to Mr. Fish.
Santiago de Chili ,
December 13, 1873. (Received January 19, 1874.)
Sir: In my dispatch No. 16, I had the honor to inform you of the request made by the minister of foreign relations that the undersigned should act as arbitrator in the matter of the boundary dispute between Chili and Bolivia, and of my assent thereto, conditioned upon the approval of my Government. Since then a convention has been concluded between the representatives of the two governments, in which the name of your representative in Chili is agreed upon as the arbitrator; which convention, it is expected, will ere long be ratified by the parties in interest. A few days since, Mr. Ibanez, informing me of this fact, inquired if I had had any response to my request, to which I replied there had not elapsed a sufficient time; that I had little doubt it would be granted, as it was the policy of my Government to cultivate relations of amity and good will with all nations; and, cherishing such sentiments to a marked degree toward Chili and Bolivia, it would doubtless render them any assistance it might be able to settle their differences peacefully, and that, unless some obstacle existed of which I had no knowledge, they need have no uneasiness about it.
I await your official sanction, however, before formally accepting the trust.
I am, &c.,