Mr. Bayard to Mr. Reuterskiöld.
Washington, March 29, 1886.
Sir: Referring to your notes of the 17th June, 4th October, and 11th November last, as also to that of the 8th instant, I have the honor to inform you that the whole question of the claims of Sweden and Norway [Page 1891] against the terms of the shipping act of the 26th June, 1884, by virtue of her special treaty provisions, has again received the careful attention which its importance merits.
The claim appears to be that by the eighth article of the treaty of 1827 the shipping of Sweden and Norway is entitled to the benefits of the above-mentioned act in common with other nations, but without submission to its geographical conditions and limitations as exacted from them.
It is not found that this claim of Sweden and Norway can be assented to by this Government any more under the fourth article of the treaty of 1827 than under the “most-favored-nation clause” of that treaty, simply on account of the phrase “every other navigation” in that article, or that it would be consistent to admit Sweden and Norway under that treaty to the benefits of the reduced tonnage duty of the act of 26th June, 1884, without likewise exacting its qualifications and conditions.
The object of the treaty was doubtless to secure the shipping of each of the contracting parties from discriminations imposed by the other and not practiced against other powers. The act of 1884 admits all nations to its benefits, but these can only be enjoyed upon the terms on which they are offered, and it is expected that Sweden and Norway will accede to those terms in common with other nations. It is not found that the act of 1884 is in any way in conflict with the treaty of 1827, or that there is any occasion, even if there were the means, for not carrying out its terms as the deliberate expression of the law-making power of the United States.