Mr. Bayard to Mr. Scruggs .
Washington , May 19, 1885.
Sir: I herewith inclose copies of reports from the law officer of the Department, No. 34, April 21, 1885, and 57, of May 18, 1885, in regard to the seizure of the boats of the United Magdalena Steam Navigation Company by armed forces in the United States of Colombia. I add in this connection a copy of a telegram to the Department, of the 16th instant, from the president and secretary of the company at New York, and a copy of a letter of the 18th instant from the attorney of the company at this capital. The two letters of Mr. Hood, of April 14, 1885, and May 11, 1885, with their accompaniments, have been sent to the Secretary of the Navy in original, and their return requested when he shall have made such use of them as he shall deem necessary in connection with the Department’s recommendation, following the second suggestion of report No. 57, that proper instructions be immediately issued to the commander of the naval authorities in Colombia for the recapture, when on the high seas, by any force the United States may be able to use for that purpose, of the vessels of the Magdalena Steam Navigation Company thus unlawfully seized and possessed by the insurgents.
Upon the return of Mr. Hood’s letters of April 14 and May 11 last to this Department, copies of the same will be at once made and forwarded to you to complete the record in this case.
I am, &c.,