No. 562.
Mr. Buck to Mr. Bayard.

No. 210.]

Sir: I received last night a long note from the minister of foreign affairs, taking exceptions to my “memorandum” of October 26, 1886, copy of which was forwarded in my No. 171, of October 28, 1886, and approved in Department’s No. 112, of November 30, 1886, relative to action of the Peruvian Congress annulling the acts of the Pierola and Iglesias governments.

There are some sixteen pages of the document, and from such attention as I have been able to give, its intent is to claim the right of Congress to take the designated action under article 10 of the constitution of 1860, and while stating that Congress, in order to act strictly within its powers, expressly directed the annullment only against interior acts, yet virtually assuming for the Peruvian Government the right to decide what are “external and what internal acts.”

It will be remembered that my “memorandum “was read to Señor Ribeyro, then minister of foreign relations, October 26, 1886, and he admitted the propositions laid down were such as no one the least acquainted with international principles would contest (see my said No. 171), but regarded my action as premature, and. reserved the right to reply, if reply was considered desirable.

About four months having elapsed without any reply, during which there had been a change of ministry, I supposed, of course, there would be no further answer made. * * *

I have not fully determined what course I shall take respecting the matter. Probably I shall answer the note as briefly as possible, correcting some erroneous assumptions referring to my “memorandum,” and saying in substance that, having announced the views of the Department in my “memorandum,” I regard those views as conclusive; and while I will not anticipate a violation of the rights of United States citizens, and give due regard to the assurances the minister expresses, I must yet reserve to my Government the right to judge, as concerning its own citizens, whether any future action affects adversely their international rights.

That saying thus much, I can not enter upon further discussion of the matter unless in future otherwise advised by instructions from my Government, to which meanwhile I will forward copy of the foreign office note for its consideration.

It is entirely impossible to have copy or translation made for the mail leaving to-day, and there is no other for two weeks, when I shall forward copy, etc. I write this in much haste in order to get it off.

I have etc.,

Chas. W. Buck.