Dr. A. J. Terwagne, of Paris, was here yesterday on business with the Customs Department of a somewhat unusual character. He is the chief of the party of French aeronauts who are to make the attempt to reach Dawson City by balloon. The Varicle party
landed in New York the other day. A staff of three assistants was sent ahead to Vancouver with the balloon and its fixings. From Vancouver they will proceed to Fort Wrangell on the
Stikine river where a station will be erected for the inflation of the air ship. At present the balloon is at Vancouver in bond, and Dr. Terwagne came on to Ottawa to have the Minister's consent to its release free of duty as scientific apparatus. In all probability the request will be granted.
When the Varicle party arrived in New York the probability of war between Spain and the United States was strong, so they offered the United States government an equipment of war balloons, such as have been tried with some success in France during the past year. The offer was accepted, and Dr. Terwagne says that when he left Washington three days ago he had taken an order for a $25,000 equipment which he at once forwarded to Paris. These balloons will be used for intelligence purposes, but an experiment will also be made of the practicability of Jaunching explosives from them upon the sbips of war or fortresses of the enemy.