No. 6.
Mr. Phelps to Mr. Bayard.

No. 618.]

Sir: Referring to your instructions numbered 685, of August 19, 1887, I have now to say that owing to the absence from London of Lord Salisbury, secretary of state for foreign affairs, it has not been in my power to obtain his attention to the subject until yesterday.

I had then an interview with him, in which I proposed on the part of the Government of the United States that by mutual agreement of the two Governments a code of regulations should be adopted for the preservation of the seals in Behring Sea from destruction at improper times and by improper means by the citizens of either country; such agreement to be entirely irrespective of any questions of conflicting jurisdiction in those waters.

His lordship promptly acquiesced in this proposal on the part of Great Britain and suggested that I should obtain from my Government and submit to him a sketch of a system of regulations which would be adequate for the purpose.

I have therefore to request that I may be furnished as early as possible with a draught of such a code as in your judgment should be adopted.

I would suggest also that copies of it be furnished at the same time to the ministers of the United States in Germany, Sweden and Norway, Russia, France, and Japan, in order that it may be under consideration by the Governments of those countries. A mutual agreement between all the Governments interested may thus be reached at an early day.

I have, etc.,

E. J. Phelps.