No. 694
From the secretary of state, Madrid, to the Spanish minister, Washington.


(Received 20th November, at 11.30 a.m.)

Your telegram received. Telegraph me daily.

Say to Mr. Fish that I have received your said telegram, and that Spain would most cheerfully have anticipated reparation as soon as she should have become conscious of the offense, but since Mr. Fish deems it advisable that the settlement of the question shall have been advanced before the assembling of Congress, we, desirous of proving our good faith, have no objection whatever to submit the question to an arbitration, the arbitrator to be any one of the European powers the Government of Washington may choose to appoint, and the vessel to be surrendered into the hands of the arbitrators, in proof of our purpose to abide by the decision.

Say that it is not exact that we are not obeyed in Cuba. We can adduce two decisive proofs. First, from the time the orders were received, executions were suspended; second, since the receipt of another order, the restoration of embargoed property to citizens of the United States is being actively proceeded with. Consequently, you may, as well as that Government, (of the United States,) have the assurance that whatever may tend to a satisfactory solution shall be done both here and in Cuba.

In order to sustain the necessity for an arbitration, say that the information which reaches us is generally contradictory to that which is transmitted to Washington, as, for example, that which refers to the papers of the vessel; and, although we have made use of the telegraph, it is evident that these contradictions cannot be rectified except by testimony, the transmission of which is impossible by telegraph.

Insist on the good faith these points embrace, and comprehend all the importance of your mission in these moments in which the country confides in your intelligence.