No. 610.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Curry.

No. 143.]

Sir: I have not heretofore specially replied to your dispatches* Nos. 140 and 145, of the respective dates of October 27 and November 3, 1886.

They present the closing phases of the negotiations for equal treatment of the American and Spanish flags in the carrying trade of the Spanish Antilles, which terminated with the signature of the existing modus vivendi on the 27th of October last.

It is a cause of satisfaction that the disputed and admittedly defective agreement of January 2, February 13, 1884, has at last been replaced by an arrangement which, although temporary, is couched in such clear and positive terms as to admit of no doubt as to its purport so long as it shall continue.

It was natural and proper that you should seek to defend your Government against unjust imputation because of its aption in terminating, as the statute required, the imperfect and unreciprocal state of things found to exist under the old arrangement. Your note of October 29 to Señor Moret is approved as abundantly correcting the erroneous impression which seemed to have sprung up in his mind that the Government of the United States had acted with unusual or even unbecoming haste. The patience with which this Government had for nearly two years continued to present the simple question of fact, and endeavored to impress upon the Spanish Government that the continuance of the suspension proclaimed by President Arthur in February, 1884, was wholly dependent upon the ascertained and complete reciprocal treatment of our flag by Spain in the Antillean ports on terms of equality with the royal flag, is a complete answer to the suggestion of [Page 982] undue haste. Nor should Señor Moret overlook the marked alacrity with which this Government responded to the overtures which it had so long and urgently invited from Spain, and the promptness with which the new arrangement was entered into by us in order to obviate the anticipated injurious effects of a continued lack of absolute reciprocity.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.