Mr. Lincoln to Mr. Blaine.

No. 249.]

Sir: Referring to your instruction numbered 255 of the 6th instant and to my dispatch numbered 229 of 5th instant, I have the honor to inclose herewith the copy of a note which I have just received from the Marquis of Salisbury relative to Venezuela in reply to mine of the 5th of this month, a copy of which was forwarded to you in my dispatch above mentioned.

I have, etc.,

Robert T. Lincoln.
[Inclosure in No. 249.]

The Marquis of Salisbury to Mr. Lincoln.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 5th instant, stating that you had been instructed by your Government to tender to Her Majesty’s Government the earnest good offices of the United States, with a view of bringing [Page 341] about a resumption of the interrupted diplomatic relations between Her Majesty’s Government and that of Venezuela as a preliminary step towards negotiations for the amicable settlement by arbitration of the long-standing questions respecting the boundary line between Venezuela and British Guiana.

Her Majesty’s Government are very sensible of the friendly feelings which have prompted this offer on the part of the United States Government, They are, however, at the present moment in communication with the Venezuelan minister in Paris, who has been authorized to express the desire of his Government for the renewal of diplomatic relations and to discuss the conditions on which it may be effected.

The rupture of relations was, as your Government is aware, the act of Venezuela, and Her Majesty’s Government had undoubtedly reason to complain of the manner in which it was effected. But they are quite willing to put this part of the question aside, and their only desire is that the renewal of friendly intercourse should be accompanied by arrangements for the settlement of the several questions at issue.

I have stated to Señor Urbaneja the terms on which Her Majesty’s Government consider that such a settlement might be made, and am now awaiting the reply of the Venezuelan Government, to whom he has doubtless communicated my proposals.

Her Majesty’s Government would wish to have the opportunity of examining that reply, and ascertaining what prospect it would afford of an adjustment of existing differences, before considering the expediency of having recourse to the good offices of a third party.

I may mention that, in so far as regards the frontier between British Guiana and Venezuela, I have informed Señor Urbaneja of the willingness of Her Majesty’s Government to abandon certain portions of the claim which they believe themselves entitled in strict right to make and to submit other portions to arbitration, reserving only that territory as to which they believe their rights admit of no reasonable doubt. If this offer is met by the Venezuelan Government in a corresponding spirit, there should be no insuperable difficulty in arriving at a solution. But public opinion is, unfortunately, much excited on the subject in Venezuela, and the facts of the case are strangely misunderstood.

I have, etc.,