Mr. Blaine to Mr. Lincoln.

No. 255.]

Sir: Referring to previous correspondence concerning the Venezue-copies of recent communications* from our minister at Caracas and lan boundary question, I transmit to you herewith, for your information, from the minister of Venezuela at this capital on the subject.

I also inclose a copy of my instruction to you by telegraph of the 1st instant to use your good offices with Her Britannic Majesty’s minister for foreign affairs to bring about a resumption of diplomatic relations between Great Britain and Venezuela as a preliminary step toward negotiations for arbitrating the boundary question.

The recital contained in Mr. Scruggs’s No. 98 of the 25th ultimo shows the embarrassments caused by Gen. Guzman Blanco’s abrupt termination of diplomatic relations and the difficulty in the way of effecting negotiations on the basis of the status quo or of arbitrating the whole question. It is neverthless desired that you shall do all you can consistently with our attitude of impartial friendliness to induce some accord between the contestants by which the merits of the controversy may be fairly ascertained and the rights of each party justly confirmed. The neutral position of this Government does not comport with any expression of opinion on the part of this Department as to what those rights are, but it is evident that the shifting footing on which the British boundary question has rested for several years past is an obstacle to such a correct appreciation of the nature and grounds of her claim as would alone warrant the formation of any opinion.

Inclosing for the files of your legation a copy of Senate document No. 226, first session, Fiftieth Congress, which relates to the Venezuelan boundary question,

I am, etc.,

James G. Blaine.
  1. For inclosures, see under Venezuela.