to Mr. Bayard.
Madrid , September 29, 1886. (Received October 18.)
Sir: Your cablegram produced in the legation surprise. At once I sought an interview with the minister of state to ask an explanation of what, if unexplained, would place the Spanish Government in the attitude of a nullification of its solemn and clearly understood agreement. The minister being engaged in a council, I left a note asking an early interview. This was granted for the next day, and I availed myself of it to present the matter of your cablegram in the strongest light I could. I submitted a memorandum at the same time, a copy of which is inclosed. The minister said my statement was strictly accurate, and he was sure there was some misunderstanding, as the object of the order of the minister of ultramar was to equalize the flags of the two nations. On my request to put in writing such a statement as might be used as a basis for a cablegram, he said he would consult with his colleague of ultramar and send the paper in twenty-four hours.
* * * I waited two days and received a note asking me “to excuse these unavoidable delays,” as “the colonial secretary has cabled for some information wanted to give the answer I (he) promised.” To this note I responded immediately.
Thus the matter stands. The Madrid papers, about two weeks ago, discovered that the order of June had been issued and began a series of attacks on the minister of state and the Government. What effect these criticisms had can only be conjectured.
Of the sincerity of the minister of state and his purpose, so far as lies in his power, to carry out, in good faith, the agreement, I have not a doubt.
The matter shall have constant and earnest attention, and the Department shall be advised by cablegram whenever anything definite occurs.
* * * * * * *
I have, &c.,