No. 28.
Mr. Shannon to Mr. Fish.

No. 82.]

Sir: Notwithstanding the rumors very generally entertained to the contrary, and to which I referred in my No. 79, it now seems more than probable that the special mission of General Mitre, Argentine envoy to this court, will have an early and successful issue. In this connection, I have the honor to call your attention to the accompanying notes (to [Page 86] which I have added, for convenience’ sake, marginal translations) recently exchanged between the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs and the Argentine minister of foreign affairs and General Mitre. (Appendix A.) These notes were published simultaneously here and in Buenos Ayres about a fortnight since.

It will be observed, by an examination of the dates, that General Mitre, up to the beginning of the present month, has occupied himself exclusively with the task of removing, so far as it was possible for him to do so, the bad impression which had been created here by the extraordinary tone of the celebrated Tejedor note of the 27th of April last, and of which Mr. Partridge gave an account in his No. 59. The first note of the series from the Argentine minister of foreign affairs, to the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs, dated September 25, 1872, is the apology for that extraordinary tone: and, together with the response of the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs, (second of the series,) closes this branch of the subject.

In the third of the series, dated October 3, 1872, General Mitre gives a succinct account of his mission from date of his arrival at Rio de Janeiro, on the 6th of July last, to date of writing; congratulates himself upon the satisfactory solution of the “question of form;” and concludes by stating that he shall henceforward occupy himself with the chief object of his mission, requesting, at the same time, that a plenipotentiary may be designated with whom he can negotiate. This “chief object” he also declares to be, “treating fully all pending questions until a perfect agreement is reached.” The Brazilian minister of foreign affairs, in the second of the series of notes, had already defined it to be the most perfect understanding or best agreement between the two governments upon the rights and obligations of the treaty of alliance of the 1st of May, 1865.”

In the fourth of the series, dated October 9, 1872, the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs, responding to General Mitre, designates the Viscount of Sáo Vicénte as the Brazilian plenipotentiary to negotiate with General Mitre.

The basis and point of departure of this negotiation, we are told, is to be the agreement arranged between Baron de Cotegipe and the Argentine minister of foreign affairs, and drawn up by the former. Appendix B to this dispatch, being the translation of an extract from the letter of Baron de Cotegipe, addressed to the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs on the 25th of June last, and giving an account of his negotiations at Assumption and Buenos Ayres, will show exactly what that “agreement” was.

In conclusion, it may be well to state that assurances have been given me by members of the Argentine legation that they confidently expect to complete the work of their mission so as to leave here some time during the month of December next.

I am, &c.,

RICHARD CUTTS SHANNON.
[Appendix A.—Translation.]
[Extract from the Republica of Rio de Janeiro October 7, 1872.]

Note from the Argentine government to the imperial government.

Mr. Minister: I have had the honor to receive the notes of your excellency of the 20th and 21st of June, and the memorandum, which accompanied them.

[Page 87]

In the note of June 20, your excellency said that notwithstanding the first “impression created by certain observations, which might seem international offenses, considering that the” Argentine government had declared in the note of 27th of April that it had used the greatest frankness, and that therefore its protests of pacific and friendly sentiments should have the same character, the imperial government resolved to answer it, influenced by those declarations, and especially by those which were most solemnly expressed by His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, and His Excellency the President of the Argentine Republic, in their recent addresses to their respective nations.”

The imperial government does justice to the republic in giving to the language and views of the note of the 27th of April the only interpretation compatible with the frank protests of pacific and friendly sentiments which are contained in it, and which it is gratifying to repeat on this occasion, since there was no intention to offend the amour propre and dignity of Brazil, but rather a desire to maintain the inviolability of the treaty of alliance, in which is involved the public faith of three nations.

The Argentine government, rendering equal justice to that of the empire, interpreted in the same spirit certain propositions, contained in the above-mentioned note of the 20th of June, which might have a less friendly meaning, (if not offensive, at least, would seem contrary to the duties and obligations of the alliance,) and renders on her part due honor to the protests of friendship and the assurances which have been given to maintain the compromises of the treaty of the 1st of May.

The Argentine government therefore believes that, having made the requisite declarations on both sides, there is no convenience in prolonging a discussion which might postpone a cordial understanding such as ought to subsist between allies who have fought side by side for five years to secure peace in these regions, all of them (allies) being equally interested in maintaining those compromises to the end that there may be a fruitful and lasting peace.

This consideration, and that of having resolved before the reception of the above-mentioned notes to send to the imperial government a minister of high character and armed with full powers to adjust pending questions, induces the Argentine government to limit its reply to what is here expressed, referring for the rest to what that minister may have declared or may hereafter declare in its name.

The Argentine government thinks that with the transference of the discussion to the arena of diplomacy it will be easier to maintain those cordial relations which might be endangered by a direct exchange of notes. Such notes, unexplained, might go beyond the benevolent intentions of both governments.

