The British Chargé (Osborne) to the Secretary of State27
Sir: With reference to Sir R. Lindsay’s note No. 377 of October 7th last28 I have the honour to inform you that I have now received a reply from His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in regard to the draft of the Treaty which the United States Government are prepared to conclude with the Sultan of Muscat for the purpose of modifying the provisions of Article III of the Treaty of 1833 between the United States and Muscat.
- I am instructed to state that after a careful examination of the draft treaty the Muscat State Council have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the negotiation of such a treaty would present a variety of difficulties the solution of which would inevitably involve great delay and might well entail negotiations with other Governments.
- Since the modification of Article III of the Treaty of 1833 between the United States and Muscat was first suggested, a further marked deterioration has taken place in the finances of Muscat. Efforts have been made in the past year to reduce expenditure wherever possible. Nevertheless a substantial budget deficit seems certain and the necessity of increasing the tariff rate has thus become one of considerable urgency.
- In these circumstances it is earnestly desired to negotiate in the most expeditious manner possible a simple modification of the existing provisions of Article III of the Treaty of 1833, which would permit of the levy by the Muscat State of a duty of ten per cent on all goods save alcoholic liquors and tobacco for which a maximum rate of twenty five per cent is now proposed. His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom hope that the United States Government will consent to this modification being effected by a simple exchange of notes which would become operative at once. They are for their part prepared, subject to the concurrence of the United States Government and the [Page 369] French Government, who are also being approached in a similar sense, correspondingly to modify their own Treaty of 189129 with the State of Muscat.
I have [etc.]
His Majesty’s Minister