Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward.

No. 19.]

Sir: On the 13th instant I received a letter from the ministers of foreign affairs, informing me that the ceremony of the audience with his Majesty the Tycoon would take place on the 17th instant. I was surprised as well as gratified by this prompt action, because in some instances long delays had occurred.

I returned to Yedo, having escorted Mr. Harris to Yokohama, and this day was waited upon by two of the governors of foreign affairs, who were charged with the preparation for the ceremonial. I was assured that this would be the same as had been observed in the audiences granted Mr. Harris, with which I expressed myself entirely satisfied. I refer to this particularly, because the ministers of foreign affairs had stated that the government were embarrassed by the claims of the ministers of England and of France to some privileges greater than those accorded to the minister of the United States—the one holding the rank of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, and the other that of minister plenipotentiary.

It is understood that the British envoy had refused to take his audience of leave, because the government were not then prepared to admit his claim.

It was quite agreeable to me, therefore, that the government did not seek relief from their embarrassment by proposing a diminution of the privileges heretofore accorded to the American minister.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

ROBERT H. PRUYN, Minister Resident in Japan.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.