Mr. Bayard to Mr. Hubbard.
Washington, July 18, 1888.
Sir: I have received your No. 483 of the 23d ultimo, saying that the Japanese minister for foreign affairs had informally inquired of you lately concerning the proposed convention between the United States and Japan, looking to the protection of fur seals in Behring Sea, which formed the subject of my instruction No. 171 of November 21, 1887.
Negotiation with Japan in reference to the protection of the seals in Behring Sea has been delayed by the unexpected protraction of the negotiation with Great Biitain and Russia. It is thought desirable that the arrangement between these countries should be permitted to assume a definite and settled form before other agreements are formulated. It is hoped that the matter will soon be in such shape as to permit the entrance upon formal negotiations with Japan.
In the mean time, however, the question might be informally discussed with the Japanese Government, with a view to ascertain just what is desired of the United States in regard to the protection of the sea-otter.
I am, etc.,