Mr. Olney to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

No. 343.]

Excellency: Referring to previous correspondence on the subject of rules to prevent collisions on the Great Lakes, I have the honor to inform you that a copy of your note of the 25th ultimo in regard to the matter having been communicated to the Treasury Department, I have received a letter dated the 9th instant from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, in which he expresses his regret that the subject of coming to an agreement upon the matter of adopting rules for the navigation of the Great Lakes should be postponed pending the general question of the revised regulations for the prevention of collisions at sea.

Mr. Wike expresses the opinion that the two subjects are entirely distinct; that the rapids just above Montreal form a natural boundary separating waters navigable by seagoing vessels from the Great Lakes; that the peculiarities of lake navigation, its several canals, and various narrow channels, as well as the great amount of towing done, evidently create widely different conditions on the lakes from those which obtain on the high seas, and call for different regulations.

Mr. Wike furthermore states that he is informed that in point of fact Canadian masters and pilots are generally conforming to the new American rules for the Great Lakes, the preponderating tonnage of the United States in those waters suggesting such conformity in the interests of safe navigation.

In view of the foregoing considerations I beg you to do me the favor to ascertain whether Her Majesty’s Government would be willing to reconsider its present opinion and act upon the subject apart from extraneous matters, so that uniform regulations may be put in force during the coming season of navigation.

I have, etc.,

Richard Olney.