Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.

No. 283.]

Sir: I am happy to report that the demand contained in your telegram of the 15th ultimo as to the reduction of tariff dues imposed upon American products in Cuba and Puerto Rico has produced the desired result sooner than I expected, although both the ministers of state and ultramar had assured me that they would do all in their power to comply with your wishes. I inclose herein an extract1 (with translation) taken from El Imparcial, of the 4th instant, which will explain to you what took place in the council upon this subject on the day before. From this you will see that the real pressure came from the Cuban deputies, and that the slight advantage given to Cuban sugars by our present tariff was taken as the ostensible reason for making the concession demanded. Yesterday the subsecretary of state, who has a special knowledge of the subject, was sent by his chief to the legation to express to me the conclusion reached by the council on the day before. The interview and its result I communicated to you in a telegram. From this you will see that all you have asked has been conceded without any new concessions from the United States. The subsecretary gave me to understand that under the form of a modus vivendi the concession could be made to accord at once with the requirements of the Spanish tariff and with the demands of public opinion.

I am, etc.,

Hannis Taylor.
  1. Not printed.