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The Government of the King has expressed to me the desire to be informed as to these motives, to the end of being enabled to appreciate the importance of the proposed change.
I would be very grateful to you if you could communicate to me at the same time the minutes or report of the debate which doubtless took place in this relation in the Federal Senate. Accept, &c..
11:. Ncyt to Mr. Evarts.
LEGATION OF BELGIUM,
Washington, July 23, 1880. (Received July 26.) Jr. SECRETARY OF STATE: I am charged with the honorable mission of informing you that the Syndical Union of Brussels is organizing an international congress of commerce and industry on the occasion of the festivals to be held in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of the kingdom.
The King has been pleased to lend his patronage to the work of the Syndical Union, and the minister of public works has accepted the honorary presidency of the congress. This will meet at Brussels on the 6th of September next, and the committee of organization expresses the hope that the Government of the United States will be represented therein by one or more delegates.
I inclose herewith a copy of the programme*of the operations of this association, which will serve to show the place which international questions will hold in the labors of the congress. Accept, sir, &c.,
Mr. Erarts to Jr. Neyt.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 13, 1880. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 2d ultimo, written from Shelter Island, New York, in relation to the exchange of the ratification of the consular convention between the United States and Belgium, signed by Mr. Delfosse and myself on the 9th of March last, wherein you make special reference to the action of the Senate of the United States in qualifying its approval of that instrument by suppressing the word “alone" in the sixteenth line of the XIIth article, and at the instance of your government request to be informed of the motives for the omission of that word, which is found in the previous convention of 1868. You also desire, if possible, to be furnished with the minutes of the debate which took place in the Senate respecting this change in the text of the convention.
* Omitted from the present publication owing to its length.
In reply I hasten to inform you that, in view of the independent and co-ordinate function of the Senate of the United States, under the Constitution, in the completion of treaties, the proceedings of that high body in executive session are held under the seal of secresy, and the results alone of its deliberations are communicated to the executive branch of the government. Hence my inability, which I regret, to communicate to you the information you desire. To understand, however, the motive for the omission of the word " alone” from the XIIth article of the present convention, it can only be necessary to go back to the like article of the previous convention of 1868 and examine the respective contexts. We find that formerly the word “alone” was qualified by the addition of the phrase, “without the exaction of any oath from the consular offcers," showing that no formality was needed save the written request, without other support, in order to secure the return of deserters from national ships. In the revised convention, among other modifications suggested by experience, the qualifying clause quoted above was omitted as redundant. This redundancy extends to the word " alone,” which, besides being superfluous to the sense of the clause where it occurs, is, in the English text, ambiguous. It will be perceived that, as it no stands, it may mean either that such written request, so supported, will be sufficient warrant for surrender, or that any other mode of procedure is inadmissible; and it follows that, while the first of these readings conforms with the sense of the French equivalent, either interpretation is redundant. It is, therefore, in my judgment, apparent that the motive for the action of the Senate, in striking out the word “ alone” from the clause in question, is found in the desire to remove, not merely a redundancy, but an ambiguity which had persisted, unnoticed before, from the previous redaction now abandoned, and thus to leave the article free from all obscurity of interpretation as to the sufficiency or necessity of the formality prescribed.
If, as I take it, the equivalent word "seule" in the Belgian text is redundant merely, without ambiguity, the question of its retention or suppression may very properly be left to the good judgment of your government. Speaking in behalf of the Government of the United States, I, for iny part, cannot perceive that in either case, whether 66 seule” be retained or suppressed, any question as to the proper interpretation of the clause under consideration could arise.
Trusting that the explanation thus tendered may be entirely satisfactory to your government, and remove all obstacle to the speedy erchange of the ratifications of the convention, I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, sir, the assurances of my high consideration.
WM. M. EVARTS.
Jr. Evarts to Vr. Veyt.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 6, 1880. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 230 July last, and to say in reply that in the absence of any special action by Congress providing for an appointment of a delegate to rep resent the United States at the international congress of commerce and industry to be convened this month at Brussels, an instruction has been sent to the minister of the United States at that capital enabling either himself or the consul of the United States at Brussels (and in a contingency both these officers) to act for this country at that congress in a proper representative capacity. Accept, &c.,
WM. M. EVARTS.
Ir. Erarts to Jr. Pettis.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 8, 1879. SIR: I transmit herewith for your information copy of a dispatch from Mr. Ernest Dichman, United States minister resident at Bogota, reciting the causes which have moved Colombia to proffer mediation for the settlement of the war between Bolivia, and Peru and Chili, and announeing the appointment of Dr. Arosemena, the former secretary of foreign relations of Colombia, to visit La Paz, Lima, and Santiago, on a special mission for the purpose of tendering such mediation.
Although abstaining from any direct indorsement of, or co-operation in, this apparently laudable effort of Colombia in the interest of peace and reconciliation, this government, which feels lively solicitude for the prosperity and tranquillity of the South American States, cannot but watch Dr. Arosemena's mission with especial attention. In personal intercourse with the doctor, when he visits La Paz, you will probably find a fitting occasion to express to him the warm interest taken by the United States in this tentative step, and the friendly solicitude of this government as to the result. I am, &c.,
WM M. EVARTS.
