to Mr. Dichman.
Washington , February 20, 1879.
Sir: Your dispatches, No. 28, of December 24, 1878, and No. 33, of the 8th ultimo, have been received. They both relate to the question as to the proper custody of the registers of American vessels in the free or customs ports of Colombia. The note received from Señor Arosemena, in reply to yours of December 13, is extremely satisfactory as evincing a spirit of justice and conciliation in the discussion of the issue involved, and the nearness of a settlement of the question would have been inferred from it, even in the absence of your latter dispatch reporting the signing of an agreement in adjustment of the question. My recent instruction to you relative to the coincident action of the various foreign representatives at Bogota, whose countries are alike interested with our own in obtaining a satisfactory settlement of the matter, will have shown you the importance attached to it, and it is trusted that the arrangement you announce will facilitate, if indeed it be not a part of, a general disposition of this long-pending question.
I am, &c.,