to Mr. Bayard.
Lima, Peru, August 29, 1888. (Received September 26.)
Sir: I have received and just read a note from the foreign office in reply to my No. 110 of August 6, relative to the MacCord outrage of June, 1885. It is impossible to have copy or even translation made for [Page 1371]mail leaving to-day. But the note states: The Government has no notice of the facts, and that it is not possible to ascertain whether the statements of Mr. MacCord are true after so long a time.
Then it emphasizes that Mr. MacCord has since the date of the alleged events been in good relations with the prefect, San Roman, as United States consular agent, and during all the subsequent time while in full possession of his rights has made no question, until now when it is noticeable that he has only done so when the prefect, San Roman, in compliance with the Government’s orders, has removed him from being superintendent of the southern railroads. But in no event can this be made a diplomatic question, especially after so long a silence.
The acts, if they occurred, emanating from a chief in arms against the Government then recognized as legitimate by all nations, especially by that of the great Republic, responsibility for them could only rest personally upon the author, and not upon the Government of the nation. That responsibility could not in any case be made effective until after proof before the national tribunals and in virtue of the judgment they should pronounce.
And finally, that the only way open to Mr. MacCord is to follow judicially the personal responsibility of the author, the burden of proof resting upon the claimant. The note closes with expression of confidence that I will be satisfied of the impossibility of his Government supplying information solicited, and of the justness of the views stated.
The above analysis of Minister Alzamora’s said note will, I think, give about as adequate an idea of its contents as a copy of text, and translation in full, though these will be forwarded when made, at first opportunity.
Although I think I can judge what opinion you will have of the note, perhaps it may be expedient to exercise deliberation, and not answer reasoning presented until I shall formally be advised of Department’s pleasure, especially as the main points have been considered and replied to by me so often in other cases.
I am, etc.,