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(H.)-TABLE showing the Conditions on which shall be exchanged in Ordinary
Mails between the Post Office of Sardinia and the British Post Office Ordinary Letters dispatched from the Foreign Countries, the Correspondence of which is transmitted through Sardinia for Great Britain, and vice versa. In addition to the Rates set down in Column 5 of this Table the British Office must account to the Office of Sardinia at the Rate of One Frauc per Thirty Grammes, net weight, in Repayment of the French Transit Rate.
(1.)—Table showing the Rates of Postage to be paid by the Post Office of Sar
dinia to the British Post Office upon Paid Letters and Book Packets despatched from Sardinia, viå Malta, to the under-mentioned Countries, and upon Unpaid Letters and Book Packets despatched from those Countries via Malta to Sardinia.
(K.)-TABLE showing the Conditions upon which shall be exchanged in Ordinary
Mails between the British Post Office and the Post Office of Sardinia Book Packets dispatched from the Countries the Correspondence of which is forwarded through Great Britain for Sardinia, and the Countries the Correspondence of which is forwarded through Sardinia, and vice versá.
(a) To be sent by this route book packets should bear on the address the words “ By United States Packet.
(L./TABLE showing the Conditions on which shall be exchanged in Ordinary
Mails between the Post Office of Sardinia and the British Post Office Book Packets dispatched from the Foreign Countries the Correspondence of which is transmitted through Sardinia for Great Britain, and vice verså.
Countries beyond sea
(a) Book Packets exceeding 16 ounces in weight cannot be forwarded to Austria via Sardinia.
CORRESPONDENCE between Great Britain and The United
States, respecting the Suspension of the Federal Custom-
No. 1.- Lord Lyons to Judge Black. SIR,
Washington, December 31, 1860. Her Majesty's Consul at Charleston has sent to me a copy of an Ordinance passed by a Convention sitting in that city, by which it appears to be declared in effect, that the Custom-Houses of The United States in South Carolina are converted into Custom-Houses of that State; that the Customs officers of the Federal Govern, ment are to become Customs officers of South Carolina; that the revenue and navigation laws of The United States are, with one or two specified exceptions, adopted as laws of South Carolina ; lastly, that all duties and moneys heretofore collected on the part of The United States are to be collected on account of South Carolina.
I am, moreover, informed that the provisions of this Ordinance have been carried into actual execution.
Such being the case, Her Majesty's Consul has felt it to be his duty to call my attention to certain practical difficulties connected with the entry and clearance of British vessels, and to request me to send him instructions for his own guidance, and for that of masters and consignees of such vessels.
I lose no time in submitting these difficulties to you, being confident that the Government of The United States will be as anxious as I am to prevent any loss or injury, or even any inconvenience, being sustained by foreign commerce, in consequence of the anomalous state of things which appears to exist in South Carolina.
Her Majesty's Consul first mentions the points involved in the arrival of a British vessel, an event which may occur at any moment. He observes that, by the law of The United States passed on the 3rd of March, 1817,* it is required “that, upon the arrival of a foreign vessel, the master shall (previous to his being permitted to enter at the Custom-House) produce to the collector, within 48 hours of his arrival, a certificate from the Consul or Vice-Consul of the nation to which the vessel belongs, that he has deposited at the Consulate the register, clearance, and other documents granted at the Custom-House at the port from whence he last sailed.”
The penalty upon the master for non-compliance with this 'enactment appears to be a fine of from 500 to 2,000 dollars.
With regard to the clearance of British vessels, Her Majesty's Consul points out that the law just quoted requires that, before "a foreign Consul shall deliver to the master or commander of a
* Vol. IV. Page 760.
foreign vessel the register or other papers deposited with him, he shall require the production of a clearance from the collector of The United States' Customs at the port of the vessel's entry.”
It seems that if a foreign Cousul violate this provision, he is liable to be tried by the Supreme Court, and on conviction, to be fined from 500 to 5,000 dollars.
Her Majesty's Consul states further, that it is necessary to consider the case of an American or other non-British vessel bearing a recognized flag, which may be desirous of sailing to a British port, having on board cargo the whole or part of which is the property of a British subject.
Lastly, the Consul adverts to the question of the legality of the payment of duties by a British ship to the de facto collector of the State of South Carolina, in the absence of a collector of The United States, and upon the requirements of such de facto collector.
I do not think it necessary to make any suggestions of my own as to the measures required with regard to these several points. I take it for granted that the Government of The United States will never exact penalties, nor allow foreign vessels to be subjected to detention or inconvenience in consequence of a non-compliance with formalities or non-payment of duties in cases such as those mentioned above, in which compliance or payment has become impossible.
I limit myself to earnestly requesting that Government to give me without delay such information respecting its wishes and intentions as may enable me to give definite instructions to Her Majesty's Consul at Charleston, and to remove any apprehension which may exist that the abolition de facto of The United States' Custom-Houses in South Carolina will be allowed to subject British vessels and British commerce to loss, injury, or inconvenience.
In the confidence that you will do me the honour to answer this note at your earliest convenience, I remain, &c. Judge Black
No. 2.--Lord Lyons to Judge Black. SIR,
Washington, January 7, 1861. I HAVE received official information from Her Majesty's Consul for South Carolina, that the de facto authorities of that State have extinguished the lighthouse, burned, or otherwise destroyed the 3 beacons, withdrawn the light-ship, and removed the buoys which served as guides to the entrance of the harbour of Charleston. The Consul observes that there is, in consequence, every probability that British ships bound to that harbour, or passing it on their voyage to other places, may get into serious trouble, and that much oss of life and property may ensue.
As regards vessels desiring to leave the harbour, the Consul. observes that the case is but little different. Pilots, he says, might indeed be found to take such vessels out, but should any accident happen, it is, he thinks, to be apprehended that the insurance companies would refuse compensation ; and thus, he believes, few masters would feel justified in running the risk.
I do not doubt that information of this state of things has already reached the Government of The United States, and that such measures as circumstances admit of have been taken, either to cause the lights, beacons, and buoys to be replaced, or at all events to warn vessels approaching Charleston of their danger.
My object in addressing you is, in the first place, to free Her Majesty's Consul for South Carolina and myself from all responsibility for any loss of life and property which may unhappily accrue; in the second place, to obtain on the highest authority, and as soon as possible, such information respecting the measures taken in the matter as may allay the anxiety of British subjects.
I have, &c. Judge Black
No. 3.-Judge Black to Lord Lyons. MY LORD, Department of State, Washington, January 10, 1861.
I HAVE had the honour to receive your Lordship's two notes, dated respectively the 31st ultimo and the 7th instant. I have laid them before the President, who directs me to say in reply that he deeply regrets that any injury should happen to the commerce of foreign and friendly nations, and especially that British subjects who are engaged in lawful trade at the port of Charleston should suffer, in consequence of the anomalous state of things which has existed there for a short time past.
It is impossible for this Government to regard the assumption by South Carolina of authority to regulate foreign commerce, and exact duties upon imports, as anything more than one of those acts of sudden and lawless violence by which all Governments are more or less liable to be occasionally disturbed in the exercise of their proper functions.
In your Lordship's first note several cases are put, and you request me to furnish such information respecting them as will enable you to give definite instructions to Her Majesty's Consul at Charleston. The points thus raised will be answered as fully as in the nature of things this Government can speak of events which have not yet occurred.
The jurisdiction of the Federal Government to regulate trade with foreign nations, and to impose duties on goods imported into The United States is exclusive. Congress, as you are fully aware, exercised this power by passing laws which clearly define the duties,