Mr. Ferrara to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, July 18, 1887. (Received July 18.)
Mr. Secretary of State:
In virtue of several proclamations issued by the President, the last of which bears date of the 22d of April last, and has reference to the ports of the Netherlands and to certain ports in the East Indies, the collection of tonnage dues has been suspended as regards merchant vessels, whatever may be their nationality, coming from the ports designated in the aforesaid proclamations, provided that the countries to which such vessels belong do not levy upon American merchant vessels higher duties than they do upon their own.
The Government of the King has just informed me that in the ports of Italy United States vessels and their cargoes, as well as those sailing under any other flag, are required to pay only the same duties and imposts as Italian vessels, and it instructs me, at the same time, to take the necessary steps to the end that Italian merchant vessels may enjoy the benefits granted by the proclamations aforesaid.
I consequently have the honor to beg your excellency to be pleased to cause the necessary measures to be taken in order that Italian vessels coming from the ports mentioned in the proclamations referred to may be freely allowed to enter the ports of the United States without being subjected to the payment of tonnage dues.
Thanking you in advance for your kind compliance with this my request, I avail myself, etc.,