No. 1113.
Mr. Bacon to Mr. Bayard.

No. 242.]

Sir: Some months ago an invitation was extended by the Argentine and Uruguayan Republics to the South American States, including Brazil, to attend a congress to be held at Montevideo on the 25th of August, instant (being the “natural independence day” of Uruguay), for the purpose of discussing the subject of private international law.

Judging from the comments of the press, it is intended to effect a more general and common international law or regulation as to the rights of “succession,” wills, inheritance, citizenship, marriages, divorce, domicile, etc.

The South American States, with the exception of Venezuela and Colombia, have sent delegates to the congress, and it was opened on the 25th, yesterday (the ministers for foreign affairs of Argentine and Uruguay presiding), in the presence of the President and cabinet of this Republic, the diplomatic corps, and other officials.

The aforesaid ministers for foreign affairs delivered set speeches in the names of their respective Governments welcoming the deputies and inaugurating the congress. These speeches were very general, and did not foreshadow even what would be submitted to the congress.

Since the inauguration the congress has held its sessions with closed doors, and nothing is imparted as to its proceedings even to the newspaper reporter.

I am advised, however, that the efforts of the congress will be to agree upon some “general international code of private rights,” which, owing to the advanced state of the Argentine and Uruguayan Governments in certain regards, is greatly desired by them, especially so far as marriages are concerned.

The congress, it is supposed, will continue its sessions for two or three months.

I am, etc.

John E. Bacon.