Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Olney.

Sir: With reference to your note No. 201, of September 19 last, and to previous correspondence in regard to the presence of counsel on behalf of the United States Government at the trials of British vessels seized for violation of the provisions of the Bering Sea Award act, I am authorized by Her Majesty’s secretary of state for foreign affairs to inform you that Her Majesty’s Government see no objection to the cases being watched, as proposed, by counsel for the United States Government, and that they are willing that the counsel so employed should be permitted to examine the pleadings and to make suggestions to the Government counsel.

Such suggestions should, however, be confined to the object of protecting United States interests, and could not be admitted as regards the enforcement of the Bering Sea Award act, the enforcement of that act being the duty of Her Majesty’s Government.

I have further been instructed, while signifying to you the assent of my Government, with the limitations specified above, to the proposal made in your note above mentioned, to ascertain the views of your Government on the following point:

In existing circumstances Her Majesty’s Government are unable to consent to the United States Government being recognized in the trials in question as a party to the litigation with a “locus standi” before the court; but the situation would be altered if the United States Government were to enter into an agreement to satisfy the judgment of the court if the seizure should be held to be wrongful. They would then have an interest in the result of the case which would make it reasonable that they should in some form take an active part in the conduct of the proceedings.

The officer who actually made the seizure might become formally responsible for the conduct of the prosecution and for any damages which the court might award, and if the United States Government should be unwilling to assent to such an agreement for the payment of damages merely upon the terms of being admitted to watch the case and make suggestions, an arrangement might be made under which they should employ solicitors and counsel and conduct the prosecution of the suit in the name of the Grown. This would insure that the United States case would be presented to the court not only adequately, as at present, but in a manner consonant with their special views in each particular instance.

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Her Majesty’s Government would be glad to learn whether this suggestion meets with the approval of your Government, and to receive any observations upon it which they may wish to offer.

I have, etc.,

Julian Pauncefote.