Mr. Romero to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, June 1, 1887. (Received June 3.)
Mr. secretary: I have had the honor to receive your note of May 28 last, in which, referring to the one from this legation of March 26 last in regard to the complaint made to the Mexican Government that the ranch of Bon Fernando Ortiz, a Mexican citizen, which was declared to be situated on Mexican territory, had been surveyed by a United States surveyor as if lying within the territory of that Government, and that the corresponding tax had been levied on it, you were pleased to inclose to me a copy of a letter from the governor of the Territory of Arizona to you of April 26, covering copy of another from Mr. John Hise, surveyor-general of the United States, dated oil the 22d at Tucson, to which was annexed copy of a declaration sworn to by Mr. George James Roskruge, deputy surveyor of the United States for the district of Arizona.
In this declaration the statements made in my above-mentioned note of March 26 last are alleged to be thoroughly incorrect and unfounded. It is asserted that Ortiz falsely translated the conversation between Deputy Surveyor Roskruge and the officers of the Mexican custom [Page 881] house of Sásabe, and that he intended to cheat him and to defraud him of a sum of money.
I have the honor to say to you in reply that I have without delay transmitted to my Government copies of the documents annexed to your note, which I now answer, and that I have no doubt that it will order a thorough investigation into the facts in order that the complaint made by this legation to your Department may not only be withdrawn, if the statements on which it is based prove incorrect, but that the persons, whether private citizens or public officers, who knowingly made false assertions to the Government concerning official matters, particularly those relating to international questions, may be duly punished.
In accordance with your recommendation I have requested Mr. Mariscal to direct an investigation as to the degree of accuracy contained in the statements made in dispatch No. 72, of March 12 last, from the United States consul at El Paso del Norte, concerning the fact that the Sonora authorities had abandoned all claim that the Mexican customhouse of Sásabe and the ranch of Ortiz were situated within Mexican territory.
The United States Government having accepted the proposition made to it by the Mexican to defer the decision of the matter till the new boundary line be laid off between the two countries, in conformity with the provisions of the treaty of July 29, 1882, I should have nothing further to say concerning it, were it not for the allusions and comments made by Mr. Roskruge in his sworn declarations concerning the statements made in the note on the subject which, under the instruction of my Government, I transmitted to the Department of State on March 26 last, which induce me to state to you that I only faithfully copied in it the statements made in a communication addressed to me by the department of foreign affairs, under the No. 278, and date of the 15th of March, above mentioned, in which I was instructed to present the complaint to your Department. The correctness of the statement of facts recited in my note above mentioned would appear attested by the approval given to my note by the Mexican department of foreign affairs in its note of April 16 last. If the statements of the said note, or any of them, are incorrect, ambiguous, or unfounded, neither the secretary of foreign relations of the United States of Mexico nor I are responsible for them, seeing that they reached us through official and authentic channels, namely, the governor of the state of Sonora, the district judge of the same state, and the collector of customs of Sásabe. The only thing to be done in this case, as I remarked above, is to carefully ascertain the facts, and to punish those who have deceived their Government, if such prove the ease.
Be pleased, etc.,