NEW YORK, April 8 - It has been ascertained that Sec. Alger [Secretary of War Russell A. Alger] is in communication with the French government for the purchase of the great air ship Le Ballon d' Alaska.
Last Wednesday Sec. Alger telegraphed Mr. Antony Varicle, chief engineer of the expedition of the French geographical society, who is now at the hotel Martin in this city, to come at once to Washington, with all plans and drawings of the wonderful airship.
In response to that telegram Gen. Alger received a message from M. Varicle today stating that he had already discussed the plans of his airship with Col. Craig, chief of the signal bureau at Washington. The expedition of the French geographical society, which was to have left New York for the Pacific coast last Wednesday, is still at hotel Martin.
Dr. Jerwange, secretary of the expedition, said to a reporter tonight: "I can tell you nothing about our plans except that we intend to visit Alaska. We will be pleased to furnish the government the plans of our airship. It is hardly probable that the French geographical society would sell the balloon Alaska, but there are other airships in
France very similar to it that might be purchased by the war department."