Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Olney.

Sir: With reference to my note of March 12 last, and to previous correspondence respecting the rules for the navigation of the Great Lakes, I have the honor to inform you that I am in receipt of a dispatch from Her Majesty’s secretary of state for foreign affairs, stating that he has considered, in communication with the board of trade, the request contained in your note to me, No. 343, of March 11 last, that Her Majesty’s Government should revise their decision to postpone for the present the negotiations on the subject.

The Marquis of Salisbury observes that the main difference between the rules desired respectively by Canada and by the United States has reference to the question of sound signals for use in fog. This question, so far as it concerns the high seas, has recently been resubmitted by Her Majesty’s Government to a committee of the House of Commons, whose report has only just been received. The report will have to be [Page 366] very carefully considered, and pending this consideration the board of trade are necessarily unable to formulate any definite opinion with regard to it, or to judge finally of the merits of the conflicting proposals of Canada and the United States.

I am instructed, however, to explain to you that, with the view of minimizing a delay which can not, in the circumstances, be altogether avoided, Her Majesty’s secretary of state for the colonies has, acting on a suggestion made by the board of trade, invited the Canadian Government to make their observations on the arguments set forth in your note to me of March 11 last.

I have, etc.,

Julian Pauncefote.