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Spain Is Stubborn

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Washington, Duu. 7. - The Spanish taritï question is tho one thnt is j ing most attontion horoduring the j dny week and it appeurs that unless Spain "backs water" very soon the threatened proclamación of retallation wül be issued. But the proclamaron will impose "discrimlnatirig fiag duties" iistead of taking ' the course supposed to be. authorized by the act of 1890. These diserinnnating duties will be imposed on Spanish, Cuban and Porto Kican imports into the United States. The intimatiou of this pwrpoEo : on tlie part of the president is dist i ml I y couveycd in a roquest received by tho trensury department froni the deparl mi ■ ; of stutc to furnish it with detailed ín urmation as to the amount of such imports and a list of the vessels carrylng the Sn....lsh fiag whlcb trade with our ports. (o ick to the OIU Morrlll TarrtT. It was tlie original intention of the state department to have rceourse to the power of prohibition of Spanish trade conveycd by the act of 1890, but as this power has never been exercised, and as It probably has been decmed best to follow in the lino of precedent, it is quito clear that the j department has fallen back upon section 4238 of the revised statutes. A paragraph of the old Morrill tariff act, which still i stands on the statute booka, imposes a duty of 10 per cent. in addition toall other duties upon goods brought into the United States in ships of foreign countries, unless they are expressly relievel from the additional duty by treaty. These aro icuown as "discriminating flag du ties." Section 4238 above referred to authorizes the president to kusrend the beneflts conferred by the discriminating flag statute on being satisfled that any country is discriminating against the United States in tho matter of trade. Screwo l'ut to Spain Once Before. It is a singular fact that the only country which has so far feit the forco of this provisión of law is the very one against whiuh it is to he again used. In 1886 our relations with Spain were so strained that President Cleveland issued a proclamation reciting that Spain had failed to carry out the first article of the commercial agreement signed at Madrid Feb. 18, 1884, which stipulated that the differential flag duties should be removed at once from the United States producís entering Cuba and Porto Rico. And She Promjtly "Cllmbed Dowu." Being satisiied that higher and discriminating dutics had beon imposed he therefore revoked the suspension of the discriminating customs duties imposed in tho ports of the United States upon Cuban and Porto Rican products coming undor the Spanish flag. The effect of this action by the president was almost instantaneous, for in fourteen days thereafter he issued anothor proclamation stating that by an agreement entared into that day (Oct. 27, 1886) Spain had removed the source of our complaint and he again restored her to treatment under tbe favored nation clauses of our treaties.


Ann Arbor Argus
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