Mr. Vignaud to Mr. Hay.

No. 532.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction, No. 657, of August 11, concerning the Anthony Pollok Memorial Prize. The Department explains the character of this prize, the conditions on which it is to be awarded, and states that as the French and American commissioners-general have obtained the substantial assent and approval of the French authorities to the end that the competition for the prize may take place during the exposition, it is necessary that this embassy take an early opportunity to formally acquaint the Government of France with the desire of the heirs of the late Mr. Pollok and urge the cordial cooperation in furthering their humane purpose.

Some months ago when the Commissioner-General acquainted Mr. Picard with the generous intention of the heirs of Mr. Pollok, it was intimated to him that before he (M. Picard) could take any action in the matter it would be desirable to submit it to the French Government through the diplomatic channel. In view of this information and at the request of Mr. Woodward, our assistant commissioner-general, the ambassador, in a letter dated May 27, explained to Mr. Delcassé the character of the prize, warmly recommended it to his attention, and solicited his moral cooperation in the scheme.

Under date of June 15 Mr. Delcassé replied that he had submitted the proposition to the minister of marine, who would be pleased to support it.

It seems therefore that the substantial part of your instruction has been already complied with. I shall, nevertheless, avail of an early opportunity to mention the matter again to Mr. Delcassé and furnish him with additional information contained in your dispatch.

I inclose herewith a copy and translation of Mr. Delcassé’s note above mentioned.

I have, etc.,

Henry Vignaud.

Mr. Delcassé to Mr. Porter.

Mr. Ambassador: You were good enough on the 27th of May last to inform me of the generous thought of the heirs of your compatriot, Mr. Anthony Pollok, who perished in the catastrophe of the Bourgogne, and you asked me whether the Government of the Republic would receive with favor the creation of a prize of 100,000 francs to be awarded at the exposition of 1900, and by an international jury, to the inventor of the best life-saving system.

The minister of marine to whom I hastened to make known this interesting communication now informs me that he is quite disposed to lend his moral support to the work in question, and that he will facilitate by every means in his power the realization of the humane idea conceived by the heirs of Pollok.

Accept, etc.,