No. 12.
General Schenck to Mr. Fish.

No. 179.]

* * * * * * *

On the day of the reception of your note of the 27th of February, and within a few hours after its arrival, I was enabled to have an interview [Page 435] with Lord Granville at the Foreign Office, with a view to making him acquainted, agreeably to your instructions, with its contents. Your communication had been looked for by the Government here with great anxiety.

Following in substance the language of your No. 145, I began by saying that, although Her Majesty’s Government had not invited any reply to their note, but had been content to make a naked announcement, unaccompanied by reasons or argument, of their opinion that certain of the claims put forward by the United States in their Case presented at Geneva did not come within the province of the Tribunal of Arbitration to decide, yet such was the earnest desire of my Government for a settlement of all differences between the two countries, and for the successful carrying out of a treaty which offered to the world so good an example of a peaceful and effective method for the removal of international difficulties, that the President was most ready to accept the assurances of the friendly feelings which had prompted that note; and that you had communicated to me in a dispatch, with some fullness, the opinion and views of the Government of the United States on the point which they had raised. I said also to Lord Granville that I was authorized to read to him the dispatch referred to, and, if he desired it, to leave with him a copy of it.

He remarked to me that, being just then pressed and occupied as I must know he was, if I were to read it he should not probably make it the subject of any comment at that time; and he said, if agreeable to me, therefore, and understanding that, anticipating his request for a copy, I had one already prepared, be would ask me to leave that with him that he might have it to lay before the Cabinet at an early meeting. This, of course, I consented to do. I gave him the copy, therefore, leaving him to return to the House of Lords, from which he had been hurriedly called to meet his appointment with me.

Before we parted, however, I thought it proper to say to his Lordship that as Her Majesty’s Government would undoubtedly take a little time, perhaps a few days, to consider whether they should make any answer, and what answer, to this communication from the United States, if at any time in the interval he deemed it advisable, in the interest of our two countries, to have free, confidential conversation with me, or if he thought that good understanding might be promoted by any exchange of unofficial suggestions touching some mode of issue from our present complication, I would always be happy to meet him and co-operate with him in such friendly endeavor. He assented at once cordially to the propriety of our keeping ourselves in such relation and free unofficial intercourse with each other; but he did not express himself as hopefully, as he thought I did, of an ultimate satisfactory adjustment.

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