Mr. Lainfiesta to Mr. Bayard.
New York, October 25, 1887. (Received October 26.)
Sir: The Government of the Swiss Confederation in Europe obtained and maintains from the Government of the United States of America a concession which is an evidence of frank and generous friendship, and is, moreover, for that Republic, an act which gives it especial respect and consideration among other countries.
I refer to the fact that where Switzerland is without consular or diplomatic representation, the consuls or ministers of the United States lend their friendly offices, in the name of. Switzerland, temporarily exercising consular or diplomatic functions.
A like exchange of friendly services is found concerted among other nations, and is a measure which greatly favors the course of international relations and rights in the case of a proper representative being wanting to forward and sustain them.
By agreement between France and Spain, on the recent withdrawal from Guatemala of the Spanish legation, the French minister repaired to the Department of State to announce that the relations with Spain would be attended to for the time being by the French legation.
The Republic of Guatemala aspires to the honor of being granted by your excellency’s Government the same prerogative as that enjoyed by Switzerland, and indulges the hope that this desire may be fully favored by the friendship and sympathy it has always evinced for the small Republics of America.
For the Republic of Guatemala it would be a concession of great value, as well as a high distinction, to have the representatives of the United States lend it their friendly good offices in countries where Guatemalan representation may be wanting; and my Government, desirous to obtain said concession, has sent me special instructions to solicit this in its name from the Government of your excellency, with the understanding that whenever the consuls and ministers of Guatemala, notwithstanding their humble significance, may correspond in like manner by lending their friendly services in the name of the American Government they shall be instructed by my Government to do so with all earnestness, and to hold it an honor to practice that reciprocity.
Praying your excellency to be good enough to entertain this matter kindly, I have, etc.,