Sir L. S.
Sackville West to Mr. Bayard.
Sir: With reference to your note of the 25th July last I have the honor to inform you, in obedience to instruction received from Lord Salisbury, that the Governments of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and Sweden have accepted the invitation of Her Majesty’s Government to be represented at an international conference on the sugar question, to be held in London. The Governments of Norway and Portugal have declined the invitation on the ground that they are not concerned in this question. The Roumanian Government will now be invited to be represented.
In view of the general acceptance, as above stated, of the invitation given by Her Majesty’s Government, the Marquis of Salisbury is of opinion that the 24th instant may now be definitely proposed as the date for the meeting of the conference.
By your note under reply you were good enough to inform me that the effective presence of a representative of the United States at the proposed conference could only be procured by the action of the legislative branch of your Government.
I am, accordingly, to state that Her Majesty’s Government will be very glad if it should be possible for delegates on behalf of the United States to join the conference daring its sitting.[Page 555]
I am to add that in order to facilitate the progress of business it seems to Lord Salisbury advisable that an authorized and correct statement respecting the system of levying duties, whether of customs or of excise on sugar, or on the raw material from which it is made, and of the drawbacks on export allowed, in the several countries represented, should be placed before the conference when it meets; and I am accordingly instructed to suggest that, in the event of your being in a position to give a formal acceptance to the invitation, a statement of duties and drawbacks, as. above indicated, should be prepared and communicated as early as possible, in order that a proof may be submitted for correction to the delegates of the United States Government upon their arrival in Loudon, and the document itself be distributed at the conference.
I have, etc,