Mr. Olney to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

No. 204.]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge your note of the 23d instant, and have given careful attention to its contents.

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I am unable to regard it as seriously proposing that the Government of the United States shall enter into diplomatic negotiations with the Dominion of Canada upon the subject referred to, to wit, the needed regulations for the navigation of the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters.

If, however, such be not the true construction of your note, then it must be intended to suggest either that you have the aid and advice in any negotiations upon the subject of some representative of the Canadian Government, or that both Great Britain and the United States appoint expert agents who shall confer with each other, ascertain facts, compare views, and thus pave the way for ultimate negotiations between Great Britain and the United States through the regular channels. Assuming this to be the proposition contained in your note, I see nothing in it to which I may not assent and which may not be for the advantage of this Government and the Government which you so worthily represent.

I have, etc.,

Richard Olney