to Mr. Porter.
Guayaquil, Ecuador, June 12, 1885. (Received June 25.)
Sir: On the 12th ultimo I received at Quito the following cablegram from Secretary Bayard, which was received at Guayaquil on the 6th and from there sent me by mail:
We bold Santos’ citizenship fully established and not debatable and expect treatment accordingly. Wachusett will soon return to Guayaquil bearing full instructions.
The day following I wrote a note to the minister of foreign relations, that the determination and expectation of our Government concerning Mr. Santos should be known to the Government of Ecuador; and likewise, for the purpose of having the Government of Ecuador assent to an investigation of the charges against Mr. Santos, which I inferred was to be the purpose of the visit of the Wachusett. A copy of my note is given in an inclosure. On the 15th I received a reply. The President came to Quito on the 15th, and on the 19th, at his request, I held an interview with him and the minister of foreign relations at the capital, regarding the Santos matter. The President said that Minister Flores was in Washington and had had one interview with Secretary Bayard, and was soon to have another. He said the Government had evidence (which he offered to loan me) showing that Mr. Santos intended making Ecuador his home. I replied that I had no authority in the matter, and no opinion to give, I made a very earnest appeal for consent that an investigation be made of the charges against Mr. Santos by representatives of the United States: for it appeared to me that it would be exceedingly difficult and disagreeable to undertake an investigation without that consent, as it might even be impossible to have any intercourse with Mr. Santos. The President replied that the question of citizenship must first be determined before the Secretary of State and Minister Flores. If it was found that Mr. Santos was not a citizen of the United States, then the United States had no control over him. If it was determined that lie was a citizen of the United States, no obstacle would be interposed to an investigation, though he was being tried according to the laws of the country to which he was amenable. The note of reply mentioned, was of the same import.
On returning to Guayaquil I found Department of State dispatch No. 37, dated May 8. In regard to its contents, so far as it relates to the reference of the question of Mr. Santos’s citizenship to Washington, until the cablegram was received by me May 12, I supposed from what had preceded, that this was the first question to be determined by the evidence adduced, and I considered Washington the most favorable place for its determination.
The cablegram from Secretary Bayard of May 21 was received by the vice-consul-general before I had arrived at Guayaquil. In his dispatches numbered 123 and 124, dated May 29, to the Department of State, he sets forth all the information that has been received here.
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I have presented the whole matter within my knowledge as it appears up to this date.
I am, &c.,