Mr. Somow to Mr. Olney.


Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor, in pursuance of instructions received from the Imperial Government, to have recourse to your excellency’s well-known kindness, with a view to obtaining some information relative to the treaty concluded by the Federal Government with that of the Hawaiian Islands on the 30th day of January, 1875.

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Mr. Gresham, late Secretary of State, was pleased to acknowledge by Ms note of the 16th of February last that Russia enjoyed all the advantages granted by the aforesaid treaty to other powers, with the exception of those granted by the aforesaid treaty to the Hawaiian Islands. He failed, however, to state the reasons and the nature of said exception, which is in contravention of Articles YI and XI of our treaty of 1832, which is still in force.

I should therefore be very grateful to your excellency if you would, if possible, inform me of the reasons of the exception in question, and at the same time state your views with regard to our treaty of 1832, especially as to whether the most-favored-nation clause (Arts. VI and XI) is hereafter to inure to the benefit of Russia, notwithstanding the exception made in favor of the Hawaiian Islands, and whether that exception will not be considered by the Federal Government as a precedent authorizing it to grant to other powers, by new treaties, the same advantages that have already been granted to the Hawaiian Islands.

Hoping to be favored by your excellency with a reply, which I will transmit to my Government without delay,

I beg you, Mr. Secretary of State, etc.,

A. Somow.