No. 563.
Mr. Bayard to Sir L. S. Sackville West.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 19th instant, whereby you inform me that the Marquis of Salisbury has requested you by telegraph to represent to me the very great importance which Her Majesty’s Government attaches to the presence of a delegate from the United States Government at the approaching sugar conference which opens on the 5th of April next, and that the negotiations can not be carried to a successful issue unless the United States take part in them.

It appears from the report of Mr. Henry White, who, under certain declared reserves, represented this Government at the late conference which met in London to consider the sugar bounties question, that the object of the conference now about to meet is the signature of an international convention, whereby the contracting parties agree to take legislative measures to abolish or prevent any direct or indirect bounty on exported sugars, and to adopt or propose the adoption by legislation of a system of imposts upon the amounts of sugar produced and ready for consumption, as the sole means of accomplishing the abolition of the bounties in question, and to submit to the same régime the factories of glucose and of sugar from molasses.”

As the question of general tariff and revenue revision is now pending in the House of Representatives, and a bill has been reported from the committee in charge which deals with the duties on sugars and sugar-producing molasses, this Government is not prepared at this time to become a party to the proposed convention, as presented by the late conference. Article VII of that draught, however, provides for the subsequent adhesion of states not originally signing the convention, so that an attitude of reserve in this regard does not prejudice the liberty of subsequent action by this Government in the premises.

If your Government will be satisfied with the attendance of a delegate of the United States, under the reserve that he is not empowered to sign a convention or otherwise commit the Government of the United States to the results of the conference, I shall be pleased to telegraph instructions to the United States minister at London to direct Mr. White to attend the adjourned meeting of the conference, as before.

I have, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.