No. 229.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.

No. 323.]

Sir I have to acknowledge your No. 174, of November 24, transmitting the draft of the bill now pending before Congress to give effect to the convention for the protection of submarine cables and explaining the constitutional reasons which have prevented you from giving me authority to sign unconditionally the explanatory protocol added to the convention.

I will acquaint the French Government with these reasons, which are perhaps not understood, and I will communicate the bill to the committee of the conference having charge of the matter. It came too late to be printed in the journal of the conference, which on the 6th instant adjourned until the 1st of July next, in order to enable the States which have not yet done so to adopt the legislation necessary for the application of the convention.

In the mean time the execution of the convention is deferred. The conference at its next session will fix the date upon which it is to be put in operation, which date is very likely to be the 1st of October, 1887.

I trust Congress will adopt this session the bill you kindly sent me, for if it does not we will have to ask again for delay. I beg you to communicate this information to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives.

I have, etc.,

Robert M. McLane.