No. 732.
Mr. Baker to Mr. Blaine.

No. 363.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 361 of date 23d instant, I inclose herewith a copy and translation of the additional note from Mr. Saavedra, [Page 1205] therein referred to, and which was received too late to copy and translate for the mail which carried that dispatch. I also inclose a copy of my note in response to this last note of Mr. Saavedra.

At the time of writing my dispatch No. 361 I was uncertain whether or not Mr. Saavedra proposed sending me a further note stating with more definiteness and detail the proposition made to France and England, and intended, as you will see by his note, for the United States also, but, upon subsequently meeting him, he indicated that no further note on the point was intended. As being germane to the subject, I draw your attention to the Department’s No. 48 to me.

For the rest, in view of the poor and weak condition of this country, and of the ill effects which a rupture with France might have upon American and other interests here, I earnestly recommend that our government do what it properly may to relieve it from its present embarrassments with France, if at the time of receiving this dispatch need therefor should be apparent.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 363.—Translation.]

Mr. Saavedra to Mr. Baker.

The undersigned, minister ad interim of exterior relations, referring to his note of the 20th to the most excellent minister resident of the United States of North America, must now add something more to its contents, with the request that he will bring it also to the notice of his government.

Heretofore there has been presented to it a proposition respecting the receipt and distribution of the product of the 13 per cent, fixed in the estimate among the creditor governments of Venezuela on account of the diplomatic debt.

The government has not yet received the acceptance of this proposition, although it expects it (la espera) with anxiety, and having, as it now has, good reasons to believe that from one moment to another the order will come to the chargé d’affaires of France to break relations with Venezuela and withdraw himself, which would embarrass the arrangement, it has seen itself in the condition to make him a new proposition capable of regulating his withdrawal and rupture, thus giving time to receive from the United States the acceptance of the arrangement proposed to them.

In view of this the Government of Venezuela hopes that that of the United States will not wonder at this step (no extrañasá este paso) taken by force of circumstances; and in communicating it to your excellency it is with the view of giving you the corresponding explanation of the occurrence.

Besides as it concerns the national executive to separate the British Government from the French in this matter, it has made to the legation of England the same new proposition, which it submits immediately to the consideration of the government of your excellency, to the end that it may choose between it and the first that which may appear most convenient to it, with the understanding that to Venezuela the one and the other are equal, always supposing that the government of your excellency intervenes in the matter, which without doubt will secure the good end which is aspired to.

The new proposition consists in offering payment in the five per cent, consolidated debt, admitted already by the Italian Government for claims of the same class as the French. The acceptance of this debt, which has a high value in the market, with the probability of augmentation, would produce the advantage of putting at once in the hands of the interested the whole of their credits, in a paper which, for the security with which the interest will be paid monthly and the capital be amortized by auctions (por remates) could enter advantageously into every sort of negotiation. Besides, in prevision of whatever contingency, it will be stipulated that, in case of there being any alteration in the actual law of public credit, things will be re-established in their actual state.

The undersigned renews, &c.,

[Page 1206]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 263.]

Mr. Baker to Mr. Saavedra.

The undersigned, minister resident of the United States, has just received the note of his excellency the minister of exterior relations ad interim of this date, and in further notice of the existing relations between the Government of Venezuela and that of France; and the undersigned assures his excellency that he will as soon as practicable, and in a friendly manner, bring this note to the knowledge of his government.

The undersigned renews, &c.