Mr. Gresham to Mr. Hicks.

No. 302.]

Sir: I have received your dispatch No. 496, of the 8th ultimo, in further relation to the destruction by a mob of the property of the United States consular agency at Mollendo.

The facts stated, and the proofs of injury and loss submitted by Mr. Meier, appear to leave the matter in good shape for offering reparation for property destroyed, and for a voluntary tender by the Peruvian Government of a fitting indemnity to Mr. Meier. My instruction of May 3, (No. 289), which you have probably received by this time, will have suggested to you the measure and manner of indemnification which would be acceptable to this Government.

The Peruvian representative in this capital has spoken to me on the subject and assured me of the best disposition on the part of his Government to do all that international comity and a due sense of equity can suggest as right and proper. I told him that the prompt and [Page 520]friendly promise of Peru, in advance of formal demand, to make all appropriate redress for the wrongs suffered, had been highly appreciated, and that I felt confident that his Government would, of its own motion and without pressure, do everything that could, be reasonably expected, both as regards the property destroyed and the personal injuries sustained by our agent. Gen. Canevaro positively promised this, adding, however, that the straitened resources of Peru might lead his Government to expect some indulgence from us touching the time of payment, and he intimated that your pressure for an immediate settlement was embarrassing, because tending to limit the good desires of his Government in regard to the reparation to be tendered to Mr. Meier.

In this relation, I should also acknowledge your No. 493, of April 29, touching the extent of Mr. Meiers injuries and losses. The claim thus made does not fully comport with Mr. Meier’s original announcement of his purpose not to ask anything beyond compensation for property actually destroyed. His statements, supported as they are by concurrent testimony, furnish good ground for expecting an adequate offer of reparation, the amount of which may be determined in friendly conference with the minister of foreign relations, without undue pressure and subject to such reasonable latitude as to the time and manner of payment as may appear to be proper.

I am, etc.,

W. Q. Gresham.