Mr. Hitchcock to Mr. Hay.

No. 165.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 48, of March 1, 1898, to Mr. Sherman, I have the honor to hand you herewith copy of a letter from our consul, Hon. N. P. Bornholdt, dated Riga, October 8, by which you will note that preliminary arrangements have been made by him with the United Steamship Company of Copenhagen for a line of steamers carrying the Danish flag to run direct from St. Petersburg and Riga to New York and vice versa.

You will note by Mr. Bornholdt’s letter that the permanency of the arrangement will depend upon the volume of tonnage furnished by shippers, and in view of the great importance of thus maintaining direct communication between our country and Russia, I respectfully suggest that the inauguration of the new enterprise be given such publicity as will secure for its promoters a paying compensation for the risk they thus assume in affording our merchants and manufacturers a most favorable opportunity of increasing their trade with Russia.

I have requested Mr. Bornholdt to furnish me with full particulars with respect to the names, number, and tonnage of steamers that will be engaged in this trade, together with the dates of sailing, and will furnish the Department with such information as soon as secured from him.

I have, etc.,

Ethan A. Hitchcock.

Mr. Bornholdt to Mr. Hitchcock.

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my conversation with you some time ago regarding the establishment of a line of steamers running direct between Russia and the United States, and have now much pleasure in informing you that I have [Page 593] made arrangements with the United Steamship Company of Copenhagen, who possesses a large fleet of steamers, to take this line up. The steamers, carrying the Danish flag, now intend to make trial and run from St. Petersburg and Riga and New York, and I am certain that this will tend to increase the trade between the two countries.

The advantage to the importers in the United States of a direct line, which has not hitherto existed, would be cheaper freights and better handling of the goods as the transshipment is avoided, and is to be hoped that there will be sufficient goods to make the trial successful and induce the company to continue to run the line regularly.

I have to-day reported the above to Consul-General Holloway and called his attention to the opening of this new line.

I have, etc.,

N. P. Bornholdt, Consul.