Mr. F. W. Seward to Mr. Ruggles
Sir: Your very interesting communication of the 30th ultimo, reporting your, proceedings in regard to the consideration of the question of the adoption of a uniform system of weights, measures, and coins, and enclosing a copy of your correspondence on the subject with the Hon. John Sherman, together with a [Page 304]copy of a letter of the 2d of February written by direction of Count Bismarck to Mr. Benedetti, bas been received. The accommodating spirit manifested by M. de Parieu, and M. Rouher, chief minister of state, and subsequently by the Emperor in person, in the conversations held by you with them respectively, is appreciated as an auspicious augury of an eventual agreement upon some plan which will give to the world the benefits of the uniform system, upon a decimal basis, of weights, measures, and coins, which has so long and so universally been regarded as one of the most desirable reforms in commercial and financial intercourse.
The form in which different nations practically concur in this plan is not of primary importance, but it is believed that the deliberations which have now been inaugurated on the subject will result in a basis of common understanding which will warrant you in encouraging the expectation that the United States may give its adhesion to a conventional arrangement which may be susceptible of termination within a period to be specified in such arrangement, when such termination should be considered desirable by either of the parties. In any event it cannot be doubted that the views so ably set forth by the honorable chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance, in the letter of the 17th of May, a copy of which forms part of your communication now under reply, will be so far approved by the public sentiment, the Congress, and the Executive of the United States, as to secure a concurrence by this government in any reasonable plan for producing the desired reform
I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
Samuel B. Ruggles, Esq., &c., &c., &c.