Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay.
Berne, Switzerland, January 14, 1899.
Sir: In compliance with instructions contained in your dispatch No. 138 of December 29 last, I at once communicated with His Excellency the President of the Swiss Confederation, as per copy herewith inclosed, and realizing the desirability of prompt action, I followed it up with a personal interview, knowing from a personal communication from my friend, Mr. Pioda, who is spending his holiday on his estate in Perugia, Italy, that it was not his intention to return to Switzerland before returning to his post of duty, and that he intended sailing direct from Naples on the 20th instant.
The President promised to give the matter prompt consideration, but as it is necessary to first refer the matter to the minister of commerce, it will probably not be possible to arrive at any definite conclusion ere Mr. Pioda’s departure, and even should the federal council decide favorably on the matter it could not be formally ratified on the part of the Swiss Government until the next regular meeting of the Swiss Federal Assembly in June next.
Regretting my inability to comply more closely with the desire expressed in your dispatch,
I have, etc.,