No. 283.
Mr. Phelps to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 78.]

Sir: The mails brought the written instructions of the several protesting Governments, and I have the honor to send you a copy of the text in English, together with the reply of the Peruvian minister for foreign affairs, with translation.

The ratifications of the treaty were duly exchanged in Lima on the 28th ultimo.

As yet there is nothing given out in respect to the movements of the Chilian troops.

Meanwhile most of Peru appears to be in the control of Caceres and of bands of Montoneros. Caceres has pushed his regular troops out upon the lines towards the sea and it is reported that the Chilian troops beyond the Cordillera have been ordered to this side.

The assembly adjourned on the 31st ultimo to meet the first day of March, 1885. As reported, it conferred dictatorial powers upon Iglesias and continued its own existence.

General Iglesias, in remarks made to the assembly, said that he should, in the exercise of the powers given him, regard the personal security and honor of all citizens.

I am, &c.,

[Page 417]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 78.]

joint note of protest.

* * * * * * *

Government has learned with satisfaction that a treaty of peace has been concluded between the Republics of Chili and Peru, which treaty, in order to become binding, only requires to be ratified by the legislative power in both countries. As a Congress will meet at Lima early in March, the time approaches when the engagements agreed upon will be submitted to the lawful representatives of Peru.

The text of the said convention, which has been made public through various channels, contains stipulations which belong to two different orders of ideas. Some are exclusively political and regulate the respective situations of the contracting countries; these * * * Government leaves out of consideration.

The others are relative to the debts of Peru, that is to say to the rights of neutrals which are affected by the cession of a certain number of provinces to the Republic of Chili; such are Articles IV, VI, VIII, and X, of the treaty. * * * Government could not help taking notice of the above-mentioned stipulations which interest * * * subjects in a direct manner. It appears to * * * that they constitute a serious derogation to the rules usually observed in such cases, and a breach of the contracts which have been entered into between Peru and her creditors, the object of the said clauses in sanctioning a cession of territory in favor of one of the contracting parties being to free the said territory from the obligations which weigh upon it in behalf of a third party. They set aside various mortgages which form the special or collective lien the creditors of Peru have upon the whole of the valuable guano or nitrate deposits discovered or which may be discovered in the ceded provinces. Under the circumstances and while experiencing the sincere wish that the essential part of the treaty will be ratified without delay, and that friendly relations between the two states will be placed on a durable basis, * * * Government is of opinion that * * * cannot allow the clauses of the treaty concerning the settlement of the Peruvian debt to become obligatory without formally protesting against them, and that * * * ought to consider them of no value as far as * * * subjects are concerned. Therefore * * * insist upon the said clauses being reserved with a view to a friendly understanding between the two Governments and the interested parties being arrived at, or upon a more satisfactory solution, which will guarantee the contracts with the creditors being immediately submitted to the acceptance of the congress which is about to meet in Lima. Moreover, they hope that the cabinets of Santiago and Lima will, without difficulty, perceive the necessity of a modification which will strengthen the credit of Peru and add to the good name of Chili.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 78.—Translation.]

reply to the joint note of protest concerning the debt stipulations of the chili-peruvian treaty of peace.

Sir: I have had the honor to receive your dispatch of yesterday’s date, in which you are good enough to inform me that in obedience to the instructions you have received from your Government, you place in my hands the identical note, the sending of which you announced to this ministry on the 20th of February last, signed by the European powers, which appear to have framed the protest against some of the articles of the treaty of peace and friendship concluded on the 20th of October, 1883, between Peru and Chili, which, as you are aware, is already a law of the Republic, having been approved by constituent national assembly and ratified by the executive power.

I have to state to you in reply, even without taking into account the fact above mentioned, that it is not possible to consider the contents of the said note so long as my Government is not officially and directly recognized by that you so worthily represent.

When that recognition has taken place my Government will return an appropriate answer, in accordance with principles of justice and that loyalty which has always characterized the international policy of Peru, without forgetting her rights as a sovereign and independent nation.