No. 199.
Mr. Dichman to Mr. Evarts .

No. 245.]

Sir: Upon the receipt of your No. 133, of the 13th of October last, referring to the treaty for the preservation of peace between the Republics of Colombia and Chili, I took the first favorable opportunity for bringing the sentiments contained in your dispatch just cited to the knowledge of the Colombian Government, upon which the most gratifying impression was produced, to the extent of eliciting the suggestion on the part of the Colombian foreign secretary that I might find it convenient to embody your views in an official communication in order that the Colombian Congress, at its next session, might be made acquainted therewith.

Accordingly, I addressed a note to the Colombian foreign secretary, a copy of which I beg leave to inclose, in which I endeavored to convey to his government a knowledge of the pertinent parts of your dispatch No. 133, above mentioned.

From the accompanying copy of his answer you will be pleased to learn that your sentiments, of which I was happy to be the simple instrument of transmission, were received by the President of this republic with the most profound satisfaction, and that the ready approval extended to this government in its adhesion to the great principle of international arbitration and the acceptance for the President of the United States of the office of arbitrator, the interests of peace between the Spanish-American Republics have been advanced, and the friendly and honorable position of the United States as their mediator and counselor is fully recognized.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 245.]

Mr. Dichman to Señor Santamaria.

Sir: The negotiation of the treaty for the preservation of peace between the Republics of Colombia and Chili, concluded between the chargé d’affaires of the latter country and yourself, having been reported by me to my government, it affords me much pleasure to inform you that the intelligence thus conveyed by me has been received with feelings of lively satisfaction at Washington, as indicating on the part of the Government of Colombia, not merely a desire to maintain and strengthen the relations of peace and good will with the Government of Chili, but as evincing also a concurrence with the great principle of arbitration in the settlement of international disputes, by establishing in the treaty above mentioned that system of appeal as between cosignatory states in all future emergencies; and the designation, made in the same instrument, of the President of the United States as arbitrator between them in certain contingencies has been accepted as a manifestation of that confidence in the impartial amity of the Government of the United States for the sister republics of the American continent, which it has always been its proud privilege to welcome on every fitting occasion and strengthen by its example of good will and kindly interest in their welfare.

In advance of the completion of the treaty by the exchange of the ratifications for which provision is made in the fourth article, or in anticipation of any formal invitation by Colombia, I am pleased to be able to convey to you the informal assurance that should occasion for arbitration between the two countries which are parties to the treaty arise, [Page 351] the President of the United States will deem himself privileged in being able to respond to the flattering trust reposed in him and as evincing the interests of the people and Government of the United States in all that concerns the welfare of Colombia.

Before bringing this communication to a close it may also be of interest for you to learn that, on the subject of the treaty between Colombia and Chili, an instruction, of similar tenor to the one which has given rise to this communication, has been sent by the honorable Secretary of State at Washington to the minister of the United States at Santiago, who, I have no doubt, will convey to the government of Chili the like sentiments of amity and high appreciation which it has been my pleasant duty to express to you upon the occasion.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 3 in No. 245.—Translation.]

Señor Santamaria to Mr. Dichman .

Sir: Your courteous note of the 7th instant was placed by me in the hands of the President of the republic, and I have the honor to inform you that its contents produced in him the most profound satisfaction, although not really a surprise, since when he dictated the stipulation contained in article 2 of the convention of peace between Colombia and Chili he did not doubt for a moment that the President of the United States would accept with good will the part of arbitrator between the two republics which is therein attributed to him, and that this fact would afford the government at Washington the opportunity of again manifesting and of putting into practice, occurring the contingency, those sentiments of impartial friendship it has ever shown in favor of its sister republics of the American continent, and more especially of Colombia, to which it has been bound during many years by the closest and most cordial ties through their community of interests of great importance and identity of aspirations and institutions.

The adherence of my government to the grand principle of arbitration as the only available mode of amicably adjusting whatever international disagreement or nonconformity, has been constant and firm since the political emancipation of this country, and whenever it has been admissible it has yielded to it in public treaties, especially with sister republics. But the adherence of my government to such principles and its submission to it in said treaties would be worthless if at the proper time it were not provided, nothing improbable, in the event that the contracting parties could not or would not agree respecting the selection of an arbitrator, in which case the application of the great principle would become useless and there would remain no other recourse than an appeal to arms or the most abject humiliation of the contracting parties. It was to avoid this grave occurrence that the head of my government caused to be introduced into said convention the very excellent stipulation that in the event of disagreement in the selection of an arbitrator, it would be obligatory upon the contracting parties to submit to the decision of the President of the United States.

As you must know the convention alluded to was very well received by the Government of Chili on which account it may be expected that it will be approved during the year by the Congress of each republic. So that relying as we may with security upon the gracious acceptance by the President of the United States of the charge of arbitrator that by virtue of said stipulation appertains to him it may be safely predicted without risk of equivocation that the doors are forever closed to a war between Colombia and Chili.

But you are aware that although it is a cause for satisfaction for Colombia that she succeeds in obtaining the assurance of living perpetually in peace with Chili she will have effected very little for her future tranquillity without the absolute certainty of living in like manner with her other sister republics with some of which she possesses clashing interests by reason of boundaries, proximity, and other circumstances. It is precisely with Chili that this country least fears difficulties. The great distance that separates their territories, the proper pride that Colombia has ever experienced at the sight of the prosperity of this sister republic, the admiration with which she has contemplated the solid peace she has enjoyed and the great and sincere sympathy which has been won from this country by the thinking people of Chili in their stoic struggle constant and audacious in favor of those liberal principles based upon justice and toleration are circumstances which would make even without the convention alluded to if not impossible at least most remote, any cause for difficulty between the two countries.

[Page 352]

The President regarded the matter in this light and anxiously the idea of a convention of peace between Colombia and Chili when the chargé d’affaires of the latter proposed it with the object of introducing in it the clause alluded to and that which is contained in article 3. These two points comprise what there is truly grand, practically, substantially, purely American, and especially new in that document.

The said convention accepted in these terms by the American republics as may be expected that it will be in the course of the year at Panama, there will be a perpetual international peace upon the American continent and the United States will assume the great office, as of right pertains to it, of mediator and counselor among the sister republics of the New World, bearing upon her banner high and secure the celebrated motto of one of her Presidents: “America for the Americans.”

In the name of my government I have the honor to thank you for your spontaneous solicitude in laying the subject to which this note refers before that at Washington and to beg that you will deign to accept the sentiments of high consideration and respect with which I subscribe myself,

Your very obedient servant,