Mr. Bayard to Mr. Gresham.

No. 180.]

Sir: Some questions in relation to matters in Brazil were asked and answered in the House of Commons, and I have the honor to inclose herewith the report thereof of the Times of to-day.

It is certainly a cause of congratulation to the war-worn people of Brazil, as well as to the interest of commerce of all nations, that the savage contest of the rival chiefs and parties for power in that Republic has come to a close, so that a period of repose and recuperation may now be hoped for.

The conduct of the relations of the United States to the republican Government of Brazil, has been just, considerate, and thoroughly judicious, and I am sure that the efficient presence of our naval force, and its creditable action under Admiral Benham, has been a factor of great value to the peaceful commerce of the port of Rio, and perfectly consistent with neutrality throughout.

There are indications in the public press of complaint among British shipowners and merchants of a lack of protection of their neutral rights by the naval forces of this country.

I trust that the unhappy civil strife of the Brazilian Republic may now be at an end, and having under your instructions given close attention to the attitude and action of this Government in relation to the contest, I have been unable to trace any disposition whatever to take sides in the struggle or even to express sympathy in favor of the replacement of a republican by a monarchical form of government in Brazil.

The attitude of the Government of the United States and its avowed interest expressed in relation to European interference with affairs in the Western Hemisphere is, I believe, quite well recognized and interpreted here.

I have, etc,

T. F. Bayard.
[Page 278]
[Inclosure in No. 180.—From The Times, March 16, 1894.]

the revolt in brazil.

Sir E. Ashmead-Bartlett asked the undersecretary of state for foreign affairs whether he could give the house any information as to the progress of the civil war in Brazil, and especially as to the reported surrender of Admiral da Gama.

Col. Howard Vincent asked the undersecretary of state for foreign affairs whether Her Majesty’s minister at Rio de Janeiro had confirmed the report of the cessation of the civil war in Brazil, and in such case if Her Majesty’s Government would render all assistance possible to British traders to recoup the disastrous losses of the past six months of siege, and use its influence with the Brazilian Government to devote itself to the development of the riches of the country and the opening up of fresh channels for international trade.

Sir E. Grey. The senior naval officer at Rio, telegraphing on the 14th instant, states that the Portuguese commanding naval officer has received Admiral Saldanha da Gama and many of his officers and men on board his vessel. Her Majesty’s Government have not yet received any further details relating to the surrender of the insurgent forces in Rio Bay. The question of how to deal with claims of British subjects for losses arising out of the recent disturbances in Brazil is now being considered in consultation with the law officers of the Crown. The Government of Brazil can not be asked to take advice from outside as to the developments of their own country, but Her Majesty’s Government are anxious to use every means in their power to promote trade with Brazil as soon the political state of the country admits of it.

Sir A. Rollit asked whether any complaints from British residents had been received as to the neglect of their interests.

Mr. Hanbury asked whether it was true that one of the officers had taken refuge on one of Her Majesty’s ships.

Sir E. Ashmead-Bartlett asked whether the Government would use its influence to obtain clement treatment for those who had surrendered.

Sir E. Grey. I can only say, in answer to the last question, that Her Majesty’s Government has been most careful to abstain from any interference whatever in what was a purely internal matter [hear! hear!], and I can not promise that they can see their way to take any action in the final settlement of the dispute. It is true that in disturbances of this kind some innocent persons must suffer. British trade is considerable, and it has suffered, and that has naturally given rise to many complaints which we have received; but I am sure that Her Majesty’s minister and the admiral, who had a most difficult task to perform [hear! hear!], have discharged their duties well and done the utmost possible under the circumstances. With regard to Admiral da Gama, our latest information is that he is on board a Portuguese vessel, not a British ship.