I improve the opportunity to reiterate to your excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

C. TEJEDOR.

To his excellency the councilor Dr. Manoel Francisco Correia,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of Brazil.

[Extract from the Republica of Rio de Janeiro, October 7, 1872.]
[Translation.]

Note from the imperial government to the Argentine government.

The undersigned, of the council of His Majesty the Emperor, minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs, has had the honor to receive the note which His Excellency D. Carlos Tejedor, minister of foreign affairs of the Argentine Republic, directed to him, under date of 25th ultimo, in reply to those of the imperial government of the 20th and 21st of July last. The minister says:

“The imperial government does justice to the republic in giving to the language and views of the note of the 27th of April the only interpretation compatible with the frank protests of pacific and friendly sentiments which are contained in it, and which it is gratifying to repeat on this occasion, since there was no intention to offend the amour propre and dignity of Brazil, but rather a desire to maintain the inviolability of the treaty of alliance in which is involved the public faith of three nations.

“The Argentine government, rendering equal justice to that of the empire, interpreted in the same spirit certain propositions, contained in the above-mentioned note of the 20th of June, which might have a less friendly meaning, (if not offensive, at least would seem contrary to the duties and obligations of the alliance,) and renders on her part due honor to the protests of friendship and the assurances which have been given to maintain the compromises of the treaty of the 1st of May.

The Argentine government, therefore, believes that, having made the requisite declarations on both sides, there is no convenience in prolonging a discussion which might [Page 88] postpone a cordial understanding, such as ought to subsist between allies who have fought side by side five years to secure peace in these regions; all of them (allies) being equally interested in maintaining those compromises to the end that there may be a fruitful and lasting peace.

“This consideration, and that of having resolved, before the reception of the above-mentioned notes, to send to the imperial government a minister of high character, and armed with full powers to adjust pending questions, induces the Argentine government to limit its reply to what is here expressed, referring for the rest to what that minister may have declared or may hereafter declare in its name.

“The Argentine government thinks that with the transference of the discussion to the arena of diplomacy it will be easier to maintain those cordial relations which might be endangered by a direct exchange of notes. Such notes, unexplained, might go beyond the benevolent intentions of both governments.”

With satisfaction the undersigned has received the assurance of the minister that the note of the 27th of April contained no intentional offense to the amour propre and dignity of Brazil, and has also observed the renewed expression of pacific and friendly sentiments of the government of the republic.

Although convinced that his previous notes contain no expression of opinion which will permit one to doubt that like sentiments of consideration and friendship are entertained by this government for the Argentine Republic, and notwithstanding he believes it has already been sufficiently proved that the imperial government desires to maintain the alliance which guarantees so many benefits to the two governments and to their neighbors, nevertheless the undersigned does not hesitate to renew here the expression of those same friendly declarations contained in previous notes.

It is agreeable to the undersigned, as well as Señhor Tejedor, to consider the present notes as closing the direct correspondence between the two governments, and to confide to the good will and prudence of plenipotentiaries whatever explanations may still he judged necessary, while at the same time they treat of the principal object of their mission, which will be the most perfect understanding or best agreement between the two governments upon the rights and obligations of the treaty of alliance of the 1st of May, 1865.

The undersigned has the honor to renew to the minister the assurances of his most distinguished consideration.

MANOEL FRANCISCO CORREIA.

To His Excellency Sr. D. Carlos Tejedor,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Republic.

[Extract from the Jornal de Commercio of Rio de Janeiro, October 9, 1872.]
[Translation.]

No. 1.
Note from the Argentine legation to the imperial government.

Mr. Minister: Having arrived at this capital on the 6th of July, and presented my credentials on the 9th, I had the honor of being received by His Majesty the Emperor on the 13th of the same month, being at once accredited and recognized in the quality of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary on special mission to the imperial government.

Upon my arrival at this capital, I found already answered, under date of the 20th of June, the notes which the Argentine government directed to the imperial government on the 27th of April. Thus the direct discussion of government with government was still going on; and so we concluded to await the reply of the Argentine government before entering upon the object of my mission.

The reply of the Argentine government reached the hands of your excellency direct on the 26th of July, and it having given place to some verbal explanations it was necessary to ask for new instructions in order to resolve this incident, which arose in a confidential and friendly manner as a question of form which was to be adjusted between the two governments through the medium of the undersigned.

This question of form was satisfactorily arranged by the exchange of notes which were verified yesterday upon the basis of a common agreement and reciprocity, not only as respects the framing of said notes, but also as regards the mutual friendly explanations therein contained. And so cordial relations were happily and honorably reestablished between both governments, not only as respects international duties, but also as regards the rights and obligations of the alliance of the 1st of May, 1865, of which [Page 89] Brazil and the Argentine Republic make part conjointly with the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

Thus the direct discussions of government with government having terminated, and your excellency having accepted the proposal to transfer it to the arena of diplomacy, agreeing also to refer further negotiations to plenipotentiaries who shall enter upon them “in the spirit of the most perfect understanding and best agreement between the two governments about the rights and obligations of the alliance of 1865,” the time has arrived to treat formally of the object of my special mission.

