No. 27.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Reuterskiöld .

Sir: I had the honor to receive in due season your note of the 17th June last, touching the application of the provisions of the 14th section of the shipping act, approved June 26, 1884, in respect of the collection [Page 1889] of tonnage tax, to vessels of Sweden and Norway, coming from ports of that country to ports of the United States, under the most-favored-nation clause of the existing treaty of 1827, between the United States and Sweden and Norway.

The importance of the questions involved in the claim of the Government of Sweden and Norway, and in like claims preferred by other Governments, has led to the submission of the entire subject to the judgment of the Attorney-General. The conclusions of the Department of Justice, after a careful examination of the premises, are, that—

The discrimination as to tonnage duty, in favor of vessels sailing from the regions mentioned in the act, and entered in our ports, is, I think, purely geographical in character, inuring to the advantage of any vessel of any power that may choose to fetch and carry between this country and any port embraced by the 14th section of the act. I see no warrant, therefore, to claim that there is anything in the “most favored nation “clause of the treaty between this country and the powers mentioned, that entitles them to have the privileges of the 14th section extended to their vessels sailing to this country from ports outside of the limitation of the act.

These conclusions are accepted by the President, and I have accordingly the honor to communicate them to you as fully covering the points presented in your note of the 17th of June last.

Accept, sir, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.