Mr. Bayard to Mr. Gresham.
London , September 30, 1893 . (Received October 9.)
Sir: I have now the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 13th instant, stating the present condition of affairs arising out of the results of the Paris Arbitration in relation to our interests in Bering Sea and the fur-seal fisheries therein. And, as connected with the same subject, I have also the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 19th instant, inclosing copies of the final award and decision of the same tribunal.
The contents of both these communications have received the careful consideration which their importance demands.
My dispatches of September 19 and of September 30 can both be properly referred to in this communication as bearing upon the relations of the United States with the Dominion of Canada, in which the interests are conducted under the name (nominis umbra) of Great Britain, and which in a large degree, but not wholly, include the business of far sealing, and although the capture of the far seal (in the high seas) is chiefly carried on by Canadians, yet the dressing of the skins is almost entirely a London industry, and it is said that some ten thousand people are here engaged therein.
Lord Rosebery left London to be in attendance upon the Queen at Balmoral on the day I last had an interview with him, as reported to you, and is expected to return to London next week.
I shall without delay seek another interview with Lord Rosebsry upon his return to London, and endeavor to come to a distinct understanding on the subject under consideration, in order to proceed promptly to carry into practical effect the award and the recommendations with which it is accompanied.
To suspend wholly, even for a single year, the seal catch on the islands might be highly prejudicial to the United States, or their lessees, and as in the provisional or temporary arrangement of May, 1893, between Russia and Great Britain, a limit of 30,000 seals on the Russian islands was agreed to, it would seem a very reasonable figure to adopt for the catch on the Pribilof islands, whose product has been supposed to be about double that of the Russian islands.
I would respectfully ask for an expression of your views on this subject and how far we ought to go in restricting the seal catch on these islands. The mail closes in an hour and I will withhold other comments until I may have had some communication from the foreign office, and received some intimation of the Canadian views.
I have, etc.,