Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Olney.

Sir: With reference to my note of the 3d instant and to previous correspondence on the question of sealing up firearms on board Canadian sealing vessels, I have the honor, by direction of Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, to bring to your notice the arrangements that have been made in order to insure, as far as possible, that such arms shall not be carried by vessels entering the Bering Sea during the present season.

With regard to Canadian sealing vessels not proceeding direct to Bering Sea, the collector of customs at Victoria was instructed to consult with the owners and masters as to whether some means could not be devised whereby their guns could either be transferred and sent home or left in custody at some rendezvous until their operations in Bering Sea were concluded. He reported on the 10th February last that he had seen the greater number of the owners and several of the masters, and he had made, as he thought, nearly complete arrangements for attaining the object in view, particularly in regard to 28 vessels which were then on their way to Japanese waters with firearms on board and which were likely to proceed to Bering Sea at the close of the season on the Japan coast. He had arranged with Captain Cox, the owner of 8 sealing vessels and the authorized agent for nearly the whole of the other vessels on the Asiatic side, to ship and return all the firearms from Hakodadi by steamer to Victoria at the risk and expense of the owners, and he felt no doubt that the arrangement would be faithfully carried out.

In the case of vessels proceeding to the neighborhood of the Komandorsky Islands, the collector reports that efforts will be made to have the arms transferred to some homeward-bound vessel or left at some “rendezvous” until their operations in Bering Sea are concluded.

With regard to those vessels which proceed to Bering Sea direct, I am instructed to inform you that the masters will be furnished with a certificate that they have no firearms or ammunition on board.

In the opinion of Her Majesty’s Government the precautions which have been adopted will for the future satisfy all requirements in respect of which a special arrangement for the sealing up of arms was made in 1894.

I have, etc.,

Julian Pauncefote.