to Mr. Phelps
Washington , August 5, 1881.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 9, of the 15th ultimo, reporting an interview recently had by you with the acting minister for foreign affairs on the subject of the apprehended desire and attempt of the Colombian Government to secure the protectorate of the leading powers of Europe for the Isthmus of Panama.
The promptness with which you sought and obtained an interview with Baron Kallay, and the discreet and forcible manner in which you carried out the Department’s instructions in regard to the subject are approved.
I am, &c.,