[Inclosure No. 1.]
LONDON, March 30, 1863.
Hon, JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I had this pleasure 13th, 14th, and 21st instant, duplicates* of which I beg now to inclose. Since the latter date I have received none of your favors., I regret to have to advise that Major C. Huse has not yet returned to this city. I have a letter from him dated 20th instant at Paris, saying that he has received a letter from the War Department containing extract of your letter to me of 8th February, and from what he can gather from this extract it will de desirable for us to confer with other, and regrets that it in necessary of him to leave Paris for Vienna that evening; that immediately on his return he will communicate with me. I have not felt that I ought to lose a moment in making arrangements to carry my arrangements into effect on account of Major Huse's absence from England, and after conferring with Mr. Mason and showing him your last dispatch we have signed the contract between him, Mr. Collie, and myself, a copy of which I beg leave to inclose herein. + I believe and sincerely trust that in all respects it will meet your approval. It in this I err, please advise me in what particular, and I will try to have it altered to meet your views.
The French loan being put through very easily (the particulars of which will doubtless reach you through Mr. Mason) he requested that I should inform him how fast I would require the money, and I beg to inclosure copy of my letter to him of 20th instant. + This is based on the contract which we have already closed for four iron steamers to be ready as folt by dudgeon & Brother, London, first ready 6th of April, guaranteed fourteen and one-half knots per hour; second ready 6th of May, guaranteed thirteen and one-half knots per hour; third ready 30th of June, guarantied fifteen knots per hour; fourth ready 15th of July, guaranteed fifteen knots per hour; all at L 24,500 each, less 1 per cent brokerage; and have now under consideration three steamers which are ready for sea. One of them, I them, we will close for this week and possibly for two of them. It is bur justice to Mr. Collie to add that he had already before my arrival here contracted with Dudgeon for steamer marked first above, and to be ready 6th of April, and could have sold his contract for a very large profit; indeed, I would have paid it if she had belonged to any one else, as our offer of L 17,500 for the Kate, built by Dudgeon and just finished (at whose trial trip I was two weeks ago), was refused. She is to be least one knot faster then the Flora, which was built by the same parties, and which is one knot faster than the Kate. I made the offer for the Kate because of my anxiety to get started, and especially after getting Major Ruffin's order was more than ever anxious to secure her, but the parties bought the contract some time ago for L 15,500, and on account of the recent successes through the blockade have concluded, I hear, to send her to the Confederate States instead of to China, as originally intended. These four vessels are all doubt-screw and full sister of the Flora, of which you have probably heard, as she has successfully run the blockade twice up to our last dates from Nassau. I inclose the correspondence + with Mr. Collie in reference to the first vessel, and the occasion to add that I believe that he will carry out in good faith article No. 10 of our contract, which, by the way, is a very important one, for you can scarcely form an idea of the extent to which commissions and
* Letters of 13th and 14th not found.
+ Not found