Mr. Dichman to Mr. Evarts
Bogotá , December 5, 1880. (Received January 14, 1881.)
Sir: The Colombian minister at Washington has probably informed you before this of a circular note addressed by his government to the governments of the other Spanish-American republics, based upon article III of the projected treaty between Colombia and Chili, reported in my No. 205, of the 7th of September last, and having for its object a meeting of plenipotentiaries of all the Spanish-American states at Panama in September, 1881, for the purpose of executing with each other an international treaty or convention, similar to the one executed between Colombia and Chili, and thus not only establish the principle of international arbitration for the determination of any differences which may arise between any of the co-signatory states, as a part of the public law of this continent, but also provide for the practical application of this principle by constituting the President of the United States the permanent arbitrator under the proposed treaty.
On the same subject I am in receipt of a note from the Colombian secretary of foreign relations, inclosing a copy of the circular note above mentioned, and requesting me to solicit your good offices with governments of the several Spanish-American republics to the end that they may be induced to accept the invitation of the Colombian Government.
Although this action of the administration of President Nuñez in extending the invitation above mentioned may perhaps be premature, in view of the fact that the treaty between Colombia and Chili upon which it is based has not yet been approved and ratified, I nevertheless beg leave to recommend the solicitation expressed in the accompanying note of the Colombian secretary of foreign relations to your favorable consideration; for I am sure that the laudable object of providing for the more harmonious relations between the republican nations of this continent, and the increased moral influence of the Government of the United States is a matter in which you are deeply interested.
The inclosed correspondence does not disclose the fact that a plenipotentiary from the United States is invited to join in the execution of the proposed treaty or convention. This is probably owing to the reason that the position assigned to the Government of the United States by the proposed treaty is to maintain and exercise a friendly and judicial impartiality in the differences which may arise between the powers of Spanish America.
I would, however, respectfully recommend that if this proposed meeting of plenipotentiaries should take place, the Government of the United States be represented upon the occasion, in order to convey to that body the interest felt in the United States in its proceedings, and to manifest the willingness of the President of the United States to accept the trust which by the proposed treaty it is intended to confer upon him, if such should be his pleasure.
I am, &c.,