No. 53.
Mr. Trail to Mr. Bayard.

No. 74.]

Sir: On the morning of the 25th ult. I received at Petropolis the following cable:

Use good offices for extending concession to Pedro Segundo American Cable Company.


[Page 59]

To which I replied on the 28th:

Telegram received; action taken with representative.

The company’s resident agent informed me that the concession would expire March 4th, and that he had not yet received instructions from New York concerning an extension of the concession, As but a week remained from the time the Department’s telegram reached me to the date of the expiration of the concession, I deemed it advisable to cable reply, thus informing the company that the request for an extension had been made in time. Had the agent been away from the city and the petition not put in by the 3d of March the enterprise would have been considered as finally abandoned.

I used my “good offices” by addressing a note to the minister of foreign affairs, a copy of which is hereto annexed, and by requesting the French legation to furnish me with information concerning the French line in the West Indies, the said information for the use and at the request of the company’s representative.

I have, etc.,

Charles B. Trail.
[Inclosure in No. 74.]

Mr. Trail to Baron de Cotegipe.

Sir: I am informed that the concession granted to the Dom Pedro Segundo and American Cable Company will expire the early part of the coming month. As your excellency is well aware, this company has been unable to carry out its plans within the allotted time, owing to the opposition, it has met with from rival companies, and latterly an additional delay was caused by the unsatisfactory condition of the French line, with which the Dom pedro Segundo is to connect in the West Indies.

The company petitions the Imperial Government for an extension of its concession, and I am just in receipt of a cablegram from the honorable Secretary of State, at Washington, which expresses the earnest desire that Imperial Government may be pleased to grant the extension asked for.

The present telegraphic rates between Brazil and the United States are so enormously high that the public can indulge in this means of communication only at rare intervals, and thus the business interests of both countries suffer from the deprivation, in part, of what is elsewhere one of the ordinary agents of commerce. The laying of another line—competition—could not fail to remedy this state of affairs.

The United States Government could not but deeply regret to see the forced abardonment of an enterprise that promised to bring Brazil into closer connection with it. The interest manifested in this undertaking by prominent Brazilians, and the fact that the necessity for the line was fully recognized when the consession was originally granted, lead me to hope that the favor of an extension will be granted at an early day.

The present condition of the company and the matter in detail will be respectfully presented to the proper Imperial department in a petition now being prepared by the company’s representative in Rio de Janeiro, Prof Orville A. Derby, for which I solicit your careful consideration.

I avail, etc.,

Charles B. Trail.