to Mr. Fish.
Santiago de Chili,
November 10, 1873. (Received December 18.)
Sir: Under cover of this dispatch I transmit a copy of a note from the minister of foreign relations, and also a copy of my reply to the same. The note of the minister is important as containing declarations in reference to the passage of the Straits of Magellan, which it will be well to have upon record for possible use in the future.
The debate upon the boundary question between Chili and the Argentine Republic has been very protracted, and somewhat bitter in its nature. There seems now to be but one resource left the parties, which is to submit the whole matter to arbitration. Chili is quite ready for this measure, but the Argentine has not, as yet, consented to the proposition.
During a recent interview with the minister of foreign relations the subject was incidentally discussed; and, if an arbitration is agreed upon, it is more than probable Chili will name President Grant as the arbiter, which selection will, doubtless, be ratified by the other party.
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I have, &c.,