No. 244.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard .

No. 405.]

Sir: I received this morning from Mr. Flourens a dispatch having reference to the language of section 8 of a bill pending before Congress to enforce the convention for the protection of submarine cables. Mr. Flourens reminds me that the protocol and declaration of May 21, 1886, was intended to correct the construction placed upon Articles 2 and 4 of the convention by Article 4 of the British act of 1885, and remarks that all the powers parties to the convention, Great Britain and the United States comprised, having agreed to this proctocol and declaration, the bill before Congress should conform to its disposition; otherwise the date of the application of the convention will have to be again deferred.

In my dispatch No. 325, of December 17, 1886, I had called your attention to the fact that section 8 of our bill reproduced Article 4 of the British act, to which the conference had taken exception, and explained the intention of the authors of the convention.

Not having heard of the matter since, I was under the impression that the necessary change had been made, and I feel much embarrassed that such has not been the case. Mr. Flourens hopes that you will be able, through the Committee of Foreign Affairs, to induce Congress at the opening of the next session to conform the bill in question with the text and spirit of the convention.

I respectfully join him in making this recommendation, and earnestly request that I be authorized to assure the conference, when it meets [Page 300] again in July, that the bill in question will be amended as desired, and that there will be no objection on the part of the United States to the enforcement of the convention on the 1st of January next at the latest.

I have, etc.,

Robert M. McLane.