Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 5, 1881
to Mr. Blaine.
Mexico, August 5, 1881. (Received August 19.)
Sir: I transmit herewith copy and translation of a note of 30th July from Señor Mariscal, as well as of the “memoranda” made by him of our interview of the 9th July.
Mr. Mariscal, at the same time, sent me a copy of Mr. Matias Romero’s “Refutacion de las Inculpaciones hechas al C. Matias Romero pal el Gobierno de Guatemala.” Also copy of “Bosquejo Historico de la Agregacion a Mexico de Chiapas y Soconusco”—a collection of official documents. “Question de Limitas entre Mexico y Guatemala;” “Chiapas y Soconusco, con motivo de la question de limites entre Mexico y Guatemala,” and a small pamphlet upon the same subject by Juan N. de Pereda.
The two first are enormous volumes; I do not send them to you as I am not requested to do so, and because I suppose they are in the library of the State Department.
Señor Mariscal’s “memoranda” agrees, I think, substantially with the report of the interview I had of him on the 9th July. You will observe that he does not mention our second interview (July 15).
It is evident from Señor Mariscal’s “memoranda” that Mexico is in no humor at present to acquiesce to any proposition to submit her dispute with Guatemala to an arbitration, and also, I think, that I was justified in saying to him that both countries occupied a hostile position towards each other, which might at any moment resolve itself into a state of war, and therefore that they should be willing to have their difficulties adjusted by a common friend.
Some time ago, as you are aware, Colombia proposed to the republics south of the Rio Grande that an international congress should be held with power to enter into a compact by which all matters of dispute arising between any two or more of them should be submitted to arbitration, the arbitrator to be the President of the United States.
Señor Mariscal has acknowledged the receipt of this proposition and has declared that the President would take it into consideration; but the “Diario Oficial” has lately declared that the Mexican Government would not accept the proposition. This declaration, the editor says, is not the decision of the government, but I suppose no one can doubt the source from whence the editor derived his inspiration.
I am, &c.,
Mr. Mariscal to Mr. Morgan.
Mexico, July 30, 1881.
My Dear Mr. Morgan: In the interview which we had on the 9th of the current month, I had the honor of intimating to you that I would prepare a memorandum which would express with greater precision the reply I gave you upon the important question which occupied us, and would also add some observations which it was impossible for me to explain at the moment, relative to the contents of the note from the Department of State of your government which you had read to me.[Page 785]
I have completed my memorandum and inclose you a copy, accompanying it with several articles published in Mexico relative to the question of boundaries between this country and Guatemala.
I avail myself, &c.,
Señor Mariscal to Mr. Morgan.
On the 9th of the current month the honorable minister of the United States having requested a special interview with the undersigned minister of foreign relations, on a subject of great importance, came personally to the department and in a full and unreserved conversation explained the friendly sentiments entertained by his government toward Mexico, referring at the same time to the note of the honorable Secretary of State, Mr. Blaine, a copy of which he had given to the undersigned some days previously, and in which this friendly spirit was most decidedly manifested.
In continuation, he added that in the matter he was about to present his government disclaimed all intention of officious interference and had no other interest in view than that arising from a desire for the maintenance of that peace and harmony between neighboring and friendly republics which was essential to the good repute and prosperity of republican institutions, as to the nations which had adopted such institutions; and the people who had first planted republicanism on this continent could not otherwise than feel a deep interest in its successful and permanent establishment among the nations of the New World. His government, however, did not assume on such grounds to interfere in the domestic affairs or mutual relations of the other American republics, but confining itself to sincere good wishes for their welfare, it would make no pretensions to advance their interests otherwise than by its own example, and, where a proper occasion might present itself or circumstances appear to invite it, to offer a word of friendly counsel, disclaiming all selfish or interested purpose whatever, and trusting that it would be received in the same spirit in which it was offered.
When Mr. Morgan perceived that the undersigned had been fully impressed with the sincerity of the sentiments expressed in behalf of his government, he added these words: “All that I have said to your excellency you will find better expressed, and the business to which it is applicable more clearly set forth in the note of instructions from my government which I will read to you.”
He then proceeded to read the note sent him by the honorable Mr. Blaine, dated June 16 ultimo, informing him that the Government of Guatemala had formally applied to the Government of the United States, soliciting its friendly intervention for the purpose of re-establishing the good understanding between the two republics which had been interrupted by the pending question of disputed boundaries.
