Mr. Rives to Mr. Curry.

No. 305.]

Sir: Since the reception of your dispatch No. 320 of the 14th ultimo, inclosing copy of a note from Mr. Moret in explanation of the delay in the payment of the Mora claim, the Department has been informed of the transfer of that minister from the ministry of foreign affairs to that of the interior, and of the assumption of the duties of the former office by another.

[Page 374]

The purport of Mr. Moret’s note appears to be that, while the Government of Spain intends fully to comply with its engagement in the case of Mora, yet circumstances, as stated by him, temporarily delayed payment of the sum agreed upon until a more favorable moment.

The Department notes with satisfaction that its confidence that the Spanish Government would not repudiate the arrangement which was deliberately concluded in its name and by its authority has not been misplaced. Yet it is regretted that delay in the payment of the sum agreed upon should be thought necessary, since this Government is desirous of avoiding the necessity of claiming interest, in accordance with international usage, on the sum thus admitted to be due, which it can not but regard as withheld by the Government of Spain for its own convenience.

In regard to Mr. Moret’s reference to the necessity of submitting a comprehensive plan for the mutual adjustment of claims between the United States and Spain to the Cortes, when the payment of the Mora claim is asked for from that body, it is proper to say that the farce of this suggestion is not unheeded by the Department and last anticipated, when, under its instructions, you presented such a plan to Mr. Moret on the 15th of December last. No objection to it has so far been received which was sufficiently definite to admit of consideration.

Mr. de Muruaga referred to it in one or two communications as lacking in reciprocity. But the Department has so far failed to receive any reply to its request for more specific objections, which it declared itself ready to meet in a liberal spirit whenever they shall have been formulated.

I am, etc.,

G. L. Rives,
Acting Secretary.