Mr. Christiancy to Mr. Blaine.
Lima, Peru , March 21, 1881. (Received April 16.)
Sir: Referring to my dispatches Nos. 253 and 259, I have now the honor further to inform you, in further answer to your dispatch No. 123, that as the Chilian authorities here had constantly declared their fixed determination not to accept the arbitration, mediation, or even the good offices of any other government in bringing about a peace with Peru and Bolivia, I could see no door open by which I could approach the Chilian authorities here, without appearing to be officiously [Page 886] impertinent and intermeddling. Nevertheless, on the 16th instant, hearing that General Saavedra and Mr. Altamirano (the last of whom seemed to be the representative of the Chilian Government here in matters not strictly military) were to leave on that day for Chili, I left on that day with Mr. Vergara, the Chilian secretary of war at the palace, to be shown to Mr. Altamirano, before he should leave, a copy of so much of your dispatch No. 123 as reads as follows:
I find it necessary to desire yon to press upon the Government of Peru, and on such Chilian authorities as you may have access to, the earnest desire of this government to bring about a peace without unnecessary delay, and upon reasonable and honorable terms compatible with the true welfare of all the belligerents, so as to be lasting.
I thought it well that Mr. Altamirano should take this or the knowledge of this with him to the Government of Chili. But I did not think it wise to go any further at this moment, or without further instructions from your Department, as it appears to me quite evident that the Chilian Government have determined to make Peru drink the last dregs in the cup of national humiliation, in any peace she will be ready to grant, and that nothing short of active intervention of the United States, or some foreign power or powers, can defeat the determination. And, though it is not for the interest of the United States or any other neutral power thus to humiliate Peru, yet in view of the traditional policy of the United States it would not be possible for me thus to intervene between the three belligerents, towards whom our government entertains equally friendly sentiments. I could only be warranted in doing so by the express directions of my government.
Please see my next dispatch, No. 262, in answer to your No. 129.
I have, &c.,