to bring the facts to the notice of the honorable commissioners, and this much we did.
In compliance with our instructions we have directed our attention to no one country in particular, but have made inquiries for arms in every country in which there appeared any probability of obtaining them. When Captain Huse first arrived in England he met General Fair, late U. S. minister to Belgium, and satisfied himself that nothing for immediate service could be obtained from that country. General Fair was certain from personal inquiry that all the establishments at Liege had more than they could do for several months. As the general had made direct inquiry with the view of obtaining arms for the State of Alabama, and as it was known that all through Europe the Liege manufacturers had the reputation of furnishing arms of the worst possible quality, it was deemed best not to give any further attention in that direction for the present. It was found that the $150,000 which was at first remitted would be well spent in England. Steps were accordingly taken with that end in view. Nothing ready manufactured was to be found. The attempts to contract with the London Armor, as you were informed in a previous dispatch from Captain Huse, the British Government declining to consent to an extension of time for the completion of their own contract. The principal manager of that company, Mr. Hamilton, of the firm of Sinclair, Hamilton & Co., is a merchant of the highest respectability, and is acquainted with every gunmaker in England. He was willing to undertake to obtain as many rifles as possible for us in consideration of receiving a commission of 2 1\1 per cent. on the amount of the purchases. As the only possible chance of getting any arms was to purchase them from the small manufactures scattered over England, but principally working in Birmingham, and as the agents purchasing for the United States and for the individual Northern States were men quite well informed concerning the trade, we did not hesitate to make the arrangement. Accordingly $100,000 was deposited in bank, to be used by Sinclair, Hamilton & Co. in purchasing arms for the Confederacy. The remaining $50,000 was reserved, to be used as opportunity might offer. Sinclair, Hamilton & Co. at once entered upon the business, and in everything they have done we have reason to be more than satisfied. Without their assistance we would be in the hands of a class of contractors who are bound only when they are obliged to be. Sinclair, Hamilton & Co. have nearly exhausted the amount deposited, and an additional $125,000 has been placed to their credit. We submit with this report a statement from them of the number of arms already obtained and of the number they expect to have ready in time for another shipment.
Your communication of June 21 directs our attention toward Spain as a country from which we may be able to obtain arms. As Colonel Preston, late U. S. minister to Madrid, was in London at the time of the receipt of your letter, application was made to him by Captain Huse for information on that point. Colonel Preston assured him that it would be only throwing away time to go to Spain for weapons; thcquainted with the armament of the country, and that Spain had no arms to spare, and if she had they would be found worthless. Knowing that Colonel Preston had considerable practical experience with small-arms, and having every reason to regard him as entirely friendly to the Confederacy, we have dismissed from our minds all hope of procuring supplies in Spain, but shall not relax our efforts to obtain further information on the subject.