Lord Sackville to Mr. Charles F. Murchison.



Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, and beg to say that I fully appreciate the difficulty in which you find yourself in casting your vote. You are probably aware that any political party which openly favored the mother country at the present moment would lose popularity, and that the party in power is fully aware of this fact. That party, however, is, I believe, still desirous of maintaining friendly relations with Great Britain, and is still as desirous of settling all questions with Canada which have been unfortunately re-opened since the rejection of the treaty by the Republican majority in the Senate and by the President’s message, to which you allude. Allowance must, therefore, be made for the political situation as regards the Presidential election thus created. It is, however, plainly impossible to predict the course which President Cleveland may pursue in the matter of retaliation should he be elected; but there is every reason to believe that, [Page 1669] while upholding the position he has taken, he will manifest a spirit of conciliation in dealing with the question involved in his message. I inclose an article from the New York Times, of August 22, and remain,

Yours, faithfully,

L. S. Sackville West.

[Inclosure in B.—Extract from the New York Times of August 22, 1883]

There is this further consideration in favor of supporting the administration on this issue. It will leave the question still open for friendly means of settlement of some kind, while a support of the Senate’s position would close all avenues of future negotiations and bring upon the country the disastrous consequences of retaliation, hostility, and possible war. It would put an end to all prospect of improving the commercial relations of the United States and Canada. This is one of the questions which the people should keep in mind in casting their votes next November.