessels as compared to the rates collected on Norwegian vessels in the ports of the United States, lastly your note of March 26, 1927, and to state as follows:

In your said note of March 26, 1927 you were good enough to say, that it was the view of the authorities of the United States Government concerned with the matter that, without regard to the merits of the contention advanced by the Danish Government that Danish vessels are entitled under existing treaties to treatment no less favorable [Page 731]than the treatment accorded to Norwegian vessels in the ports of the United States, it was desirable to terminate the present system under which Danish vessels pay a higher rate of tonnage dues than Norwegian vessels pay, and that it was hoped that a solution which would be satisfactory to the Danish Government could be adopted soon after the convening of the Congress in December 1927.

A copy of your said note was by me laid before the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs by a report of April 13, 1927. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has again given earnest consideration to the case and has now directed me to advise you, that the Danish Government appreciates the recognition of the Danish standpoint in the matter, to which your said note gave expression, but can not in your note see a complete reply to our contention in the case. In this respect I beg to point out, that the Danish point of view was again fully set forth and argued in the note which I had the honor to address to you on July [June?] 3d, 1926, and that on page 6 I again stated our contention to be, that in virtue of the most favored nation treatment, to which we are entitled pursuant to the treaty of April 26, 1826, Danish vessels arriving in the United States from Danish ports should be granted the favor with regard to tonnage dues accorded to Norwegian (and Swedish) vessels arriving from ports in Norway (and Sweden).

To this contention your reply of March 26, 1927 does not appear to give the expected satisfaction, and I may add that the anticipation in your note of a satisfactory solution to be adopted by the Congress, which has been understood to be the ratification of a new treaty with Norway abolishing the privileged position of Norway in this matter, has not yet been fulfilled and would only partly meet the Danish claim in so far as the position of Danish and Norwegian vessels in ports of the United States would thereafter presumably be equal in the future.

Our claim is, however, that we have from the beginning had and still have the right to equal treatment with Norway in this matter, and this is the question with regard to which I have in the last paragraph of my note of July [June?] 3, 1926, in conformity with instructions received, declared that the Danish Government reserves to itself to propose to the United States Government to have it settled by arbitration, if the United States Government should not now, when so many years have elapsed since the question was first submitted by me, be able to see its way to admit the justice of our claim.

I therefore have the honor to ask, that you will be so good as to reconsider the matter, and that our right to equal treatment with Norway may be fully recognized and satisfaction given to our claim.

I have [etc.]

C. Brun