Mr. Pettis to Jr. Erarts.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, La Paz, Bolivia, September 15, 1879. (Received October 20.) SIR: It becomes my painful duty to communicate to you the death of his Excellency Pedro J. de Guerra, minister of foreign relations, president of the executive council of the government, and Acting Presi. dent of the Republic of Bolivia, which took place upon the night of the 11th instant in this city, as will be seen from an official note received by me upon the following morning, a copy of which in translation I inclose and mark Inclosure i, as well as a copy of my answer thereto, marked Inclosure 2.
I also inclose a copy of a note received from the same source, upon the 13th inst., marked Inclosure 3, requesting my presence at the official attendance and ceremony of the removal of his mortal remains, which, of course, I complied with.
The funeral took place yesterday, with imposing ceremonies, the diplomatic corps forming a part of the funeral cortège, and the occasion was truly a very imposing one.
I have not as yet been advised who will succeed Dr. Guerra in the administration of the affairs of the government. He was seventy years of age, and largely enjoyed the confidence of the people of the republic, and it is difficult to predict the effect his death may have upon the for tunes of the country. He died of pneumonia. I have, &c.,
S. NEWTON PETTIS.
Inclosure 1 in No. 29.]
Jr. Jedina and Mr. Jendez to Mr. Pettis.
La Paz, September 12, 1879. The undersigned, ministers of the executive council of the republic, comply with the painful dnty of communicating to his honor S. Netwon Pettis, resident minister of the i'nited States of America, the painful loss which the nation has suffered in the death of Señor Dr. Pedro J. de Guerra, president of the council and minister of foreign affairs, who passed away last night at 12 o'clock, after a sickness of some days.
On this painful occasion the undersigned offer to his honor the resident minister of the United States of North America the expressions of their most distinguished consideration.
EULOGIO D. MEDINA.
(Inclosure 2 in No. 29.)
Mr. Pettis to Mr. Medina and Mr. Mendez.
LEGATION OF THE L'NITED STATES,
La Paz, September 12, 1879. The undersigned, minister resident of the United States of America, has had the honor to receive the note addressed to him which their Excellencies Eulogio D. Medina and Julio Mendez, ministers of the executive council of the republic, did him the honor to write him under date of this day, announcing the sad intelligence of the death of Señor Dr. Pedro J. de Guerra, president of the council and minister of foreign affairs, last night at twelve o'clock, after a sickness of some days, and having previously been apprised of the very unexpected and melancholy event, which the republic of Bolivia has great reason to, and will, deplore. As an evidence of the expression of sorrow which he knows his government will feel, and that the undersigned does feel, at such a national affliction, he caused the flag of this legation to be placed at half-mast, where it will remain during the day, assuring their excellencies of his own most sincere sympathy in this hour of sorrow, and begs them to accept the assurance of his most distinguished consideration.
S. NEWTOX PETTIS.
Jr. Pettis to Jr. Erarts.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, La Paz, Bolivia, September 29, 1879. (Received November 15.) SIR: I have the honor to be in receipt of your dispatch of the Sth ultimo, No. 17, with inclosure, consisting of a copy of a dispatch from
Mr. Minister Dichman, United States minister resident at Bogota, under date of June 20 (last), No. 100, and have considered both carefully, and shall bear in mind your suggestions if the occasion which your dispatch contemplates presents itself.
I have been informed that the Bolivian authorities here had been in formed of the action of the Colombian Congress to which Mr. Minister Dichman refers, and have information that Doctor Arosemena visited Presidents Daza and Prado at Arica, in pursuance of the object of his appointment and in furtherance of the object of his special mission, but that his mediatory offer upon the part of Colombia was rejected by both. Whether he visited Chili or not, I have no information.
The failure of the special mission of Doctor Arosemena strengthens me in the opinion I have for some time entertained, which is that neither of the then belligerent powers desire the mediation or interference of any power but the United States.
I am, &c.,
S. NEWTON PETTIS.
Mr. Pettis to Mr. Erarts.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, La Paz, Bolivia, October 9, 1879. (Received November 24.) SIR : I have the honor to inclose a translated copy of a communication this day received from the minister of foreign relations of Bolivia. in reply to mine to him with reference to the subject matter of your dispatch No. 12,* which is marked inclosure 1.
The delay in answering mine upon the subject, donbtless arose from the sickness and death of Mr. Guerra. I am, &c.,
S. NEWTON PETTIS.
(Inclosure 1 in No. 43.- Translation.]
Mr. Ortiz to Mr. Pettis.
La Paz, October 9, 1879. Mr. MINISTER: The executiva conncil of this republic has had the honor to receive and take note of the dispatch your excellency favored us with on the 25th of last Angust, with the object of advising us that your excelleney has been informed by official note from Washington, that the Government of the United States has learned that the British Government has been informed of a decree issued by this government, authorizing the use of privateers and the capture of Chilian property in neutral ships, and that to this effect Bolivia has sent agents to the United States.
In consequence of this, yonr excellency calls the attention of my government to the treaty celebrated between the United States and Bolivia in 1838, and very particu. larly to the 16th article of said treaty, which expresses that the effects or goods belonging to citizens of a belligerent nation are protected on board neutral ships, with the exception of contraband articles. Answering the question which thereby arises, and which your excellency has the * See Mr. Evarts' instruction to Mr. Pettis, of June 23, 1879, For. Rels. 1879, page 125.