Mr. McMath to Mr. Seward

No. 25.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches, Nos. 13 and 14, dated August 25 and November 7, 1864, respectively, the latter containing the full power authorizing me to treat upon a footing with the representatives of other foreign powers here with regard to the maintenance of the Cape Spartel light, &c. Circular letter dated 12th September last has been received. I had expected before this date to be prepared to forward the treaty to the President, but, as I informed you in my despatch No. 23, dated 2d September last, the Moorish minister for foreign affairs was ordered near his Majesty the Sultan, then at Rabat, and at this date has not returned to this place, although his Majesty left Rabat about six weeks since for Fez, the ancient capital of this country. We are daily expecting the return of the minister, and on his arrival no time will be lost in completing and forwarding the treaty. I cannot presume, however, that it will be forwarded in time for the President to submit it for ratification to the present, nor, perhaps, the extra session of the Senate that will probably be convened on or about the 4th of March next. I have been informally advised that ten powers will unite in maintaining the light, &c. The maximum sum fixed for the maintenance thereof is fifteen thousand francs per annum, fifteen hundred francs to each power, equal to $285. May I suggest that an appropriation be asked from the present Congress for that amount. By the regulations of the light-house council the cost of maintenance on the 15th of August last, two months previous to the illumination on the 15th of October last. For the present the expense is paid by the Sultan, but it is understood that the treaty powers will reimburse at the earliest moment after the completion of the treaty.

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I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect and esteem, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.