Mr. Hay to Mr. Sherman.

No. 74.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 69, of the 7th instant, I have the honor to report that I have lost no opportunity of bringing the subject of a conference to be held in Washington, in regard to the best means of preserving the seal herd in Bering Sea, to the attention of the British Government. I have arranged interviews between the Hon. [Page 300] John W. Foster, representing the American Government, and the Rt. Hon. Joseph Chamberlain, colonial minister, and Sir Wilfred Laurier, premier of Canada.

I have also brought him into communication with Mr. de Staal, Russian ambassador at this court. General Foster will report to you the result of these interviews, which have been very satisfactory and promise favorable results. I have on my part had frequent conversations with my Russian and Japanese colleagues and other officials interested.

On Thursday last I had a brief conversation with Lord Salisbury, in which I referred to our former conversation on the same matter, and expressed the hope that after all the exchange of opinion which has now taken place between him and the different colonial authorities, whom he had consulted in reference to the Bering Sea matter, he might see his way to giving us a definite and favorable answer on the subject of the conference. He replied that he had reason to believe he might within a few days conclude the matter. In a conversation with Sir Julian Pauncefote I received similar encouragement.

I am unwilling to believe that the recent publication of some of the correspondence touching these questions will cause the British ministry to modify their views in relation to them or prevent the action we were hopefully anticipating.

I have, etc.,

John Hay.