Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay.

No. 124.]

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.,

John G. A. Leishman.

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Muller.

Sir: I beg leave to submit to your excellency a copy of a projet of convention which I have just received from the honorable Secretary of State, which if promptly executed by your excellency’s Government and the Government of the United States would leave the existing treaty between our respective countries intact, except so far as the four articles in question are concerned.

Legislation of this character is rendered necessary, as already indicated by the honorable Secretary of State to your honored representative at Washington, owing to the embarrassment of the Government of the United States in its commercial relations with other countries resulting from the construction now given to the most-favored-nation clauses of the treaty of 1850 between the Swiss Confederation and the United States of America, and I earnestly request that your excellency will give the inclosed projet of convention your early and favorable consideration, so as to enable the Department of State to submit the proposed convention to the Senate for ratification during the present session, which expires March 4 next.

With the assurances of the earnest desire of my Government to conclude the question with the least possible derangement of our conventional relations, which have existed for nearly half a century, and begging, etc.,

John G. A. Leishman.