to Mr. Osborn
Washington , October 13, 1880.
Sir: I transmit herewith, for your perusal, copy of a dispatch,* No. 205, of the 7th ultimo, from Mr. Ernest Dichman, the United States minister resident at Bogota, transmitting the text of a convention concluded at that capital on the 4th ultimo, between the representatives of Chili and Colombia, for the preservation of peace between the two republics.
It does not seem necessary to transmit to you the text of the convention itself, inasmuch as it will probably have been brought to your notice before this instruction reaches you. I may, however, remark that besides advocating the general principle of arbitration in settlement of international disputes, this convention establishes that system of appeal as between the co-signatory states, and provides for the designation of the President of the United States as arbitrator between them in event of a case arising incapable of settlement without recourse to arbitration.
The intelligence conveyed by Mr. Dichman’s dispatch is viewed with lively satisfaction, as indicating not merely concurrence with the great principles of international arbitration, which this country has so signally and practically maintained, but as evincing also that confidence in the impartial amity of this government for the sister republic of the American continent which it has always been our high privilege to welcome on every fitting occasion, and to strengthen by our own example of good will and kindly interest in their welfare.
The convention provides, in its concluding article, for ratification and exchange, at Santiago or Bogota, within a year from its date. It may be premature to instruct you to make any official declaration in the premises in advance of the subject of the treaty being brought to your cognizance by the Chilian minister for foreign affairs, but you may now informally say to him, repeating the statement officially in due time if the Chilian Government should invite such a course, that, should occasion for arbitration between the two countries arise under the treaty, the President will deem himself privileged in being able to respond to the flattering trust thus reposed in him, and so evincing the friendship of the people and Government of the United States for both republics.
I am, &c.,