After the reading was concluded, Mr. Morgan offered a copy of the note to the undersigned, who expressed himself pleased to receive it. He then added that if the Mexican Government would agree that the question of boundaries between itself and Guatemala should be referred to arbitration, he believed the Government of the United States would act as arbitrator and that its decision would undoubtedly be both just and impartial, as it could have no other interest in the matter than the wish to assure peace and a better understanding between Mexico and her southern neighbor.
Mr. Morgan then went on discussing the question from various standpoints, enlarging upon the evils of war and observing that Mexico, even if victorious in a war with Guatemala, as from her decided superiority in the elements of power she undoubtedly would be, she must nevertheless suffer very seriously. In all probability her present promising movement in the direction or material improvement would be paralyzed and still worse results might be anticipated from the evil example of two sister republics having resorted to force to settle their difficulties.
The undersigned replied that he was fully convinced the Government of the United States had been actuated in this matter by the most friendly and disinterested motives, but that it had been misled by misrepresentation of the question by Guatemala. He would overlook for the present certain errors in the statement of historical facts as well as of some events of more recent date, appearing in the note of the honorable Secretary of State, errors attributable without doubt to the partial representations of the Guatemalan Government, and the fact that the history of Mexico is not generally known, as he proposed to himself without delay to prepare a memorandum in which that which has passed at this interview shall be more clearly presented the errors alluded to rectified, and certain ideas expressed by the honorable Secretary of State [Page 786]more fully and carefully considered. He limited himself for the time to showing that at no period has the claim which Mexico maintains to the territory in dispute between her and Guatemala been considered as founded on force or conquest, an assertion which can be clearly demonstrated at a more opportune moment.
The complaints of the Guatemalans therefore are not sincere, and the government of General Barrios well knows how very different the facts are from the representations it has made to the government at Washington.
Without any previous consultation with his excellency the President, he could assure Mr. Morgan that the friendly offers of his government were highly appreciated by Mexico, nor was there any reason whatever to apprehend an appeal to force for the settlement of this controversy with Guatemala, in view of the fact that for many years it had been discussed peacefully and patiently and it had always been the policy of Mexico to bring it to a friendly and satisfactory termination. The recent events of which the Guatemalan Government has complained have been matters of discussion in which it has not attempted to reply to the arguments advanced by Mexico, the later notes from this government remaining unanswered. Their tactics have consisted in avoiding argument and relying on delays and evasions.
The question as it stands at present awaits the report of a commission of engineers, appointed jointly by the two governments for the purpose of studying the frontier. These appointments were made by virtue of a convention suggested by Mexico, in which it was stipulated that there should be a suspension of the negotiations upon the question of the boundary, while the said commission should reconnoiter the frontier and establish certain points by astronomical observations, which might serve as bases for further discussion.
The time fixed by this convention has expired before the commissioners have concluded their work, and Mexico, always anxious to bring about a fair and conscientious settlement, is endeavoring to renew the convention in order that the reconnaissance may be completed, as it seems impossible to discuss the question intelligently or to arrive at any satisfactory terms of agreement without a fuller knowledge of the ground.
This will demonstrate two things to Mr. Morgan:
- That the Mexican Government strongly desires a just and peaceful solution of the controversy.
- That it is impossible to tell at present whether this question, or any branch of it, is in a proper condition to be submitted to arbitration. Respecting that phase of the controversy which involves a question of the rights of Mexico to the State of Chiapas with the department or district of Soconusco, which it has held in possession for so many years, the Government of Mexico has repeatedly declared that it cannot honorably entertain any discussion.
The pretensions of Guatemala which it is willing to discuss, and on account of which the mapping and reconnoitering of the frontier has been undertaken, are those especially relating to the boundaries of Chiapas and Soconusco, on the side of Guatemala, and even this portion of the question could not now be submitted to arbitration because the information necessary for its proper decision is still lacking.
Mexico, however, is far from refusing positively all proposals for arbitration, but it does not consider it advisable at present for the reasons expressed, and will reserve the right to determine whether or not it might accept such proposals at some future time, on certain points in regard to which arbitration might appear to be admissible.
Aside from these considerations, and without making any formal proposition to that effect, Mexico would be very glad indeed to accept the United States in the character of an arbitrator in its disputes with Guatemala, having the fullest confidence in the justice and impartiality of this mutual friend of the two parties.
The interview ended with promises from Mr. Morgan to send a copy of the note which he had read, and on the part of the undersigned to prepare this memorandum which, in addition to the foregoing, will embrace some observations touching the contents of the note alluded to.
