No. 5.
Mr. Coleman to Mr. Bayard.

No. 498.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a note I have to-day addressed to the foreign office in execution of your instruction No. 246, of the 19th ultimo, relating to the necessity of measures being adopted for the better protection of the fur-seal fisheries in Behring Sea.

I have, etc.,

Chapman Coleman.
[Inclosure with Mr. Coleman’s No. 498.]

Mr. Coleman to Count von Berchem.

No. 311.]

The undersigned, chargé d’affaires ad interim of the United States of America, has the honor, acting under instructions from his Government, to inform Count von Berchem, under secretary of state in charge of the imperial foreign office, that recent occurrences have drawn the attention of that Government to the necessity of taking steps for the better protection of the fur-seal fisheries in Behring Sea.

Without raising any question as to the exceptional measures which the peculiar character of the property in question might justify the Government of the United States in taking, and without reference to any exceptional marine jurisdiction that might properly be claimed for that end, it has been deemed advisable to seek to attain the desired ends by international co-operation.

It is well known that the unregulated and indiscriminate killing of seals in many parts of the world has driven them from place to place, and by breaking up their habitual resorts, has greatly reduced their number.

Under these circumstances and in view of the common interest of all nations in preventing the indiscriminate destruction and consequent extermination of an animal which contributes so importantly to the commercial wealth and general use of mankind, the Government of the United States has instructed the undersigned to present the subject to the attention of the Imperial Government, and to invite it to enter into such an arrangement with the Government of the United States as will prevent the citizens of either country from killing seals in Behring Sea at such times and places, and by such methods as at present are pursued, and which threaten the speedy extermination of those animals and consequent serious loss to mankind.

The undersigned begs to add that he has been informed by his Government that the ministers of the United States to Sweden and Norway, Russia, France, Great Britain, and Japan have been each similarly addressed on the subject referred to, and avails himself, etc.

Chapman Coleman.