Mr. Dichman to Mr. Evarts.
Bogota , November 29, 1878. (Received January 27.)
Sir: Before leaving Washington you were pleased to communicate to me your views on the subject of establishing regular and frequent communication by steamers between New Orleans and the ports of this country. I now take pleasure in submitting for your consideration the accompanying copies of correspondence, a synopsis of which is briefly as follows:
Inclosure No. 1 is a copy of a letter addressed to me by the president of the Illinois Central Railroad Company (asking for information), which explains itself, and which I made the occasion of my letter to the Hon. Salvador Camacho Roldan. This letter was written after several conversations on the subject, and the answer of the Hon. Salvador Camacho Roldan contains not only a great deal of valuable information on the commerce of this country, but also a statement as to the probability of the Colombian Government contributing to the enterprise, thereby showing a most gratifying desire to assist in cultivating closer commercial relations with our country.
To the views advanced by the Hon. Salvador Camacho Roldan, I desire to add, that to both the United States and this country it is of the greatest importance that the line of travel to Europe from Colombia should be by the way of the United States, in order to enable the people of both countries to become better acquainted with each other.
It is also deserving of attention in this connection, that the more regular and frequent exchange of mails would not only produce more intimate commercial relations, but I am also of the opinion that a reciprocal arrangement could be effected with this government whereby letters from the United States would be distributed free of postage here in exchange for a similar free distribution of Colombian letters in the United States, and that in this way the postage between the two countries could be reduced to five cents for letters of half an ounce.
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I am, &c.,