Mr. Sherman to Mr. Tower

No. 719.]

Sir: Further referring to Sir Julian Pauncefote’s note of June 13 last, in which the information is contained that the sloop Wild Swan and the gunboat Pheasant will be employed in Bering Sea on patrol duties this season, I am constrained to express the deep regret of the President at the obvious inadequacy of the proposed fleet. Five vessels have been designated by the President for this purpose, and in view of the area to be patrolled and of the number of sealing vessels which have already engaged in and are preparing to fit out for sealing operations this season, the President hopes that Her Majesty’s Government will decide for the present season to add to the fleet of three vessels employed last season rather than to reduce its numbers. The President believes it to be impossible properly to execute the laws enacted to enforce the Paris award unless a larger fleet be designated by Her Majesty’s Government.

An early reply to this note will be appreciated, as the President fears that the designation of two vessels only by Her Majesty’s Government would be accepted by the sealers as evidence of an abandonment of the patrol, which would render it necessary for him to detail a much larger fleet of United States vessels for this season.

It is unnecessary in this connection to repeat what I have already stated in my instruction to Mr. Hay, dated May 10, 1897, as to the inadequacy of the British patrolling fleet during the past three years in which the Paris award has been in operation.

I have, etc.,

John Sherman.