By another decree of the same date, like commands were given; and that the merchandise brought to Nueva Espana be either consumed there or sent to Espana.
Nevertheless, this merchandise is taken to Piru under pretense of being that of Castilla. Hence arise many difficulties, and the commerce of Espana with Piru and Tierra Firme is ceasing, and merchandise from Espana is not sent to Piru. If this be not checked within a few years, it is agreed by all that the trade of Espana in merchandise with Tierra Firme, Piru, and Nueva Espana will cease.
The ships which must be used in the trade, to whom they shall belong, and what has been permitted by the viceroys.
By the decree of January 11, 93, it is permitted that for this trade two ships, each of no more than three hundred toneladas, may sail annually from Nueva Espana to China. They may bring in return the property which is to come, and no ships belonging to private persons shall be sent. There shall be three ships, in order that one may remain at the port of Acapulco for repairs. They will sail at the expense of his Majesty, and the cost will be paid by their freight-charges and the cargoes that they carry. This order was altered by the viceroy, the administration of two ships having been given to private persons in 99, for this trade, with the power of appointing the officers thereof, with salary, and license to take freight, as will be stated later under the twelfth point.
The appointment of the commanders and officers of said ships, and their number; the expenses incurred by them; and the question whether it will be expedient to reduce their salaries.
By the decree of his Majesty referred to in the letter of January 11, 93, sent to Gomez Perez das Marinas, governor of the Filipinas, permission is given to the viceroy of Nueva Espana to appoint the pilots and officers of the ships bound for the Filipinas.
Complaint is now made of this, from the islands, that there is great expense to the royal exchequer, in that the viceroys, in order that there may be offices in which to place their followers, multiply those of the ships; and, although they have the right to appoint one pilot to a ship, they appoint a captain-general and many accompanying him, an admiral, and many captains of infantry, a sargento-mayor, a royal sub-lieutenant, sub-lieutenants of the companies, and a royal alguazil. All these are persons of little experience, who are going to seek their fortunes in the Filipinas at his Majesty’s expense; and they deprive the citizens of their offices.
Information is given, by a letter from the fiscal of the Filipinas, that but one pilot is sufficient for the ships; that the troops should be under the command of the captain or master of the ship, without increase of salary to said captain or master. Thus the aforesaid officers of the troops may be dispensed with, and one gunner suffices for each piece or every two pieces of artillery.