Mr. Ruggles to Mr. Seward
Sir: On the 18th of July last, the undersigned, delegate from the United States of America to the international monetary conference at Paris, transmitted to the Department of State a statement of the proceedings of the preliminary “international committee on uniform weights, measures and moneys,” of which he was a member.
That communication he proposed to follow by a full report of the discussions and conclusions of the international monetary conference, which had recently adjourned.
Several weeks delay were unavoidably experienced in the necessary revision by the officers of the conference of the “proces verbaux,” or exact reports of their proceedings and decisions; but the undersigned is now enabled to transmit to the Department of State duplicate copies of the corrected report, printed in folio, which he has recently received, through the French consulate at New York, from M. Clavery, principal secretary of the conference.
Meanwhile the undersigned has supposed that the proof-sheets of the “procés verbal” of each “séance” or sitting of the conference, which he had expedited from Paris to the Department of State, were sufficiently full and accurate to possess the government at Washington with the plan of monetary unification agreed upon by the conference to be proposed to the nations represented, and also with the proceedings and discussions which led to its adoption.
The undersigned has duly received frorm the Department of State a copy of [Page 358]the communication of the 28th of August last from his excellency M. Berthed, minister plenipotentiary at Washington from the government of France, asking in its behalf to be informed of the conclusions, if any, to which the government of the United States might have arrived in respect to the plan of monetary unification proposed by the conference.
He has also received a copy of the answer of the 16th of September last, by the Secretary of State, assuring the government of France, through its minister, that the views of the legislative and executive branches of the government of the United States would be communicated at the earliest practicable period.
The despatch of the Secretary of State, of the 31st of May last, empowering the undersigned to represent the United States in the international monetary conference, directed him to add to his report of the proceedings and conclusions of the conference “such observations as might be useful.” He has had the opportunity since the adjournment of the conference more carefully to collect and arrange some of the facts and considerations, historical and statistical, bearing on the subject, but not fully developed in the discussions of the conference, confined, as they necessarily were, to the proper mode of unifying the coin, without expatiating at all at large on its effects.
In view also of important movements recently made by some of the European nations for negotiating treaties on the monetary basis proposed by the conference, the undersigned will avail himself of the permission of the Department of State to submit these additional facts and considerations in a further communication, which he will transmit from Paris in sufficient season for the examina tion of the Secretary of State before the next meeting of Congress.
He takes the present opportunity gratefully to acknowledge the favorable notice taken in the correspondence above referred to, between the Secretary of State and the minister of France, of the course which he deemed it proper to pursue in the conference in representing the interests of the United States as connected with monetary reform.
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With high respect,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.