Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.

No. 279.]

Sir: I have just received from the minister of state an answer to your demand of the 16th ultimo, which I inclose herein with translation. I have just communicated to you the substance of this answer in a telegram.

I am, etc.

Hannis Taylor.

Mr. Groizard to Mr. Taylor.

Excellency: The minister of ultramar, to whom I submitted the observations presented by you in the name of the Government which you so worthily represent at this court against the application to North American products of the first column of the tariff in force in [Page 628] the custom-houses of Cuba and Puerto Rico, after careful study of the question, has informed me that in view of article 2 of the royal decree of April 29, 1892, which provides that the first column of the tariff constitutes the rule applicable to the products of all nations which have not made conventions with Spain; and in view of the fact that the commercial arrangement with the United States ceased on the 27th of August by the act of the United States and against the desire of Spain to maintain always cordial relations, he does not find the means to exempt the above-mentioned products from the tariff indicated.

The Government of His Majesty, which has the greatest desire that those relations may be the most cordial and friendly, will do, in spite of such obstacles, as much as it can do on its part to bring about the desired result, and to that end it is disposed to enter immediately with you upon negotiations calculated to produce an agreement in virtue of which North American products may cease to be subject in Cuba and Puerto Rico to the regulations to which existing legislation subjects them.

I hope that the Government of the United States of America will duly appreciate the good wishes which animate that of his Catholic Majesty, who would see with satisfaction their conversion into acts.

I avail, etc.,

Alejandro Groizard.