to Mr. Hegermann.
Washington, January 22, 1874.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 7th instant. Under instructions from your government you invite this Government to instruct its legation in China to lend its aid in inducing the Chinese government to recognize and appreciate the great advantages of the ulterior development of telegraphic communication in that country.
Your government has also been pleased to instruct you to ask that the minister of the United States at Yedo may be directed to use his good offices for the purpose of inducing the government of the Mikado to exert its influence at Peking in favor of the Great Northern Telegraph Company at Copenhagen.
And you inform me, under instructions from your government, that it would be of great importance to that company to receive from commanders of squadrons and vessels stationed in Chinese waters, so far as it might be consistent with their duties, protection against violent acts.
The President will take much pleasure in directing the diplomatic representatives of the United States at Yedo and at Peking to report upon the necessity and upon the expediency of any such action by this Government in order to enable him to determine whether, in the absence of a reciprocal treaty in respect to submarine cables, the facts would warrant this Government in actively interfering in the manner requested by your government.
I take the liberty in this connection of reminding you that, as long ago as the 23d of November, 1869, this Government invited that of Denmark to join with it in measures for the protection of submarine cables, and that no reply to these suggestions has been received. The President is still of the opinion that the most efficacious protection would be afforded by means of a joint convention, as then suggested.
May I ask you to kindly recall this matter to the attention of your government ?