to Mr. King.
Washington, October 13, 1886.
Sir: I have received and read with much interest your No. 70, of the 11th September last, transmitting the text and translation of a law enacted by the Colombian Congress on the 18th of last August, providing for the consideration and decision of all foreign claims arising out of the late rebellion by the Executive of the Republic, through the medium of the minister of foreign affairs, with the right of appeal to the courts of law from such decision.
It is a settled principle of international law that a sovereign can not be permitted to set up one of his own municipal laws as a bar to a claim by a foreign sovereign for a wrong done to the latter’s subjects; and you are consequently to take the ground in all discussions with the Government of Colombia that the statute adopted by Colombia on the 31st of August, 1886, is regarded by the Government of the United States as in no way whatever qualifying or limiting the obligation of Colombia to the United States for injuries inflicted on citizens of the United States when in Colombia.
I am, etc.,