No. 22.
Mr. Bayard to Sir L. S. Sackville West.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge your note of the 29th ultimo, stating that Her Majesty’s Government had been officially informed that the British vessels referred to in my note to you of the 3d of February last had not been released, and asking the reason for the delay in complying with the orders of the Executive in that regard.

Upon receiving your note I at once wrote to my colleague, the Attorney-General, as the head of the Department of Justice, in order that I might be enabled to reply satisfactorily to your inquiry.

I am still without answer from him, which, when received, shall be promptly communicated to you.

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In the meantime, in acknowledging your note I take occasion to state my impression that if the three vessels seized and ordered to be released have not been repossessed by their owners, it is not because of any hindrance on the part of any official of this Government, or failure to obey the order for release, but probably because of the remoteness of the locality (Sitka) where they were taken after arrest for adjudication, and the proceedings having been in rem, the owners have not seen proper to proceed to Alaska and repossess themselves of the property in question.

Accept, sir, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.