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be advisable to recommend that the custom-house collectors of bordering states communicate to each other directly information, or statistical, or other data which might contribute, as well to the better dispatch of business as to the guarding of the interests to them commended. Neither can I judge definitely whether or not this is possible, but I think that some trial has been made on the Pacific Coast between Peru and Ecuador or between Peru and Bolivia; unfortunately I have not had sufficient time to search for the data.
For all these reasons, Mr. President, I, upon giving my vote, and upon recognizing, I repeat, the intelligence and accuracy
which has marked the committee, desire that the affirmative vote I give on the recommendations signifies nothing more than that I accept the suggestions of the report as the basis of the measures which, in view of the very high purposes of this Conference, it would be well for the Peruvian Government to take into consideration, so as to accept these recommendations gradually and as far as its interests, legislation, and, in general, the special circumstances of its actual state will permit.
Mr. Aragon. Undoubtedly the remarks made by the honorable delegate from Peru respecting what he proposes to reserve by them, and the manner in which he has qualified his vote, I think relieve me of the duty of replying to the criticisms he has made upon some of the recommendations submitted by the committee, and as these recommendations are always open to the criticism of each Government in the light of its own interests, perhaps we would not make much headway, because even if we succeeded in overcoming these objections, we would not be certain, notwithstanding, that in the end the Government would approve what is here debated. Therefore, I shall not reply, one by one, to the observations made by the honorable delegate from Peru, because, undoubtedly, he looks at it from the stand-point of his country and its legislation, and it would be even unadvisable to enter into that field; but there is one point to which I shall take the liberty of calling his attention, because I was, perhaps, one of those who chiefly contributed in the committee to the making of that recommendation, which says:
In case of any of the packages covered by an invoice shall, by reason of short shipment, fail to arrive, entry may subsequently be made of the missing packages by means of a properly verified extract or copy of the original invoice.
I shall take the liberty of calling the attention of the honorable delegate to the following fact:
I have often, both in this country and in England, devoted myself to investigating the way in which these offices where the freight which is shipped on the transatlantic steam-ships are organized, and what is done is as follows: There is an agency where the freight is received, and that agency already has a large quantity of bills of lading which it signs as soon as the freight is delivered. The freight is delivered to that office, but the shipper is not certain that the freight has been sent on board the steam-ship.
The freight is sent, but either because the steamship can not take more, or because the goods were delivered at the hour of departure, the fact remains that many packages are left, the record of which sails. So that by the invoice it appears that twenty packages have been remitted, while only ten go on the steamer, the others having remained behind, and as in one of the preceding provisions of the report it states that the manifest should agree with the bill of lading, there being no agreement because of the absence of packages, it is necessary to provide in some way for this. And let it not be believed that this is of rare occurrence, but that it happens frequently. Often it happens that the steamers upon discharging cargo find that a package has been kept or placed in a compartment with cargo destined to some other point, and notwithstanding as far as the custom-house is concerned the result is the same, for the documents have already been presented, some day after that package reaches the point, and in such case it is necessary that its entry be regulated in some way.
This article provides for such a case. I am a merchant and have many times had occasion to experience such a case, not only with respect to my private business, but to many others, and it is easy to see, without being a merchant, that such a case can easily occur.
Another of the substantial observations made by the honorable delegate from Peru, refers to the interchange of reports respecting the administration of custom-houses. I think that is the idea.
Mr. ZEGARRA. It is a mere suggestion.
Mr. ARAGON. Well, I think the committee has foreseen that simple suggestion, going a little further, even.
in the seventeenth recommendation : That the Governments here represented shall unite for the establishment of an American international bureau for the collection, tabulation, and publication, in the English, Spanish, and Portuguese languages, of information as to the productions and commerce, and as to the customs laws and regulations of their respective countries; such bureau to be maintained in one of the countries for the common benefit and at the common expense, and to furnish, to all the other countries represented, such commercial statistics and other useful information as may be contributed to it by any of the American republics.
Does not the honorable delegate from Peru believe that this provision of the report would be sufficient for the purposes he proposes? Because it would be a question, if there be anything not comprehended in this general denomination, of making it more ample; but the idea is already expressed, and it is that whatever may relate to the customs legislation of these countries shall be made known to all the others, and that each country amending its customs legislation shall give notice thereof to that central office, which is charged with transmitting the information to the countries ignoring it.
This provision of the report, it appears to me, amply covers the matter; but I believe and repeat, that it is a question of making it ampler yet in case the honorable delegate from Peru believes that what he proposes is not comprised in this idea of the committee. The committee judged the question of statistical data of great importance, thus better to estimate trade in general, and for this reason made the recommendation which reads:
That every such manifest shall show the name of the vessel and of her master, the ports of departure and destination, a description of her cargo by marks, numbers, and supposed contents of packages, with names of consignees and consignors, but no statement of values.
So important, indeed, did the committee consider this that it even said that upon a failure to comply with this provision a penalty would be imposed.
As I have said, all the observations made by the honorable delegate from Peru do not deny us the honor, as he has stated, of relying on his vote of approval for this report, and as to the rest, it appears to me that the reservation by him made is so just and so natural that it is understood as a right conceded to all those who wish to exercise it, even when they do not so do, for the object of the committee has been to make mere recommendations to the Governments for them to consider.
The SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT. No one asks the floor, but the Chair finds that, according to the rules, the presence of two-thirds of the delegations is necessary to a decision upon a report, and that number not being present the session is adjourned.
SESSION OF MARCH 29, 1890.
The First VICE-PRESIDENT. The order of the day is the continuation of the discussion of the report of the Committee on Customs Regulations.
Mr. ROMERO. As the Conference will remember, when the discussion upon this report began I stated that for the purpose of procuring the adhesion of the delegates from Chili, I had proposed in the committee an additional article which did not bind any of the Governments accepting the recommendations to change their legislation in so far as it might be more liberal than the provisions included in the report, and that, probably because of a misunder