Mr. Fairchild to Mr. Bayard
June 20, 1887. (Received June 21.)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 2d instant, marked “Confidential,” with which you submitted a draughtcopy of a reply proposed to be made by you to a claim by the [Page 1906] Government of Sweden and Norway for the application of article 8 of the treaty of 1827 to vessels navigating between the United States and those countries, in such a manner as to exempt said vessels from the payment of tonnage dues in the United States at a higher rate than that imposed by law on vessels from the West Indies, etc.
The law making the decision of the Commissioner of Navigation “final” on “all questions” relating to the collection of tonnage tax, and to the refund of such tax, when collected erroneously or illegally, the matter has been submitted to that officer, and I transmit herewith a report in which he expresses the opinion that, under the existing legislation, there is no authority for reducing the rate to 3–15 cents per ton, as requested by the Government of Sweden and Norway.
The inclosures of your letter are returned herewith.