No. 438.
Mr. Hoffman to Mr. Evarts.

No. 23.]

Sir: Referring to your No. 9, addressed to Mr. Stoughton, I have the honor to forward to you herewith a copy of a note I have to-day addressed to Prince Gortchakoff upon the subject of a bi-metallic conference.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 23.]

Mr. Hoffman to Prince Gortchakoff.

Prince: I have the honor to forward to your highness herewith a copy of an act of the Congress of the United States, authorizing the coinage of the standard silver dollar, and restoring its legal-tender character.

I am instructed by Mr. Evarts to bring this enactment to your highness’s notice, and [Page 758] in accordance with the provisions contained therein to invite the imperial government, in the name of my government, to join the United States in a conference to adopt a common ratio between gold and silver, for the purpose of establishing internationally the use of bi-metallic money, and securing fixity of relative value between those metals; such conference to be held at such place in Europe or the United States, at such time within six months as may be agreed upon by the executives of the governments joining in the same, whenever the governments invited, or any three of them, shall have signified their willingness to unite in the conference.

The Government of the United States takes great interest in the measures now proposed for conforming the coinage and properties of the precious metals in the systems of the countries invited to the conference. Its importance to commercial nations, and especially to silver-producing countries, can scarcely be overestimated. To Russia it appeals with double force. Producing silver in large quantities, and situated as she is, both geographically and commercially, with a large and increasing commerce with Eastern Asia, where silver is the recognized currency of commerce, Russia must feel a special interest in the settlement of this question.

Mr. Evarts trusts that your highness will be able to announce to me promptly that Russia will join the United States in this measure, and that you will express your preference for such place and date for the meeting of the conference as will best suit the views and convenience of the Imperial Government.

I take this, &c.,