to Mr. Evarts.
Madrid, December 27, 1877. (Received January 15, 1878.)
Sir: So soon as possible after the reception of your instructions Nos. 30 and 33, I presented to Mr. Silvela the case of the three American whaling schooners, the Ellen Rizpah, the Rising Sun, and the Edward Lee. A copy of my note upon the subject is hereto annexed.
As yet I have received no formal reply from Mr. Silvela, but in an interview with him yesterday he informed me that the matter should receive speedy attention, but that his government naturally wished to hear the counter-statement of the. commanders of the Spanish guardacostas, and also to make inquiry as to the fairness of the damages claimed, before proceeding to a settlement; that the illness of the minister of ultramar (whose department they especially concerned) had prevented his bringing them before the cabinet, which, however, he expected to be able to do at a council which sits this morning.
In a previous interview, I informed Mr. Silvela, in accordance with your directions, that, should he so desire, I would furnish him with a copy of your instruction on the subject. He replied that he should be pleased to receive it, and I accordingly supplied him with a copy.
I have, &c.,