Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow,

No. 336.]

Sir: I transmit to you a copy of a correspondence between Allen McLane, esq., president of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and this department, from which it will be seen that application has been made for negotiations with the French government for the mutual protection of the mail steamers of France and the United States in the event of war, such as have been provided in the postal convention of December 15, 1848, between the United States and Great Britain. You will be pleased to bring she matter under the consideration of Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


John Bigelow, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

[Page 270]

Mr. McLane to Mr. Seward

Sir: I beg leave, respectfully, to refer to your letter of October 6, 1864, in which, refer ring to the 20th article of the postal convention between the United States and Great Britain of December 15, 1848, relative to protection to mail steamers of both nations in case of war, you state that no provision of a similar character has been adopted with France, and in your letter of October 13, 1864, you stated that “the subject will receive the consideration from this department to which it is justly entitled.”

For the information of this company, permit me now to inquire whether such protection has been agreed to between the United States and France?

Very respectfully yours,

ALLAN McLANE, President.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.