Mr. Bayard to Mr. Gresham.

No. 136.]

Sir: Referring to your Instruction No. 218 of November 23, last, I have now the honor to transmit herewith copies of the correspondence with the foreign office, in relation to the questions involved therein.

The note of Lord Rosebery of the 28th ultimo contains a very explicit reply and denial of the statement of the Board of Underwriters in New York, and which as will be perceived was carefully presented by me to the foreign office as the representations of that board, and not otherwise.

It would of course have been quite inadmissible for the Government of the United States to suggest any interference on a question so purely domestic in its nature, as the removal or retention in office of a British official.

[Page 286]

By the Official Gazette of December 29, last, the appointment of Charles George Walpole, esq., to be chief justice of the Bahama Islands appears, so that Mr. Yelverton is now functus officio.

I have, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 136.]

Mr. Bayard to Lord Rosebery.

My Lord: I have just received instructions from the Secretary of State of the United States to crave your Lordship’s attention to a condition of affairs in the Bahamas and other British West India Islands, which is most prejudicial to commerce generally and has resulted in great injury to the American owners of vessels and cargoes, as well as to other vessels trading in those regions. And I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter received at the State Department from the president of the Board of Underwriters, of New York, which contains a detailed statement of injuries inflicted upon an American trading steamship El Dorado, and, in addition thereto, the president of the Board of Underwriters makes certain recommendations in the interest of international commerce, which are appended to his letter, and may possibly be of use to the officials of Her Majesty’s Government who may take cognizance of the subject.

May I ask your Lordship to cause the matter referred to to be brought to the consideration of the proper authorities, in the hope that relief may follow.

I have, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 136.]

Lord Rosebery to Mr. Bayard.

Your Excellency: With reference to my note of the 7th instant, I have the honor to state that no complaints have of late years reached the secretary of state of the colonies bearing on injuries to wrecked vessels from inhabitants of British colonies.

Should any such complaints be made and redress not be obtained in the colonial courts, the matter would of course be investigated by Her Majesty’s Government.

As regards the Bahamas, the Board of Underwriters in New York appear to have been misinformed, as neither of the chief justices referred to has been assailed on account of his admiralty decisions. The questions affecting the late Chief Justice Yelverton, which were brought before the privy council, had no connection with the case of the El Dorado, nor with any other admiralty matter, and so far as the secretary of state for the colonies is aware, Mr. Yelverton’s decision in that case has never been impugned.

I have, etc.,