Minister O’Brien to the Secretary of State.

No. 77.]

Sir: Since coming here less than a year ago, there have been a number of functions taking place in the day at which gala dress was prescribed.

In my case, and in that of the secretary, this could mean nothing but the ordinary evening dress. As to all other representatives it meant uniforms.

It will no doubt be conceded that the limitation as to our dress is unfortunate, and that our appearance is peculiarly inappropriate.

Ex-officers of the civil and Spanish wars now in diplomatic positions may wear the uniform of rank they once held. The number in this class, however, is not large, and will not be, nor is the dress especially suitable.

Apart from this it would be best to have a regulation applicable alike to all of the same grade. I have not in mind a plan for display, but rather an official dress at once simple, comfortable, and appropriate.

Perhaps Congress at this time might be willing to repeal existing laws upon the subject, and give to the Secretary of State full power to prescribe what should be worn.

I have, etc.,

J. T. O’Brien.