Mr. Gresham to Mr. Goschen.
Washington, October 22, 1894.
Sir: Referring to your note of the 15th instant, stating that in the opinion of Her Majesty’s Government it will be impossible to put into effect the new regulations for preventing collisions at sea on the date originally suggested by Great Britain and specified in the President’s proclamation, I have the honor to say that besides the arguments adduced by the Acting Secretary of the Treasury in his letter of the 10th instant, of which a copy is inclosed, this Department, as at present advised, considers it impossible for this Government to suspend the operation of the act of Congress of August 19, 1890, as amended by that of May 28, 1894. The President, by his proclamation, having fixed the date on which it is to come into effect, his power in the matter is exhausted. The date of March 1, 1895, fixed in the proclamation, is as much a part of the act as if incorporated in it, and any change therein being in the nature of new legislation can only be made by the legislative branch of this Government.
In view of these facts and of the confusion which would inevitably result from the regulations in question not being put in operation on the same date by Great Britain and the United States, and considering furthermore that the date fixed upon by the United States for putting them in operation has also been adopted by the Government of France and may very probably be, before long, adopted by other maritime powers, it is hoped that Her Majesty’s Government will find it possible to adhere to its first proposition and put the rules in question in operation on the same date as the United States.
I have, etc.,