Mr. Fairchild to Mr. Blaine.
San Ildefonso, July 22, 1881. (Received August 13.)
Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 148, I have the honor to report that in my interview of the 19th instant I asked the minister of state (unofficially) if His Majesty the King had been invited to act as arbiter on the question of the boundary-line between the Republic of Costa Rica and the State of Panama. His excellency replied that as yet the King had not been invited to act in such capacity, and further that the government had no information on the subject other than that obtained through the press.
I then said to him that in the event of an invitation being received I would be greatly obliged if he would kindly inform the legation, in order that it might be able to submit to him the views of the United States on the subject—being careful, at the same time, to assure him that the United States entertained no objection whatever to His Majesty acting as arbiter, but that as the United States had not been consulted in the matter of the negotiation of the convention between Colombia and Costa Rica providing for the proposed arbitration, as it had the right to be, under Article XXXV of the treaty with Colombia of December 12, 1846, it deemed it proper, in order to avoid any future misunderstanding which might arise between the two governments, that His Majesty [Page 1063] should be fully and frankly informed of its views upon the subject. His excellency replied that he did not see how he could very well inform the legation in the event of an invitation being received, suggesting that it would seem more proper to have the information proceed from Washington.
The matter will be closely watched by the legation, and should it ascertain at any time, for a certainty, that such an invitation has been received, will at once communicate to the minister of state the substance of your instruction.
I have, &c.,