No. 107.
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Morton.


Mr. Frelinghuysen telegraphs Mr. Morton to the effect that the commercial cable is as direct as the French cable, inasmuch as both touch at a point between France and the United States. The fact that St. Pierre is French is of no consequence, as, in the nature of things, any American cable must touch at some point before reaching France, and upon foreign soil, as we have no foreign possessions. To deny this right is consequently to deny the United States the reciprocal obligation of the agreement; for no cable has been laid and probably none will be laid which, does not touch at some intermediate station between the United States and the continent of Europe. It is considered almost impracticable to lay one otherwise.

The provision as to measures of Congress in the future cannot be used against the present application; for any such measure if passed would be general in its bearings and would apply equally to all cables, American, French, English, or other, while Mr. Ferry now desires to impose upon the Commercial Cable Company restrictions not imposed upon the French company now in existence.

Further, the agreement of 1879 stipulates for reciprocal treatment in France of French and American cable companies. Mr. Ferry now proposes conditions to which the present existing company is not subjected. The fact that any company established hereafter would be subjected to like conditions is not of importance, as present and not future facts are now under consideration. The United States claims for the Commercial Company the same rights as those at present enjoyed by the existing French company.

Mr. Morton is instructed to bring these considerations to Mr. Ferry’s attention, using this telegram as a text on which to base his arguments.

It is thought that the question should be speedly settled, in accordance with the spirit of the agreement, stipulating for equal privileges to American and French cable companies.