The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Harvey)
184. Department reliably informed that British Minister at Lisbon is actively opposing applications of Western Union Telegraph Company and Commercial Cable Company for concessions to land and operate cables at Azores.
It is source of keen disappointment to United States Government that British Government should oppose legitimate efforts of American cable companies to obtain in Azores cable facilities which are not exclusive and which would in no way interfere with the exercise by British cable companies of privileges similar to those sought by American companies. The Department cannot reconcile statements made in Foreign Office note of May 16 copy of which accompanied Embassy’s No. 1315 of May 1879a that British Government intended to continue practice of granting all possible facilities in British territory for development of international communications with opposition to development of communication facilities in Portuguese territory.
[Paraphrase.] If at the time you think it best to do so, when you communicate the above to the Foreign Office you may say that the Department has reason to think that with reference to the cutting and diverting of the cable formerly connecting the United States and Central Europe there may be a discussion on the Senate floor regarding opposition by the British Government to American concessions in the Azores and you may express the hope that the British Government will act promptly to discontinue opposition to American projects there and that discussion by the press and in the Senate may be averted. You are to press for a reply. [End paraphrase.]