An examination of this important note, a copy of which was sent to the Deparment the same day, I was impressed with the earnest desire, evidenced by the writer, to give assurance of the disinterested and friendly intentions of his nation. He uses the following words:
“Events still fresh in the memory of the present generation of Mexicans, and occurring at a period when the United States, although herself engaged in a tremendous civil war, freely lent her moral and material assistance to avert a danger from a foreign empire which menaced the existence of the Mexican Republic, should afford satisfactory evidence of the friendly disposition with which the United States regards all that concerns the welfare and existence of her sister republic on this continent.”
Indeed, Mexico can never forget that which the living generation of Mexicans experienced during the period to which the Hon. Mr. Blaine refers, when her people, exhausted, discouraged, and alone, struggled against the power of a foreign potentate, assisted by a misguided faction of her own population the United States did generously extend her moral support with such unmistakable evidence of popular sympathy [Page 787]that, had the circumstances been different, Mexico would have received such other support as would have terminated her struggle some years earlier.
In the same dispatch we are told that the forces of the Emperor Iturbide, having occupied a great portion of the territory of Central America, were constrained by a change in the fortunes of war to abandon all, even Soconusco and Chiapas, and that after Mexico had adopted republican institutions, she still persisted in claims to territory founded on the imperial policy of conquest and absorption.
In this statement several historical inaccurracies are apparent, one especially which must be attributed to misinformation or an imperfect acquaintance with Mexican history.
Even during the reign of Iturbide it was not by conquest, but in accordance with the free will and wishes of the inhabitants of Chiapas and Soconusco, that they were united to Mexico, as was equally the case with all the States of Central America, except San Salvador.
Afterward, availing themselves of the same liberty, these States withdrew from Mexico, and with Guatemala formed a republic. Chiapas and Soconusco did not take part in this movement, but, as Mexico had also become a republic, they repeated their adherence to her and remained incorporated with her government. It not being possible here to give a full historical account of these events, it may be sufficient to note the fact that several able and well-studied publications have appeared in relation to the persistent and reiterated pretensions of Guatemala, and showing clearly the right which, from the beginning, Mexico had acquired to this portion of her territory, founded not upon conquest, but upon the free will of its inhabitants. Among the published documents affording unanswerable evidence on these points may be noted those written respectively by Señor Don Matthias Romero and Don Manuel Larrianzar, gentlemen well acquainted with everything relating to Chiapas and Soconusco; Señor Larrianzar being a native of Chiapas and Señor Romero having lived in Soconusco and having been obliged to abandon his property there, it having been ruined by Guatemalan invasions.
But without reference to the contents of these publications, a proper understanding of the inaccuracy of the Guatemalan statement of this question may be obtained from the very able and exhaustive dispatch, with its accompanying proofs, which Señor La Fragua, as minister of foreign relations, directed to the Guatemalan minister in this capital on the 9th of October, 1875.
This dispatch, which was printed and published, triumphantly vindicates the original rights of Mexico to Chiapas and Soconusco, now assured beyond controversy by a possession of forty years’ duration.
This dispatch, which it might be supposed would have elicited a serious reply from the representative of Guatemala, still remains unanswered, a tacit acknowledgment that it is unanswerable. It requires but a brief résumé of the points exhibited in this length dispatch to prove that the titles of Mexico have not been derived from absorption and conquest, as the calumniators of this republic may have induced Mr. Blaine to believe.
The concluding portion of the document alluded to has the following:
“Summing up all that has been presented in this note, the following points are demonstrated:
- “1st. Chiapas was a province possessing equal rights with the others composing the captaincy-general of Guatemala.
- “2d. Chiapas, on the 3d of September, 1821, seceded voluntarily from Guatemala and united herself with Mexico.
- “3d. Chiapas, on the 12th of September, 1824, united herself again with the Mexican States, by the free vote of a majority of her inhabitants. The election, which resulted in a large majority in favor of Mexico, took place when there was no Mexican force anywhere within the territory.
- “4th. Soconusco in 1821 was a portion of the province of Chiapas, and as such united herself to the Mexican Empire.
- “5th. Soconusco in 1821 was a portion of the province of Chiapas, and by her free vote united herself to Mexico on the 3d of May.
- “6th. The act passed on the 24th of July, 1824, in Tachapula was revolutionary and illegal.
- “7th. Central America recognized the supreme junta of Chiapas and agreed to respect its determination.”