Having received from your excellency, in the course of our private conferences, testimonials of the most cordial friendship and assurances of an accord mutually satisfactory and honorable, based upon the agreement settled between the minister of foreign affairs of the republic and Baron de Cotegipe, and drawn up by the former—said agreement to be taken simply as a point of departure for subsequent negotiations—I trust that the object of my mission will be accomplished in such a manner that, in peace as in war, the compromises of the alliance will be observed, thus securing peace throughout this portion of America, and making even Paraguay a sharer in its benefits.

Thus officially reviewing what has passed, and proposing to your excellency to occupy myself henceforward with the special object of my mission, treating fully all pending questions until a perfect agreement is reached, I hope your excellency will be good enough to indicate the day and hour when we can have a conference, or will designate the plenipotentiary with whom I shall negotiate for the future.

With this view I salute his excellency the minister, repeating the assurances of my highest consideration.

BARTOLOMÉ MITRE.

To his excellency Manoel Francisco Correia,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, Councilor, &c., &c., &c.

[Extract from the Jornal de Commercio of Rio, October 9, 1872.]

No. 2.
Note from the imperial government to the Argentine legation.

The undersigned, of the council of His Majesty the Emperor, and minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs, has the honor to respond to the note of the 3d instant, which was directed to him by His Excellency Brigadier General D. Bartolomé Mitre, envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary on special mission from the Argentine Republic.

As Señor Mitre knows, the only obstacle which delayed the progress of the negotiation, committed on the part of the republic to his excellency, was the state of affairs resulting from the direct discussion between the two governments, which could not be regarded as final with the Argentine note of the 27th April and that of the imperial government of the 20th June.

The impression produced by the note of the 27th of April having been dispelled by that of the 25th of last month, the same friendly spirit being manifest; in the general thought of the official documents of the Argentine department of foreign affairs, the benevolent relations of the two governments have been honorably and cordially re-established.

Thus, happily, the opportunity presents itself for the imperial government to hear the proposition for an agreement, which the wisdom of the Argentine government had suggested, in view of the official declarations which had been directed to it; and the undersigned takes pleasure in confirming what he said, not only in the notes of the 22d of March and the 20th of June, but also in the private conferences with Seiior Mitre, giving testimony that the imperial government never thought of violating the alliance of 1865, but rather sought always to maintain it without the least break, and in such a way that it might prove as honorable and beneficent in peace as it had been during war.

The undersigned has expressed, since the note of the 20th of June, that the basis of agreement proposed by the minister of foreign affairs of the Argentine Republic to Baron Cotegipe was acceptable, and, in fact, was not prejudiced by any act of the imperial government. If, then, this point of departure, which could not be declined by Brazil, since it related to the substance of the treaties celebrated by that government, promises, as Señor Mitre believes, the satisfactory solution which both governments desire, the imperial government accepts with great pleasure the way indicated by his [Page 90] excellency as proper for facilitating a prompt and happy issue to his mission, although it would seem more convenient that at, this negotiation the third ally should he present, and that previously, or at the same time, Paraguay should he heard.

The undersigned, reiterating the assurance already expressed, of the pacific, just, and friendly dispositions of the imperial government, takes pleasure in communicating to Señor Mitre that His Majesty the Emperor has seen fit to appoint the Viscount of Sâo Vicente as his plenipotentiary for this negotiation.

The Brazilian plenipotentiary will shortly invite the Argentine plenipotentiary to open the conferences, from which both nations ought to hope for the maintenance of such a cordial understanding as corresponds with their antecedents and is loudly demanded, not only by their own mutual interests, but also by those of the civilized world.

The undersigned improves the opportunity to reiterate to the señor minister the assurances of his highest consideration.

MANOEL FRANCISCO CORREIA.

To His Excellency Brigadier General Bartolomé Mitre,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary on Special Mission from the Argentine Republic.

[Appendix B.—Translation.]
[Extract from the letter of Baron de Cotegipe—giving an account of his negotiations at Assumption and Buenos Ayres—addressed to the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs, on the 25th of June, 1872.]

* * * * * * *

The terms of the conciliatory agreement, written hy me, read and approved by Dr. Tejedor, were these:

“That Brazil should declare, in reply to the note of the Argentine Republic, that it acknowledged the obligations of the treaty of alliance and is disposed to give the guarantees which it offers. This done, the Argentine government will send a negotiator to Paraguay, who afterward should go to Brazil to reduce to protocol the declarations of the note. These declarations made, there is no objection to the ratification of the treaties.”

* * * * * * *