Mr. Olney to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

No. 380.]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge your favor of the 27th instant, being an answer to my note, No. 344, of the 11th ultimo, wherein is urged the adoption for the coming season of further restrictions on pelagic sealing in Bering Sea in view of what this Government believes to be the demonstrated imminent extermination of the fur-seal herd.

Without at this time adducing any additional considerations in support of the position taken by this Government, I hasten to say that it welcomes an independent inquiry by the British Government into the present state of the fur-seal herd through the British and Canadian agents referred to in your note. They will be given all needful facilities for their investigations by this Government, which will request the North American Commercial Company to give them all convenient transportation facilities on its steamers.

I venture also to suggest that, if the naturalist selected by the British Government could come to Washington on his way to Alaska and have a free and full conference with Assistant Secretary Hamlin, the objects of his mission would probably be greatly promoted.

I have, etc.,

Richard Olney.