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standing on the part of the person who copied the report, he did not insert this article among the recommendations of the report.
To the end of preventing difficulties, I now submit the article in the same form, more or less, that I presented it to the committee and which was accepted, proposing it as article 18 of the report, and which should read thus:
The acceptance of the foregoing recommendations shall not require any change in the present legislation of the American Republics, in case it should contain more liberal provisions than here proposed, as the purpose of the Conference is not only to adopt uniform rules, but to establish more liberal provisions than are now in force.
Before concluding with this matter I shall make some remarks in answer to those submitted yesterday by the honorable delegate from Peru.
As I had stated before, this which figures as article 18 of the report requires the striking out of the equivalent paragraph in the first article, of the recommentions, so that the latter shall read as follows:
In accordance with the conclusions thus carefully set forth, your committee asks the Conference to recommend to all the countries here represented the adoption of the following measures:
At the end of the recommendations, and as one of them, will be inserted the articles I propose and which the honorable delegates already know. I should state in this regard and in reply to the honorable delegate from Peru that this addition appeared to us advisable, for the reason that some states, at least Chili, had more liberal regulations. In Chili, as the honorable delegate representing it has affirmed, no consular certificates are required on invoices of foreign merchandise, and this is a measure which is not even praticed in the United States, and, consequently, it could not be expected that Chili should change its legislation by inserting therein a provision not previously existing and more onerous to merchants than those at present in force. In the form in which I propose the article, Chili and any other American Republic having more liberal provisions can have no objection to accepting the report, inasmuch as they will not have to alter their legislation by establishing restrictions.
Respecting the vagueness of the phrase "liberal provisions,” alluded to yesterday, I think it is very clear; but if there be another phrase I would willingly accept it. Liberal provisions are such as impose fewer obstacles, fewer burdens, or less expenses on the merchant.
Yesterday an exemple was adduced to demonstrate that the phrase "liberal provisions” was ambiguous because of the conditions exacted to collect statistical data of exports; but, to my mind, no one can qualify the suppression of statistical data as a liberal provision. The first necessity of a country, after collecting the revenue necessary to pay the public expenses, is to have data sufficient to form its fiscal statistics, which, as is known, are the basis of operations, financial, economic, political, and even social.
This is an imperative and absolute necessity, and the nation which does not wish to collect these statisties fails to comply with one of its more pressing duties, and in no case can it be said that it is liberal as regards this phase of its legislation. But, I repeat, if there be any other phrase that will better convey the idea, I will accept it with pleasure.
I will add that the additional article proposed yesterday should form a part of the first article of the report, because it merely prescribed the steps necessary to form the statistics of merchandise bound out from ports, and, as the object of the addition is to have the data of merchandise going over the frontiers, it should follow the part which refers to statistics of merchandise exported by way of said ports.
At the suggestion of an honorable delegate I ask that the phrase liberal provisions be amended by substituting for it “more simple and convenient measures."
The First VICE-PRESIDENT. The phrase will be amended as asked by the honorable delegate.
Mr. Alfonso. I rise to a point of order, and it is that, to my mind, it is advisable that this matter be voted on as a whole. The discussion has been carried, as the Conference has noted, upon all and each of the measures included in the report; but this report is of such a nature that it is impossible for each one of the honorable delegates to enter into the examination of details or particulars which require a certain degree of technical knowledge, or that of
persons versed in these matters. For this very reason I think the vote by paragraphs will lead to no practical result, and moreover, as each delegate already has knowledge of the report, he will see, upon giving his vote on the report as a whole, whether or not he approves it. In this way we shall gain time, and I make this motion in the sense that if the slightest opposition is made it shall be understood as withdrawn. The FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT. The two motions of the honorable delegate from Mexico, the Chair understands, have been incorporated in the report by assent of the committee. So that the report is amended in that respect, and we thus avoid taking two votes.
If the honorable delegate from Mexico has no objection, that course will be pursued.
If there be unanimous consent to vote on this subject as a whole only, without the vote by paragraphs, it will be so done.
The Chair hears no objection whatever.
Mr. GUZMAN. Mr. President, I abstain from voting on this question, not because I wish to disapprove of the report of the committee, but because I have not had sufficient time to study it. I wish to be so understood.
The vote being taken, the following delegations voted in the affirmative:
upon the delegation from Peru being called it voted “aye, in the terms already expressed.”
The First VICE-PRESIDENT. The report of the Committee on Customs Regulations is approved by all the delegations present except that of Nicaragua, which abstains from voting.
There is no other matter ready to be discussed by the Conference.
Mr. HURTADO. I have asked the floor merely to indicate that the distribution, at least so far as I know, of the printed forms, which should accompany the report and which are very important, has not been made.
As in the original form I noticed that there were several columns which had no heading, and as, in accordance with the plan, each column, or each space corresponds to a certain item, I would suggest that in the printing to be done these headings be inserted, but that nothing I have said be considered as any disapproval of the report.