Mr. Becerra to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, March 17, 1885. (Received March 17.)
Sir: With positive pain I am obliged most respectfully to call your attention to what, according to information received by me, is now going on in the port of the city of New York, in the matter of the shipment of arms and munitions and the sending of vessels for the purpose of assisting [Page 237] the armed rebels who are now resisting on the Atlantic coast of Colombia the authority of the General Government of that Republic, which is on terms of friendship with the United States of America.
I am informed, first, that the schooner George W. Whitford, chartered expressly for this purpose, has sailed from the aforesaid port for the Mulata Islands, where there is no port open to foreign commerce, having on board arms and munitions purchased in that city by rebel agents. The vessel was cleared without any intervention on the part of the Colombian consul at New York. Second. The steamer Albano, of the Atlas line, which, according to information furnished by the New York custom-house, had on board elements of war for Colombian ports, was not detained, notwithstanding reports to the contrary furnished by officers of the Government in that city.
I trust, Mr. Secretary of State, that you will deign to take note of these facts, and that, being animated by the high spirit of justice which has ever characterized the American Government, you will order such an investigation as may tend to bring the true condition of things to light, and to restore tranquillity to the minds of those who, like me, representing the dearest interests of their country, earnestly desire the strict fulfillment by the subordinate authorities of the many efficient legal provisions which guarantee the neutrality of the United States and call for the punishment of those who transgress the same.
With sentiments, &c.,