to Mr. Fish.
Lima, Peru, August 1, 1874. (Received August 24.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation and copy of the message of President Pardo, addressed to the Congress of Peru on the 28th day of July last. The address was made orally, and was gracefully delivered. I send also a translation and copy of the reply to the message, made by Señor Muñoz, president of the senate, and presiding officer of the senate and congress assembled in one body, before which President Pardo’s message was delivered.
The Secretary of State will perceive in the message the following language:
The government does not abandon the idea and hope that the meeting of an American Congress may take place which shall bind together more closely the rations of the nations of this continent, and, by uniformizing many points of their legislation, facilitate exchanges by the adoption of general rules, and at the same time by common consent give force to several principles of international law, which would strengthen the national bonds of sympathy between Americans, and consequently render more remote all possibility of disagreements.
It is difficult to estimate the advantages which might result from this proposed American congress. A congress of diplomatic representatives from all the republics of this hemisphere could, and probably would, ultimately incorporate into the laws of nations all those humane principles which the Government of the United States from its origin has insisted constitute portions of the laws of nature, and on that account ought to be received by all governments as a part of international law. It is not unreasonable to anticipate that negotiations with that view would succeed with the new republics of Spanish America, notwithstanding the failure of protracted negotiations of the United States on the [Page 805] same subject with the old governments of Europe. The governments of the old world are antitypical and traditionary, hence their representatives heed the voice of reasonless than the representatives of republics whose institutions are founded on the broad basis of nature’s laws. The diplomatic representatives of the great republic in a diplomatic congress of the republics of America could not fail hi their efforts to establish laws of nations, for peace or war, founded in the eternal principles of right, justice, and humanity, and such laws, having the sanction of all the governments of this hemisphere, would inevitably, at no distant day, be accepted as the rules of international conduct for the civilized world. Even if the proposed convention, contrary to all reasonable calculations, resulted only in an agreement that arbitration should be the resort of nations in all cases to avoid wars, the convention would wear in all time to come a crown of glory, like that which the administration of President Grant must wear, for its Geneva arbitration, on the pages of the history of the world.
I am, &c.