Versailles, July 14, 1778.
Gentlemen: Notwithstanding the precautions which I have taken to supply the inhabitants of the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon with provisions for their subsistence, who in their present circumstances can receive very small or no succors from the commerce with France, it may happen that the intervention of one or more of the vessels sent to those islands with provisions may reduce the people to great distress, and it will be too late to apply a remedy after the knowledge of the event shall reach us. I have thought that, in case of pressing necessity, we might count on supplies from the United States of America, and have indicated the same to the administrators of the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. It will be highly agreeable to his majesty if you should concur in this opinion, and do what may be in your power to procure such succors, by recommending to the United States, and particularly to the government of Boston, to induce the fitting out of expeditions to those isles, for the purpose of taking provisions to the inhabitants and supplying their wants.
I have the honor to be, etc.,