Without copying the whole résumé, enough has been cited to convince any one that the Mexican Government does not base its original claim to Chiapas and Soconusco on the right of conquest.
In regard to recent events, there are four points of complaint urged against Mexico which the Government of Guatemala has made available in presenting its case to the United States.[Page 788]
- That diplomacy has been unavailing in bringing about an agreement with Mexico.
- That there was a preliminary convention and some steps taken to ascertain what were the true boundaries, but the commissioners appointed by Guatemala and sent to reconnoiter the ground for the purpose of obtaining a basis for a definite agreement had been thrown into prison by the Mexican authorities.
- That the agents of Guatemala charged with taking a census in the territory in question had been treated in the same manner.
- That the Mexican Government had been encroaching, cautiously but constantly, on the border territory which had formerly been under the jurisdiction of Guatemala, ousting her local officers and substituting those of Mexico in their stead, thus stretching her authority over the disputed area.
We will reply to these charges in their proper order.
I. The efforts to settle this question of boundaries diplomatically have invariably been initiated by Mexico. In 1832 the Mexican Government sent to Guatemala, as envoy extraordinary and minister pleinpotentiary, Señor Don Manuel Diez de Bonilla; and in 1853 it sent Señor Don Juan N. de Pereda in the same character, without, however, obtaining any satisfactory result. Señor Pereda remained in Guatemala until 1–58. In the frequent conferences which he had with Señor Don Manuel Pavon, then the Guatemalan minister of foreign relations, that gentleman constantly declined to enter into any treaty on the subject of boundaries, saying that Guatemala had proposed in the negotiations pending with Mexico to recognize simply the statu quo of the boundary lines between the two countries without any alteration whatever.
At length Señor Pereda was constrained to suspend official relations with the Guatemalan, Government on account of its persistent refusal to treat on this question of boundaries, and because in an ungracious and offensive manner it declined at his instance to send to the interior certain political emigrants from Mexico who were conspiring against the peace of that republic.
There was no further attempt to negotiate on the boundary question until October, 1873, when Señor Lafragua, minister of foreign relations, directed a note to Señor Garcia Granados, chargé” d’affaires for Guatemala, urging the necessity of a final disposition of that question. In effect, he invited the government of that republic to name a plenipotentiary authorized to open negotiations at this capital.
Señor Uriarte, the new Mexican minister from Guatemala, replied, after a delay of several months (in July, 1874), and after making inquiry by letter, of Señor Lafragua if he would accept the proposed invitation, declared that he was clothed with full powers to enter upon the negotiations.
On the 21st of August, Señor Uriarte presented a memorandum to serve as a basis for the discussion. After various conferences Señor Lafragua replied to the memorandum in a note dated October 9, 1875, which was accompanied by the project of a treaty to arrange the boundaries between the two republics. This important note, of which we have spoken, has never been answered, as previously stated.
In July, 1877, negotiations were renewed by Señor Vallarta, as plenipotentiary on the part of Mexico, and Señor Uriarte, minister of Guatemala. The result was the convention of the 7th of December of the same year.
II. Reference is made to this convention in the note of the Hon. Mr. Blaine.
By this convention, as has been before indicated, a mixed commission was created, composed of mixed and Guatemalan engineers, who were charged with the survey and mapping of the disputed districts, and the fixing of certain points astronomically for the purpose of furnishing some reliable data and throwing more light upon the question, continuing their operations during the discussion of the subject between the two republics.
In the tenth article it was stipulated that during the suspension of negotiations both the contracting parties should repect and exact respect for “actual possession,” neither making nor permitting any movement whatever in regard to boundaries, and suppressing every act of hostility, either proceeding from the authorities or the citizens of the respective countries.
The commissioners met in Tapachula on the 18th of November, 1878, and commenced operations. On the 26th of January, 1880, three engineers of the Guatemalan party accompanied by several natives appeared in the vicinity of Cuilco Viejo, a town of Soconusco, and set up a cross. The local authorities supposed that this meant a movement of the landmark Pinabete, recognized as a boundary between the two republics, and which was situated eight leagues more to the north—the people of Tacaná pertaining to Guatemala having done the same thing several years before.
Under this impression, they interrogated the engineers, who, failing to give any satisfactory explanation of their action or to exhibit any papers by which their true character might be understood, were, in consequence, arrested by the said authorities and afterward sent to Tapachula. Here they were immediately set at liberty by the political chief, who also gave them full satisfaction for their detention. This is the [Page 789]only instance in which Guatemala can complain of the arrest of her commissioners, and it would seem in this case that ample satisfaction had been tendered.
