« PreviousContinue »
sibilities of a debtor, from the time these several assignments are paid to the agents of the bondholders at the several ports.
Article X stipulates that in all concerning either the appointment of interventors with fuller powers, or the payment of assignments such as those above alluded to, no advantage shall hereafter be accorded to any foreign nation that is not by the same act also accorded to Her Majesty's Government.
Such, my Lord, is the Convention that was duly signed and sealed on the 21st instant by Señor Zamacona and myself, after the exchange of a couple of notes, copies of which I have the honour herewith to inclose.
The object of these communications was, on his part, to secure the passing of the Convention through Congress, as by the tone of them it would appear that the Government had been acting from a spirit of justice, instead of being under the undue pressure of menaces from this Legation. On mine, it was to aid him in this laudable effort, as well also as to secure an official declaration from this Government, binding them to the reduction of the tariff which I had in reality made the basis of my operations.
I conceive that by the arrangement above detailed I had secured all the real objects we had in view, and that with the great advantage of obtaining them by means of persuasion instead of by the employment of force.
That a display of such force would have been temporarily necessary to carry it out, I think probable; but that once made, and the determination of Her Majesty's Government not to be trifled with thus exemplified, all would have gone on smoothly, and we should thus have obtained all we required.
How the arrangement I had thus concluded has been nullified by Congress having thrown out the Convention by a large majority, must form the subject of a separate despatch, in which I will detail all that has taken place here since its rejection.
Had it been ratified by that body, I should have made it the foundation for a final settlement with this Government of all pend. ing claims, as well as for obtaining compensation for the relatives of such British subjects as have been murdered here up to the present time with impunity. Such an arrangement I could, I doubt not, have made during the presence in these waters of a powerful English squadron, but now the obstinacy of the Legislature has destroyed my combinations, and reduces the settlement of these questions to the future employment of brute force.
C. LENNOX WYKE.
(Inclosure 1.)-Law fixing the Bases for the Reduction of the Tariff. Mexico, le 15 Novembre, 1861.
LE citoyen, Benito Juarez, Président Constitutionnel des EtatsUnis Mexicains, à leurs habitans faisons savoir:
Que le Secrétariat du Souverain Congrès de l'Union m'a adressé le Décret suivant:
Le Congrés de l'Union a cru devoir décréter ce qui suit :
ART. I. Le Gouvernement est autorisé à dresser un nouveau tarif des Douanes maritimes et frontières en opérant, dans celui qui est en vigueur, toutes les réformes que l'expérience a démontré être indispensables pour concilier les intérêts du trésor, du commerce, de l'agriculture, et de l'industrie.
II. En agissant ainsi, il se soumettra aux bases suivantes :
1. Il dictera toutes les mesures indispensables afin que le travail ne fasse pas défaut aux agriculteurs, aux industriels, et aux artisans. 2. Il pourra réduire jusqu'à un 40 pour cent les droits d'importation que paient actuellement les articles étrangers, conformément au tarif en vigueur.
3. Il établira les droits additionnels suivants :
Le municipal, tel qu'il est aujourd'hui ;
Celui de "mejoras materiales," 30 pour cent sur les droits d'importation;
Celui d'internation, 15 pour cent sur les mêmes droits;
Celui de "contra-registro," 30 pour cent sur les mêmes droits; Celui de 2 pour cent pour le Ministère de Fomento.
III. Le tarif que dressera le Gouvernement, suivant les règles établies dans l'Article qui précède, ne pourra être modifié, en tout ou en partie, tant que le Congrès ne dictera pas de nouvelles bases, en vertu de ses facultés constitutionnelles.
Donné dans le Salon des Séances du Congrès de l'Union, à Mexico, le 15 Novembre, 1861.
MANUEL DUBLAN, Député Président.
Palais du Gouvernement Fédéral à Mexico,
Le 18 Novembre, 1861.
Pourquoi j'ordonne que le présent soit imprimé, publié, mis en
circulation et dûment exécuté.
José Gonzalez Echeverria.
(Inclosure 2.)-Schedule showing the amount of Duties that would be paid under the reduced Tariff voted by Congress, by a cargo of merchandize which now pays 100,000 dollars import duties.
(Inclosure 3.)-Convention between Her Britannic Majesty and the Republic of Mexico for the Settlement of various Questions now pending between the two Governments.*-Signed at Mexico, November 21, 1861.
