Reference numberMS/426/706
Alternative reference numberMS/426 p162
TitleCopy letter from Walter White, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to the General [Edward] Sabine; to Prof Henry, Washington [USA]
Date28 December 1860
DescriptionInforms of the sanctioning of Walter White's acceptance of the Smithsonian agency for the distribution of scientific books from the USA. Informs that the difficulties have not been due to the issues from the Royal Society. A list of individuals and institutions to receive the books have been drawn up by the Royal Society and approved by the Treasury to import duty fee. Explains that the first three sets were received with no issue, but as the volumes imported increased in number and to establishments and individuals not on the list, it has caused delays with asking for exceptions to be placed. Includes examples of the institutes and individuals included in the scheme, including 'lunatic asylums' clubs, railway stations, Sabine's own clerk and booksellers. Suggests to avoid further confusion, the Smithsonian Institute should package publications destined for the Royal Society with an identifiable mark on top, so it can be distinguished from others and not be unduly detained by customs. As for the parcels that do not contain scientific papers, suggests the American Minister can ask for the parcel to pass through duty free as gifts, and so clear the consignment. White assures he will do the best to ensure the distribution list is free of error, although lists example where addresses could not be found. Suggests to make use of the limited space at Burlington house, the parcels should come in only every 6 months , January -February, then August - September, the vessel should be able to call in a the Port of London. Offers to pay £30 a year for the charges, but cannot pay the current charges immediately, as the expenses will increase with other factors and the Society will need to decide how to pay this.
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