At the time the Mexican Government believed that the local authorities had acted under an erroneous impression, but subsequent acts of the Guatemalan Government have justified the surmise that this was actually an attempt to remove the boundary.
III. A similar attempt made some time previously had occasioned the arrest of the Guatemalan agents to whom we have alluded. In December, 1880, a commission composed of the alcalde of Tacaná, and four other individuals went for the ostensible purpose of taking a census of the occupants of some ranches which, although a league distant from the town of Cuilco Viejo, were considered as included within its corporate limits. Although they went under the pretense of taking a census, their real object was to exercise some act of jurisdiction which might be used as evidence that these ranches belonged to Guatemala. It may be remarked that the inhabitants of Tacaná, of whose alcalde we are speaking, were the same people who moved the boundary mark of Pinabete some time before, which, if it had been permitted to remain, would have included the said ranches within the jurisdiction of Guatemala. And we may further note that they had located this landmark in the same spot where the engineers had erected their cross.
These agents spoken of, being in the act of violating an agreement by which they were bound to respect “actual possession” were therefore properly arrested and arraigned before the district judge, that they might be tried in conformity with the provisions of Mexican law.
The minister of Guatemala made reclamations in this case, insisting that these ranches did actually belong to his country.
In the reply which was given, dated the 27th of January, ultimo, the inaccuracy of his assertions was clearly demonstrated; by the authority of the official map recognized by Guatemala itself, it was evident that the said ranches were located within the provisional limits of Mexico, and that they belonged to this republic.
In refutation of the charges against the Mexican authorities, made in the note of Señor Herrera, it can be shown by recent events that the abuses complained of are all chargeable to the Guatemalan authorities.
As Señor Herrera had based the rights of his country to the places indicated, upon the fact that certain auxiliary alcaldes had been appointed by the authority of Sabinal, a town of Guatemala, the undersigned notified him that these appointments had been made for the first time, while the stipulations of the convention were still in force, which bound the two countries mutually to respect the statu quo in regard to boundaries, and that for the rest the fact only proved that Guatemala had violated her faith, pledged by the articles of said convention.
Señor Herrera confined his answer to saying that he would communicate the contents of this note to his government, and up to date it has remained without further reply.
IV. The charges against Mexico under this heading, to the effect that she has been generally and vaguely encroaching upon Guatemalan territory, are not only entirely false, but singularly reckless.
There exists a map of Soconusco projected by Don José C. Ibarra, very carefully planned, which may be seen by reading the geographical and statistical notices of that department which appear upon the margin. Upon this map are marked in red lines the old boundaries, and with green those which appear to have been recognized more recently. The intervening space between these lines indicates the encroachments made by Guatemala, and finally in a marginal note the dates at which these advances were made have been distinctly specified.
Latterly these encroachments have continued, and the archives of the department of foreign relations are filled with the proceedings to which they have given rise from 1870 to the present day.
Without, perhaps, being the most notable, yet we may call attention to the invasion which had for its object the destruction of the property of Señor Don Mathias Romero in Soconusco, an event to which we have already alluded. Señor Romero is well known in Washington, where he resided for some years as the representative of Mexico.
Notwithstanding the moderation and prudence which distinguish his character, he could not escape the outrages of an invasion, in which certain natives of Guatemala, by order of one of the officials of that State, entered his domain lying within Mexican territory, destroying his property, making prisoner of one of his dependents and ill-treating others.
In November, 1875, he presented his complaint to the Guatemalan Government, but up to date has received neither acknowledgment nor redress.
In the same month and year the engineer Don Alexander Prieto, secretary of the Mexican legation at Guatemala, made a reconnaissance of the frontier under instructions from Señor Garza, then our minister near that government. He traveled and made the reconnaissance in company with Señor General Barrios, President of Guatemala [Page 790](as we are informed by Señor Garza in a letter to Señor Lafragua). The governor of Chiapas, in office 26th of November, 1875, was also in company.
The result of this visit, was a topographical sketch prepared by Prieto, which is preserved in the department, and which from the fact of its having been prepared under the inspection of President Barrios himself, and for other reasons, should be regarded with suspicion by Guatemala. In this sketch the line of the actually existing boundary is laid down, as are also the points which were in dispute. This line, therefore, should indicate the statu quo intended to be observed by the convention of 1877.
It will appear, then, from the notes of the Guatemalan minister himself, that his government, so far from having respected these stipulations, has violated them in Ponintana, Las Chicharras, Cuilco Viejo and other points.
