Minister Griscom to the Secretary of State.

No. 167.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that, acting in compliance with your instruction No. 86 of November 11, I have this day had an interview with Baron Komura, the minister of foreign affairs, in which I asked him if he would take some measures to prevent the dispatch of expeditions from Japanese ports to destroy sea fowl on the Midway and other American islands, and also if the Government of Japan would cooperate with that of the United States in preventing, as far as possible, further destruction of sea birds on the islands of the north Pacific.

Baron Komura stated in response to my remarks that he would at once cause instructions to be issued to have Japanese ship captains warned not to engage in the business of destroying sea birds on any of the American islands. If, he said, after this warning they continue to [Page 580] engage in the business, they do so at their own risk. At the same time he could not guarantee that they would obey the prohibition, as this class of men was largely composed of lawless adventurers. A special prohibition would be issued to the firm of Kametoki & Mijutane, Fujimi-cho yo, Yokohama, who are known to have been responsible for several of the ventures.

In regard to the general question of joining with the United States to protect the sea fowl, the baron stated that there were ships of other nations engaged in the business and consequently nothing could be accomplished except by international agreement. He was decidedly of the opinion that the matter was not of sufficient importance to warrant a special international agreement.

I have, etc.,

Lloyd Griscom.