to Mr. Dichman.
Washington, June 24, 1881.
Sir: Your No. 269, of the 9th ultimo, reports the rumors which reach you, confidentially, to the effect that Colombia is seeking from the European powers some sort of joint declaration of the neutrality of the Isthmus of Panama, as well as of Colombian sovereignty over the territory thereof.
In view of like rumors which reached me from various channels, exhibiting a tendency on the part of some of the maritime powers to consider the expediency of uniting in such a guarantee, I had already prepared [Page 357] a circular instruction to the representatives of the United States in Europe, directing them in event of their having cause to believe that this movement is assuming tangible proportions to acquaint the respective governments to which they are accredited with the view of the President, that the exisiting guarantees, under the treaty of 1846 between the United States and Colombia, are complete and sufficient, and need no supplemental reinforcement from any other source.
I am not yet prepared to direct the communications of this dispatch in extenso to the Colombian Government, but if the feeling of excitement which arose on Señor Santo Domingo Vilas’s return to Bogotá, and culminated in a request for your recall, should have yielded to a better spirit, showing a return of confidence, you may, if proper occasion offers, inform the Colombian secretary for foreign affairs of the stand taken by this government to check the apprehended movement of the powers of Europe in the direction of a joint guarantee, as needless, as offensive to Colombia and to the United States as well.
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I am, &c.,