to Mr. Kilpatrick
Washington , November 22, 1881.
Sir: Your dispatch, No. 8, conveying a copy of your reply to Señor Balmaseda, has been received. The communication to which it was a reply should have accompanied it, in order that the Department could properly judge of your answer.
Your letter is not approved by the Department. You had had ample opportunity, and, as you have before stated, availed yourself of it, to [Page 140] make known to the Government of Chili the scope of your instructions, and to give it abundant assurance of the friendly feeling of your own government.
If the conduct of Mr. Hurlbut in Peru had given sufficient ground of complaint to the Chilian Government, that complaint should have been made in Washington. Mr. Hurlbut’s presentation speech to President Calderon, his memorandum to Admiral Lynch, his letter to Garcia, and telegraphic reports from Buenos Ayres, were not subjects upon which you were called to pass judgment, nor upon which you should have been interrogated by the Chilian Government. Nothing in your conduct or language had excited its apprehensions, and no explanation was due or could have been expected from you, of the language or conduct of your colleague in Peru. I should have been glad if it had occurred to you to call the attention of the secretary for foreign affairs to the impropriety of such a communication, and, in referring to the fact, that your instructions, which you were authorized to communicate to him, gave all the assurance which he could either desire or ask, of the friendly disposition of the United States, I should have much preferred that you had furnished him with a copy of those instructions instead of submitting a paraphrase which does not fully represent their spirit and meaning.
Indeed, I find it difficult to understand how the Chilian Government could have been under any misapprehension as to the disposition or purpose of the United States, when, the instructions both to yourself and to Mr. Hurlbut had, in fact, been already frankly communicated; the former, according to your dispatch No. 3, to the outgoing administration, and the latter by this Department to Mr. Martinez, the representative of the present government. It is still more difficult to understand the abolition of the Calderon government and the arrest of the President himself, in the face of your assurance in your dispatch No. 3, where you quote the following as having been addressed to you by Señor Valderrama, viz:
You may therefore say to your government that every effort would he given by Chili to strengthen the government of President Calderon, giving to it the most perfect freedom of action, considering the Chilian occupation. That no question of territorial annexation would be touched until a constitutional government could be established in Peru, acknowledged and respected by the people, with full powers to enter into diplomatic negotiations for peace.
And it would only have been natural if you had asked, for the information of your government, if not for your own, for what reasons and by what means the Calderon government had, as Señor Balmaseda informed you, “come to an end.”
The President has learned with great regret of the arrest and removal of President Calderon, but in the present state of his information will not undertake to appreciate its significance. He hopes that he will, when the facts are better known, be relieved from the painful impression that it was intended as a rebuke to the friendly disposition of the United States. The present condition of affairs, the difficulty of prompt communication with the legations of Peru and Chili, and the unfortunate notoriety of the differences between your colleague in Peru and yourself, have, in the judgment of the President, rendered a special mission necessary. You will inform the Chilian Government that a special envoy will be immediately sent, and you will assure that government that he will come in the spirit of impartial friendship, anxious to learn that recent occurrences have not been intended to disturb the long continued and friendly relations existing between us; and instructed by the President [Page 141] to lay before the Chilian Government frankly, but with a scrupulous consideration for the rights and interests of that government, the views which he holds upon the deplorable condition of affairs in South America, a condition now fast assuming proportions which make its settlement a matter of deep concern to all the republics of the continent. The President cannot but anticipate that this step, suggested by the most friendly interest and justified by our existing relations, will be properly appreciated by the Chilian Government; and he sincerely hopes that no action of that government will tend further to complicate existing difficulties before the arrival of the minister.
I am, &c.,