Mr. Merrill to Mr. Bayard.

No. 169.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that during an informal inters view with His Majesty’s minister of foreign affairs I ascertained that, since the arrival of the mail on the 8th instant, the British commissioner resident here has transmitted to His Hawaiian Majesty’s minister of foreign affairs a communication in the nature of a protest against the exclusive right to Pearl River Harbor granted by article 2 of the supplementary convention extending the commercial reciprocity treaty between Hawaii and the United States.

I am also informed that the principal objections are based on article 2 of the treaty between Hawaii and Great Britain, ratified on May 6, [Page 861] 1852, the full text of which will be found by reference to page 31 of the pamphlet containing the “treaties and conventions concluded between the Hawaiian Kingdom and other powers since 1825,” accompanying my dispatch No. 131, of July 15, 1887, and that the particular paragraph relied upon is the following:

In like manner the ships of war of each contracting party, respectively, shall have liberty to enter into all harbors, rivers, and places within the territories of the other, to which the ships of war of other nations are or may be permitted to come, to anchor there and to remain and relit, subject always to the laws and regulations of the two countries, respectively.

The minister of foreign affairs has not yet made any reply to the communication of the British commissioner, but will do so in a few days, and I hope to be able to transmit copies of the correspondence by the next mail.

I have, etc.,

Geo. W. Merrill.