No. 25.
Mr. Bayard to Sir L. S. Sackville West.

Sir: Continuing my reply to your note of the 29th ultimo, inquiring the reason for the delay in complying with the order issued in January last for the release of British vessels seized last year in Behring Sea, I beg leave to inform you that I have this day received a communication from my colleague, the Attorney-General, informing me that his telegram to the United States marshal at Sitka, of January 26 last, ordering the release of the British schooners Onward, Garolena, and Thornton, owing to some misconception and mistake on the part of the official to whom it had been addressed, had not been acted upon.

A renewed order has gone forward for their release, as has been distinctly directed last January, and which I had no reason to doubt had been promptly obeyed.

In my note to you of the 11th instant, I stated it to be my impression that no hindrance to their repossession by the owners of the vessels named existed. This impression it now appears was not well founded; and as my object is to give you the fullest information within [Page 1797] my power in relation to all transactions touched in our correspondence, I hasten to communicate the latest report made to me from the Department of Justice.

I take leave also to express my regret that any misconception of the intentions and ordersof the President should have delayed their prompt execution.

I have, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.