Mr. Fairchild to Mr. Evarts.
Madrid , December 16, 1880. (Received January 3.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith inclosed a copy and translation of a note dated December 11, 1880, from Señor Elduayen, minister of state, to me, giving the information that his excellency is advised by telegraph from the governor-general of Cuba that the investigation of the circumstances under which the American vessels mentioned in your instruction No. 52, August 11, 1880, were detained and searched by Spanish war vessels, will soon terminate, and that, in the opinion of the governor-general of Cuba, the intelligence and information gathered by him will show that the searches took place in Spanish waters, and were effected subject to the prescriptions and usages established by international and maritime right, and without protest from the vessels searched, and without any claim from the admiral of the United States, who was intrusted with the examination of the case.
Señor Elduayen expresses the hope that when the investigations are brought to a close this matter may be decided by both governments with the spirit of impartiality and good understanding which actuates them in their international intercourse.
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I have this day replied to Señor Elduayen’s note, a copy of my note being herewith inclosed. I deemed it proper to call his excellency’s attention to the fact that any evidence upon which the governor-general of Cuba can properly base the opinion which is foreshadowed in [Page 1046] his telegram, that the events referred to took place within waters under the jurisdiction of Spain, and in accordance with international law, must be essentially different from that which has been laid before the United States Government.
I did not hesitate to assure Señor Elduayen that the Government of the United States will enter upon the discussion of this question in a friendly and impartial spirit.
It seems probable, from the tone of this telegraphic report of the governor-general of Cuba, that the statements which have been made to the State Department by those who were on board the vessels searched will be contradicted in some considerable degree by the evidence gathered by that official.
I will promptly transmit to you any further information I may receive, and will use the telegraph whenever doing so will materially hasten the final conclusion of the matter.
I have, &c.,