Mr. Sherman to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

No. 623.]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 24th instant, transmitting to me a communication under date of March 20, 1897, signed by yourself and the representatives of France, Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia at this capital, relative to certain measures taken by the naval forces of the great powers, signatories of the treaty of Berlin, in the waters of the Island of Crete.

As the United States is not a signatory of the treaty of Berlin, nor otherwise amenable to the engagements thereof, I confine myself to taking note of the communication, not conceding the right to make such a blockade as that referred to in your communication, and reserving the consideration of all international rights and of any question which may in any way affect the commerce or interests of the United States.

I have, etc.,

John Sherman.