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BUREAU OF INFORMATION.
THIRD REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON CUSTOMS REGU.
(As adopted by the Conference, April 14, 1890.]
At the meeting of the Conference, held March 29, 1890, the following resolution was adopted :
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 such commercial statistics and other useful information as may be contributed to it by any of the American Republics. That the Committee on Customs Regulations be authorized and instructed to furnish to the Conference a plan of organization and a scheme for the practical work of the proposed Bureau.
In accordance with said resolution the committee submits the following recommendations:
1. There shall be formed by the countries represented in this Conference an association under the title of “The International Union of American Republics" for the prompt collection and distribution of commercial information.
2. The International Union shall be represented by a Bureau to be established in the city of Washington, D. C., under the supervision of the Secretary of State of the United States and to be charged with the care of all translations and publications and with all correspondence pertaining to the International Union.
3. This Bureau shall be called “The Commercial Bureau of the American Republics,” and its organ shall be a publication to be entitled "Bulletin of the Commercial Bureau of the American Republics.
4. The Bulletin shall be printed in the English, Spanish, and Portuguese languages.
5. The contents of the Bulletin shall consist of
(a) The existing customs tariffs of the several countries belonging to the Union and all changes of the same as they occur, with such explanations as may be deemed useful.
(b) All official regulations which affect the entrance and clearance of vessels and the importation and exportation of merchandise in the ports of the represented countries; also all circulars of instruction to customs officials which relate to customs procedure or to the classification of merchandise for duty.
(c) Ample quotations from commercial and parcel-post treaties between any of the American Republics.
(d) Important statistics of external commerce and domestic products and other information of special interest to merchants and shippers of the represented countries.
6. In order to enable the Commercial Bureau to secure the utmost accuracy in the publication of the Bulletin, each country belonging to this Union shall send directly to the Bureau, without delay, two copies each of all official documents which may pertain to matters having relation to the objects of the Union, including customs tariffs, official circulars, international treaties, or agreements, local regulations, and, so far as practical, complete statistics regarding commerce and domestic products and resources.
7. This Bureau shall at all times be available as a medium of communication and correspondence for persons applying for reasonable information in regard to matters pertaining to the customs tariffs and regulations, and to the commerce and navigation of the American Republics.
8. The form and style of the Bulletin shall be determined by the Commercial Bureau, and each edition shall consist of at least 1,000 copies. In order that diplomatic representatives, consular agents, boards of trade, and other preferred perons shall be promptly supplied with the Bulletin, each member of the Union may furnish the Bureau with addresses to which copies shall be mailed at its expense.
9. Every country belonging to the International Union shall receive its quota of each issue of the Bulletin and the quota of each country shall be in proportion to its population.
Copies of the Bulletin may be sold (if there be a surplus) at a price to be fixed by the Bureau.
10. While it shall be required that the utmost possible care be taken to insure absolute accuracy in the publications of the Bureau, the International Union will assume no pecuniary responsibility on account of errors or inaccuracies which may occur therein. A notice to this effect shall be conspicuously printed upon the first page of every successive issue of the Bulletin.
11. The maximum expense to be incurred for establishing the Bureau and for its annual maintenance shall be $36,000, and the following is a detailed estimate of its organization, subject to such changes as may prove desirable:
One director in charge of Bureau, compensation...
$5,000 3,000 2,200 1,800 1,600 2,500 2,000 2,500
Rent of apartments, to contain one room for director, one
room for secretary, one room for translators, one room for
clerks, etc., and one room for library and archives. Lights, heat, cleaning, etc....
Publication of Bulletin.
12. The Government of the United States will advance to the International Union a fund of $36,000, or so much of that amount as may be required, for the expenses of the Commercial Bureau during its first year, and a like sum for each subsequent year of the existence of this Union.
13. On the 1st day of July of the year 1891, and of each subsequent year during the continuance of this Union, the director of the Commercial Bureau shall transmit to every Government belonging to the Union a statement in detail of the expenses incurred for the purposes of the Union, not to exceed $36,000, and shall assess upon each of said Governments the same proportion of the total outlay as the populations of the respective countries bear to the total populations of all the countries represented in the Union, and all the Governments so assessed shall promptly remit to the Secretary of State of the United States, in coin or its equivalent, the amounts respectively assessed upon them by the director of the Bureau. In computing the population of any of the countries of this Union, the director of the Bureau shall be authorized to use the latest official statistics in his possession. The first assessment to be made according to the following table:
14. In order to avoid delay in the establishment of the Union herein described, the delegates assembled in this Conference will promptly communicate to their respective Governments the plan of organization and of practical work adopted by the Conference, and will ask the said Governments to notify the Secretary of State of the United States, through their accredited representatives at this capital or otherwise, of their adhesion or non-adhesion, as the case may be, to the terms proposed.
15. The Secretary of State of the United States is requested to organize and establish the Commercial Bureau as soon as practicable, after a majority of the countries here represented have officially signified their consent to join the International Union.
16. Amendments and modifications of the plan of this Union may be made, at any time during its continuance, by the vote, officially communicated to the Secretary of State of the United States, of a majority of the members of the Union.
17. This Union shall continue in force during a term of ten years from the date of its organization, and no country becoming a member of the Union shall cease to be a member until the end of said period of ten years. Unless twelve months before the expiration of said period a majority of the members of the Union shall have given to the Secretary of State of the United States official notice of their wish to terminate the Union at the end of its first period, the Union shall continue to be maintained for another period of ten years and thereafter, under the same conditions, for successive periods of ten years each.