Mr. Sherman to Mr. Patenôtre.
Washington, June 4, 1897.
Excellency: In connection with my note of the 11th ultimo, concerning the application of the Trench Telegraph Cable Company to lay a supplementary submarine cable to that which it already has between Brest and Cape Cod, I have now the honor to state that, according to representations which have recently been made to the Department, the steamer Dacia, from Calais, has arrived at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with the avowed purpose of landing the shore end of the new French cable. It is also represented that the superintendent of that company at Cape Cod lately inquired of counsel at Boston as to the landing rights of the company on the shores of Massachusetts.
In view of the statements made in my note that the President did not feel himself authorized, in the absence of legislative enactment to that end, to grant the application of the French Cable Company, I can only say that it is the expectation of the Federal Government that that company will take no steps toward laying its proposed cable from Cape Cod without express authorization of the President or of Congress, before which, as I have observed to you, a bill was introduced at the last session, but which has not yet been enacted into law. If that company should, however, take action in the manner proposed, it is proper to say that it would do so at its peril.
Asking that these views be immediately made known to the proper agent of the company, I avail myself, etc.,