No. 283.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Walker.

No. 75.]

Sir: A copy of your No. 92, of the 1st ultimo, concerning the entire closure of the Pacific isthmus ports against vessels coming from Chili, having been inclosed to the Postmaster General, I now state in substance his views in regard to the question.

While this is the first instance known to the Post-Office Department of an absolute exclusion of the mails as a sanitary measure, yet it is to be observed that the ordinary precautions of disinfection, etc., have never proved entirely effective as regards cholera, and therefore, despite the inconvenience caused by the action of the Colombian Government, the Postmaster-General is of opinion that we will have no tenable ground of complaint if the ports are opened as soon as the danger of infection ceases.

This Department is, however, disposed to regard the Colombian measures as extreme and at variance with the usages of civilized nations, not to speak of the transit question involved.

The mails are, as we are informed, now being sent to Chili via Buenos Ayres.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.