Mr. Scruggs to Mr. Bayard.
Bogota, April 7, 1885. (Received May 26.)
Sir: On yesterday I sent you a cable dispatch, as follows:
The Colombian Government has declared the ports of Barranquilla and Santa Martha closed, and the vessels occupied by the rebels to be pirates. It desires that the exportation of arms to the Atlantic ports in possession of the rebels be prohibited.
This was sent at the urgent request of the Colombian Government, which had just received intelligence of the occupation of the ports named by the insurgents, and that they likewise had possession (by what means unknown) of one or two sea-going vessels.
I suggested the impracticability of declaring a port blockaded before the Government had the means of enforcing such blockade, and that marine vessels could hardly be considered pirates so long as their papers were regular and they carried their flags authorizedly.
Nevertheless, though concurring in these opinions, the President asked, as a special favor, that I communicate the facts to you; and that I would make known his desire that exportation of arms to the ports named be prohibited.
In the interior, the Government forces have been generally successful; but the Magdalena River, all the river steamers, the two sea ports named, and possibly other districts on the coast, are still in possession of the insurgents.
I have, &c.,