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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90
(1888-1889)

Portugal,   pp. 1381-1395 PDF (5.9 MB)


Page 1381


                          PORTUGAL.
                              No. 927.
                     Mr. Bayard to Mr. Lewis.
No. 68.]                           DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                      Washington, December 'i, 1887.
  SIR: I transmit a copy of a letter from F. C. Butman, of Boston, rep-
resenting that "goods of American manufacture are imported into Portu-
guese colonies via Lisbon at less than the same goods are subjected to [in
the way of duties] if sent in American bottoms direct to said colonies;;"
also a further letter on the subject.
  It is desired that-you will carefully investigate the subject and report
in full, covering the entire ground. The question of indirect importations
into the colonies of a country is generally casus omissus in treaties.
Under Article IV of the treaty of 1840, it is presumed that no discrim-
ination of flag exists in the colonies, and that goods indirectly imported
thither, by way of a Portuguese port, in a vessel of the United States,
are entitled to a reduction of 30 per cent. of the tariff duties, the same
as if imported in Portuguese vessels.
  It is stated by Messrs. Butman & Co. that the indirect importa-
tions into the colonies from all foreign countries via the parent country
are treated alike. In this relation it is desirable to know whether the
question of discrimination has been raised by any other government
and how it has been met by Portugal.
   It is possible that the analogy of the coastwise trade, under the res-
 ervation of Article VII of the treaty, may be argued. This can only
 properly apply, it is thought, to importations, which, having been regu-
 larly entered and paid duties in a port of the parent country, are thence
 conveyed in vessels of the country to another port thereof. But re-ex-
 portation in bond or with drawback, equal to duties, to another port of
 the same country is a different thing; and while it might be said that
 a rebate on foreign imports of the nature herein shown, at the port of
 final destination, is a discrimination against one home port and in favor
 of another' still it is evident that the effect is to discourage direct
im-
 portations and to favor a double voyage with transshipment in a port
 of the-mother country. In the second case the flag under which the
 voyage after such transshipment is made becomes important.
   As will be seen, the subject is intricate and needs to be carefully
 fstudied.
       Iam, etc.,                                   T. F. BAYARD,
                                                             1381


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