DESIROUS of putting an end to the present suspension of diplomatic relations between the British Legation and the Government of Mexico by an arrangement removing the cause of such suspension, and at the same time settling certain other questions in which the Government of Her Majesty and that of the Republic are mutually interested, they have resolved to conclude a Treaty for that purpose, and have named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Sir Charles Lennox Wyke, Knight Commander of the * Rejected by Mexican Congress.
Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Her Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Mexico;
And his Excellency the President of the Republic of Mexico, Señor Don Manuel Maria de Zamacona, Minister for Foreign Affairs, &c.;
Who, having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following Articles:
ART. I. The sum still remaining due to British subjects of the moneys abstracted from the conducta at the Laguna Seca, as well as the 660,000 dollars forcibly taken from the British Legation in the month of November last, shall be repaid to the lawful owners thereof by an assignment made for that purpose by the Mexican Government corresponding to 10 per cent. of the import duties, to be taken from that portion of the additional duties commonly known under the denomination of "mejoras materiales."
II. The rate of interest due from the time when the money was taken to be paid on both these sums from the same fund shall be as follows: namely, 6 per cent. per annum on the 660,000 dollars, and 12 per cent. per annum on the remainder of the money due to British subjects from the moneys abstracted from the conducta at the Laguna Seca.
III. All Treaties, Conventions, and agreements heretofore concluded between the two High Contracting Parties shall remain binding in their totality on both parties in all affecting British and Mexican interests; and the Supreme Decrees of the 14th of October, 1850,* and the 23rd of January, 1857,† do likewise remain in full force and vigour in all that concerns the London bondholders.
IV. Such sums of money owing to the London bondholders and Convention bondholders as were in the hands of the Custom-House authorities at the time all payments were suspended by the law of the 17th of July last, shall be paid to the owners thereof, together with 6 per cent. interest thereon, out of the same fund that is set apart for the Legation and Laguna Seca claims, when those shall have been liquidated.
V. Nothing contained in this Convention shall in any way interfere with the stipulations of other agreements or Conventions by which the goods imported in French vessels are exempt from contributing to British assignments until the French Convention shall have been wholly paid off, as well as the arrears due on other claims, as arranged with Admiral Penaud, have also been liquidated, when the quota belonging to the British Convention bondholders shall be augmented, as agreed on, by two per cent. additional.
VI. The British Consular Agents and agents of bondholders at * Vol. L. Page 1123. + Vol. L. Page 1124.
+ Page 294.
the different ports of the Republic shall be entitled to exact the production of all Custom-House books and papers as may have reference to their clients' interests, and to call for ships' manifests, bills of lading, and all other documents which for the above-named purpose they may consider it necessary to examine.
Every month a statement of the duties incurred, and of the liqui dation of the assignments due to the London bondholders and the Convention bondholders at each of the Custom-Houses, shall be delivered to the British Consul resident at the port, and in those places where there is no British Consul, such statements shall be given to the agents of the respective funds, provided there be any such on the spot.
VII. In order to ensure with every certainty the fulfilment of the conditions contained in the preceding Articles, the assignments made over to the British creditors shall henceforth be represented by certificates to be issued by the Ministry of Finance, according to the regulations which shall be framed by said Ministry, and no importer will be permitted in future to pay the duties on his cargo without at the same time paying said assignments, which shall not be paid in cash or in any other form except in the said certificates, under the penalty of a second payment of double the amount, one half in certificates, and the other in cash, which latter half shall be given to the informer of the fraud.
The Minister of Finance shall deliver a sufficient quantity of said certificates to the representatives of both classes of bondholders in Mexico, who shall be required to keep enough of them on hand, both in this city and the ports, to enable the importers to obtain them with the facility required.
For greater security these certificates must be signed by the representatives of the aforesaid bondholders, as well as by the aforesaid agents, and after liquidation they shall be remitted by the collectors of the maritime and frontier Custom-Houses directly to the Minister of Finance, for the purpose of enabling the Government to take due note thereof in forming the account current of the respective debts.
VIII. The assignment of 10 per cent. of the duties alluded to in Article I for the purposes above specified shall commence from the date of the signature of this Convention; and the assignments belonging to the London bondholders and to the Convention bondholders, secured to them by Article III, shall begin from the first day of January, 1862.
IX. It is understood that the Mexican Government shall be free from the responsibility of a debtor to a creditor in so far as concerns any such sums as shall have been paid by them at the end of each month to the agents of the respective bondholders, when