No. 286.
Mr. Walker to Mr. Bayard.

No. 116.]

Sir: I have the honor to state that your No. 78, of April 28, last, was received at this legation on the 30th ultimo, and that on the same day I addressed a communication to the minister of foreign affairs, a copy of which I herewith inclose, and that on the 2d instant I received the minister’s reply, a copy of which I have also the honor to inclose, with a translation.

As soon as any further information on the subject of these communications is received at this legation, I shall hasten to lay it before you.

I am, etc.,

Jno. G. Walker.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 116.]

Mr. Walker to Mr. Restrepo.

Sir: The undersigned, chargé d’affaires ad interim of the United States, presents his compliments to his excellency the minister of foreign affairs, and invites his attention to the following statement:

It has been brought officially to the knowledge of the undersigned that the local government of the department of Panama has ordered the levy and collection of a capitation tax on citizens of the United States residing in that department from which the subjects of Great Britain are exempt.

The undersigned is therefore directed by his Government to call the attention of that of Colombia to these facts, and to say that it insists that there shall be no discrimination against the citizens of the United States, wherever they may reside,” since such discrimination is in violation of the provisions of the 7th article of the treaty of 1846, and of the general principle of the law of nations.

The undersigned trusts, therefore, that the supreme Government of Colombia will take early measures to remove this just cause of complaint.

The undersigned avails, etc.,

Jno. G. Walker.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 116.—Translation.]

Mr. Restrepo to Mr. Walker.

The compliments of the minister of foreign affairs to the honorable chargá d’affaires of the United States, and he has the honor to reply, by means of the present communication, to your polite note of the 2d of May last.

As there are no antecedents in the ministry of foreign affairs which enable it to determine the nature of the contribution of which you speak, and which you say has been levied upon the citizens of the United States in Panama, it is necessary to make inquiry of the administrative authorities of that department.

With this object, the undersigned has just dispatched a telegram to the administrator of customs at Buenaventura, directing him to send, by the first mail steamer, a dispatch to the governor of Panama, requesting information as to the character of the tax, upon whom levied, under what form, and all the circumstances, which will enable us to determine its compatibility or incompatibility with treaties, and with the universal rules of the law of nations.

I promise your honor that as soon as this information is received it shall be communicated to the honorable legation of the United States, together with the resolution in the case.

The undersigned has the honor to renew, etc.,

Vicente Restrepo.