Mr. Belmont to Mr. Blaine.

No. 13.]

Sir: Referring to the Department’s No. 27, of February 20, 1889, calling attention to the vexatious treatment of American vessels by the Spanish colonial officials and instructing me to submit certain propositions for incorporation in the existing modus vivendi for the purpose of removing the causes of complaint resulting therefrom, I have the honor to report that immediately on the reception of the instructions, March 6, I had a long interview with the minister of foreign affairs on the subject, and left with him a memorandum of the articles proposed. The propositions were received with favor by the minister himself, who stated that he would present the subject for the consideration of his colleagues. Having received no communication from him in reference to the matter, I again called his attention to it in another interview on the 7th instant, and was informed that he had consulted with his colleagues on the subject, and that the difficulty in the way of the Spanish Government acceding to the proposed addition to the modus vivendi was that it involved an entire change in the method of administration, which the Government was not at present prepared to undertake.

I have, etc.,

Perry Belmont.