Mr. Clark to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to communicate to you that his excellency Antonio Flores, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Ecuador to Peru and Chili, called at this legation this afternoon to con-fer with me on the subject of the differences existing between the allied republics of South America and Spain. He has been zealously and successfully engaged in his mission, and has obtained the assent of all the republics unconditionally to the armistice except Chili, and he assures me that Chili is ready to accept the mediation of the United States provided that government celebrates the armistice between the belligerents, and much better if it wishes to give its guarantee to the armistice or truce. This England and France have already proposed, but Chili would much prefer the mediation of the United States.
It should be a condition of the armistice or truce that if there is no settlement of the question by the plenipotentiaries who should meet in Washington, then the truce shall continue until one of the parties give notice to the other, one or two years before the expiration of it. On these [Page 325] terms the mediation will be immediately accepted by Chili, as it has already by the other republics—Ecuador, through Mr. Flores, being the first to do so.
Mr. Keyes, the Chilian minister of foreign relations, who has made this proposition to Mr. Flores, writes to-day in the above terms to the Chilian representative in Lima, Peru.
Mr. Flores has obtained full success in one of the principal points of his mission—the reopening of the Pacific to the Spanish merchant vessels. It has been agreed in Santiago, by the Chilian government, that Chili shall not commit hostilities against the merchant vessels of Spain provided with Ecuadorian passports. The said vessels shall not come to Chilian ports except in distress (arribada forgosa.) No obstacle shall be put to the trade between Ecuador and Spain.
Hoping an early reply, I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.