No. 538.
Mr. Christiancy to Mr. Blaine.

No. 265.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 263, I have the honor to inclose to you an extract from an editorial in the Actualidad, the Chilian Government [Page 889] organ here, of March 21, with a translation, showing that the Chilian commanders claim, as conquerors, the right to take the apparatus of the School of Arts, as well as books, scientific apparatus, and paintings; that they place all the public buildings, including the palace of government, ending with the last hut or tent of the guards, and all public works, the railroads, with all the bridges over water courses crossing public roads, on the same ground.

That you may understand the full significance of this, I will say that the Orden, the only paper here published in the interest of the new Peruvian Government, had complained in a very mild and subdued form of the taking of libraries, scientific apparatus, and the property of schools and colleges; and this editorial in the Actualidad (the whole of which is very severe) makes this answer.

It is true they place the right claimed upon the ground of indemnifying themselves for the expenses of war, and compelling the enemy to put an end to the war. But it is easy to see that this pretext may always be put forth with equal justice, and thus the obligation to respect libraries, paintings, works of science and art, as well as schools, colleges, and public buildings, may always be evaded, if it can be in the present case.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure No. 1 in No. 265.—Translation.—From La Actualidad, March 21, 1881.]

* * * * * * *

The Chilian authorities have determined to follow and will still continue to dispose of national property of Peru, with the indisputable right, conceded by all the nations of the world to the conqueror, when it is to repay himself the expenses of the war, and when he has at hand the means of coercion, which obliges the enemy to put an end to the war, in order to prevent worse evils.

This is, nevertheless, the protest of the gentlemen of El Orden, what the Chilian authorities have done with the work-shops of cartridges, the machines of the school of arts, with books and instruments of sciences, and with one historical picture.

They can do it to-morrow with all the public buildings, beginning from the palace of government and ending with the last sentry-box.

They can, the day after to-morrow, still follow in doing so with all the public works, beginning with the railroads and ending even with the bridges over the water-courses crossing public works.

This is the right of the conqueror, and that of the conquered is to keep silence when he has not sought in time the means to avoid those evils of which he complains.

Consequently, we protest against the protests dissemblingly initiated by El Orden No. 14, accentuated in No. 15, and probably so out of all limits in to-day’s number, or to-morrow’s, or that of any of those days.

To begin by estimating, to follow with, complaints, and to continue with charges, may end very soon, in great haste, with the armed protest, which is the last tone of the scale.