Mr. Adee to Mr. Takahira.

No. 169.]

Sir: I have the honor to advise you that the President has to-day, through this Department and the Department of the Navy, issued an order directing that the Russian armed transport Lena, which arrived [Page 429]in the harbor of San Francisco on the 11th instant, be taken in custody by the naval authorities of the United States and disarmed. The conditions prescribed by the President for disarmament are that the Russian vessel be taken to the Mare Island Navy-Yard and there disarmed by the removal of small guns, breechblocks of large guns, small arms, ammunition and ordnance stores, and such other dismantlement as may be prescribed by the commandant of the navy-yard; that the captain give a written guaranty that the Lena shall not leave San Francisco until peace shall have been concluded; that the officers and crew shall be paroled not to leave San Francisco until some other understanding as to their disposal may be reached between the Government of the United States and both the belligerents; that after disarmament the vessel may be removed to a private dock for such reasonable repairs as will make her seaworthy and preserve her in good condition, during her detention, or may be so repaired at the navy-yard if the Russian commander should so elect; that while at a private dock the commandant of the navy-yard at Mare Island shall have custody of the ship, and the repairs shall be overseen by an engineer officer to be detailed by the commandant of the navy-yard; and that, when so repaired, if peace shall not then have been concluded, the vessel shall be taken back to the Mare Island Navy-Yard and be there held in custody until the end of the war. It is further to be understood that the cost of repairs, of private docking, and of the maintenance of the ship and her officers and crew while in custody is to be borne by the Russian Government, but the berthing at Mare Island and the custody and surveillance of the vessel is to be borne by the United States.

The President has taken this action upon the written request of the commander of the Lena, addressed to Rear-Admiral Goodrich, setting forth that; as the vessel is incapable of putting to sea without needful repairs, she must disarm, and asking that needful repairs be permitted after disarmament.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.