The same government has gone so far as to justify the acts of the alcalde Meoño, who attempted to assassinate a Mexican surveyor and set fire to ranchos on Mexican soil. It has done more; in December of the past year it sent a force or permitted it to be placed under the orders of the prefect of San Marcos (a department of Guatemala), which invaded our territory and destroyed the boundary mark of Pinabete (the same that was destroyed by the inhabitants of Tacaná, and which was afterwards replaced. The said prefect then proceeded to hoist the Guatemalan flag precisely on the spot near Cuilco Viejo where the mysterious cross had been planted by the Guatemalan engineers.
Remonstrances against such proceedings having been made to Guatemala, that government refused to make any explanations to our minister, upon the pretext that the affair should be settled in Mexico, as Señor Loaerza had no instructions to receive the explanations.
The minister of foreign relations, Señor Montrefor, feeling himself embarrassed when our representative sent him a copy of a letter from the undersigned, expressing great surprise at his conduct, replied that the occurrences in question had taken place on Guatemalan territory, without advancing any reasons for his statement, and forgetting that the undersigned in his unanswered note of 27th of January ultimo had demonstrated the contrary.
In the mean time (since December 31, 1879) the terms of the convention of 7th of December, 1877, had expired before the scientific commission had completed its work. The Mexican Government then proposed to Guatemala that the convention should be renewed, extending the agreement for a sufficient time to accomplish the desired object, determining at the same time that its engineers should continue on the frontier as they have done in spite of the fact that the Guatemalan engineers had been withdrawn by their government, and that without giving Mexico notice of their removal.
The President of Guatemala, however, has personally informed our minister that he was willing to renew the convention and had sent instructions to this effect to Señor Herrera, the Guatemalan minister at Mexico.
Nevertheless, Señor Herrera has for several months considered himself without instructions that would enable him to negotiate, and alleges that those sent him were not sufficiently explicit. At this date (July 11), when Señor Herrera called on the undersigned to speak of the friendly offers of the United States, he was asked if Guatemala had yet sent the promised instructions to her minister; he intimated that he had them now as he had wished.
This conduct of his government, insincere and apparently incomprehensible, now finds its explanation in the approaches which the President of Guatemala has through his representative made to the Government of the United States.
President Barrios, if we may judge from the facts, has hoped to gain time by applying to a friendly government, complaining of imaginary injuries on the part of Mexico, and giving a false coloring to her conduct while he was begging for friendly assistance.
In this application, however, it appears that he has failed to make any reference to the fact that at the solicitation of Mexico there was a pending negotiation for the renewal of the convention for the continuance of the reconnaissance and study of the frontier—a work which has been recognized and proclaimed by both governments to be absolutely indispensable to enable them to fix the international boundaries, whether by diplomatic negotiations or any other peaceful means.
The omissions and misstatements of General Barrios’s government in its representations to the President of the United States, as well as the rest of his conduct in relation to this question of boundaries with Mexico, characterize his policy in this matter as entirely wanting in sincerity and frankness.
All of which clearly indicates that the Government of Guatemala has no wish to settle this question unless from some secure vantage ground (which it hopes perhaps to attain) by which it may realize all its pretensions, and it would appear meanwhile that it is disposed to stop at nothing which might promise to subserve its ends in this direction, assuming new obligations without any intention of fulfilling them, and evading all responsibilities by fresh intrigues and subterfuges. The facts briefly noted [Page 791]in this writing, in connection with others which we have not been able to present, authorize the suspicion that this government in question in applying to that of the United States did not propose to itself (as might superficially appear) to find an arbitrator to settle the question of boundaries.
It is sufficiently obvious that Mexico could not under any circumstances submit her rights in Chiapas and Soconusco to arbitrament, as these States have for many years belonged to the Mexican Union and form an integral portion of the republic.
It is equally impossible properly to arrange the boundary line between this State and Guatemala, without the preliminary knowledge of the ground in controversy, whoever might be the arbitrator that should undertake it.
The real object, therefore, in this apparent call for arbitration, can be nothing more than to gain time, as on other occasions, to continue the petty encroachments as heretofore, and to weaken the action of the Mexican Government to the condition of the simple defense of its own national territory.
The undersigned, for the purpose of preserving a record of that which occurred in his interview with Mr. Morgan and the observations suggested by the note of the Hon. Mr. Blaine, has prepared this memorandum, and in evidence thereof affixes his signature thereto.