No. 700.
Secretary of state, Madrid, to the Spanish minister, Washington.


(Received November 24, 1873, at 10.20 a.m.)

Your important telegram received at an advanced hour of the night. To-morrow the cabinet will meet to consider its purport, although no practical solutions are clearly deducible from your interview with Mr. Fish. We had suggested arbitration, and instead of that reparations are first proposed and an arbitration to follow, which would in that event have become useless.

In order to make progress in the matter it would be well to establish fundamental points, and I beg you will again see Mr. Fish and submit the following:

  • First. Our dispositions being known, would the United States agree to wait for our solution, which would be immediate on receipt of the facts in the case?
  • Second. Would the President, notwithstanding the foregoing, still insist on submitting the question to Congress?
  • Third. Could Mr. Fish at once designate the points of offense, in view of treaty stipulations and international law?

We could in this way make good use of time, especially if we could have a clear and precise answer to these three points. I will telegraph you again to-morrow, after the meeting of the cabinet.