Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.

No. 287.]

Sir: In my dispatch of the 8th instant, I had the honor to inclose you a copy of my note of the 7th instant, which I presented to the minister of state on that day as a true statement of the proposals made up to that time in reference to the subject treated of therein. I have the honor to inclose a copy of note (with translation) addressed to me on the 10th instant, by the minister of state, in reply to mine of the 7th. I also inclose a copy of a note addressed by me to-day to the minister of state in reply to his last of the 10th. From these notes you will perceive that the provisional arrangement entered into under the instructions contained in your telegrams involves nothing more upon the part of the President than refraining from discriminating against or excluding Spanish products under act of 1890 in consideration of most-favored-nation treatment by Spain. Therefore, when I received your telegram inquiring of me whether the proposed agreement called for more upon the part of the President, I answered in the negative.

[Page 632]

In view of the fact that the clause in our present tariff law imposing an additional duty of one-tenth of one cent a pound on sugar exported from bounty-paying countries may be repealed, I had it expressly understood that subsequent tariff changes may be made without prejudice to the agreement, provided that no discriminations are made thereby.

I have every reason to hope and expect that the Cortes will act in the matter as promptly as possible.

I am, etc.,

Hannis Taylor.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Mr. Groizard to Mr. Taylor.

Excellency: I have had the honor to receive your note of the 7th instant, in which you were pleased to communicate to me the favorable reception which the Government of the United States has given to the propositions of that of His Majesty for the execution of a modus vivendi which may regulate the commercial relations between the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico and the United States until such time as a definitive treaty of commerce may be concluded.

In accordance, therefore, with the declarations made to you and accepted by your Government, I have the honor to inform you that that of His Majesty is disposed to apply to the products of the United States in the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico the duties of the second column of the tariff now in force as long as the Government of the Union concedes to the products of said islands the most-favored-nation treatment, it being understood that in no case shall American products in Cuba and Puerto Rico or Spanish products in the United States be subjected to a differential treatment in respect to those of other countries.

This modus vivendi shall remain in force until the conclusion of a definitive treaty between the parties interested, or until one of them shall give to the other three months’ notice of the date upon which it is desired to terminate it.

The Government of His Majesty will ask of the Cortes the legislative authority necessary to put in vigor in the shortest time possible the provisional arrangement agreed upon.

I improve this opportunity, etc.,

Alejandro Groizard.
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Taylor to Mr. Groizard.

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 10th instant, in reply to mine of the 7th instant, in which I took occasion to present to you a telegram from my Government saying [Page 633] that the President, appreciating the friendly disposition manifested by your proposals, will refrain from exercising the power of discrimination or exclusion against the products of Cuba and Puerto Rico so long as Spain accords most-favored-nation treatment to American products in those islands. In reply to my note you are now good enough to reassure me that in consideration of such treatment by my Government that of His Majesty will apply to American products only the duties imposed by the second column of the tariff in force in Cuba and Puerto Rico, that column being applied, as you have assured me, to all nations which now receive from Spain in those islands the most-favored-nation treatment.

The necessary meaning of this agreement, as you have correctly expressed it not only in your note, but in your conversations with me, is that both nations may make subsequent tariff changes without prejudice to the agreement, provided by such changes neither discriminates against the other.

In the event that either party desires to determine the agreement, three months’ notice of such intention is to be given beforehand.

Hoping to be informed by you at a very early day of the consummation of the necessary acts upon the part of the Cortes, I seize this opportunity to renew, etc.

Hannis Taylor.