Mr. Dichman to Mr. Blaine
Bogotá , August 13, 1881. (Received October 8.)
Sir: Permit me to invite your attention to the accompanying publication, being a dispatch from the Colombian secretary of legation at Paris, purporting to give an account of an interview between that gentleman, General Sandford, and Mr. de Lesseps, during which the latter appears to have stated his views of the political questions connected with the proposed canal at some length and with considerable warmth of feeling, concerning which I only beg leave to observe that the statement concerning the neutrality of the Suez Canal is perhaps not strictly correct, for by means of the fortifications at Perim and the possession of Cyprus the British Government exercises a dominion over the Suez Canal as great as over any highway in the British Empire; and concerning the crowning of Mr. de Lesseps’s career—to be killed at the Isthmus of Panama fighting for “the independence and integrity of Colombia,” as he expresses it; that, I suppose, may be taken as a figure of speech prompted by the “noble outburst of enthusiasm” by which the Colombian secretary of legation says he was carried away.
Of course the opinions of Mr. de Lesseps are highly colored by the interest which he must feel in the success of his enterprise, and for the expression thereof he is, perhaps, not fairly subject to criticism.
I am, &c.,