Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Gresham.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 16th instant, in which you inquire whether Her Majesty’s Government adhere to the determination to postpone the enforcement of the rules agreed upon for the prevention of collisions at sea until some time after March 1. I have already had the honor to explain to you, unofficially, under instructions from the Earl of Kimberley, the difficulty in which Her Majesty’s Government find themselves with regard to this question and their inability at present to find a date for bringing the regulations into force.
They hope to be in a position to do so by the end of February, but six months’ notice will be necessary before this can be done.
If the U. S. Government put them into force on the 1st of March considerable inconvienence will be caused, and it is still the hope of Her Majesty’s Government that the decision of the U. S. Government, communicated to Mr. Goschen in Mr. Gresham’s note of the 22d of October last, may not be final, and that the President may find it possible to issue a supplementary proclamation deferring the date.
I have, etc.,