Mr. MacVeagh to Mr. Gresham.

No. 99.]

Sir: Referring to my previous correspondence with the Department on the subject of the proposed arbitration by the President of the United States of the dispute which has been pending for some time past between the Government of Italy and the Republic of Colombia in regard to the claims against Colombia of a subject of Italy, Ernesto Cerruti, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a note which I have received from Baron Blanc, the minister of foreign affairs of the Government of Italy, and also a note from Monsieur Hurt ado, the envoy of the Republic of Colombia to Italy, together with translations of each, extending in due form an invitation on behalf of their Governments to the President of the United States to undertake the duties of arbitrator in the settlement of the dispute in question. I also inclose English translations which have been inclosed to me, respectively, by His Excellency Baron Blanc and Monsieur Hurtado, of the protocol which was entered into in August of last year at Castellamare, while I was staying there, between these accredited representatives of the two countries, and by which they agreed to determine the dispute by placing it in the hands of the President for arbitration. I also inclose three printed copies of the protocol, in the original Italian, which have been forwarded to me by the foreign office.

I have the honor to ask you to be so good as to inform me in due course of mail that the President has kindly consented to act as arbitrator as thus requested by both Governments, so that I may be able to notify their excellencies Baron Blanc, on behalf of Italy, and Monsieur Hurtado, on behalf of Colombia, of the acceptance by the President of their joint invitation.

I have, etc.,

Wayne MacVeagh.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 99.—Translation.]

Baron Blanc to Mr. MacVeagh.

Your Excellency: Between the Kingdom of Italy and the Republic of Colombia, with a protocol signed at Castellamare on the 18th of August, 1894, it has been agreed to come to a conclusion, by means of arbitration, of the dispute which has lasted for many years between the Italian citizen Sig. Ernesto Cerruti and the Government of Colombia, and to intrust the high office of arbitrator to His Excellency the President of the United States of America.

This international convention has been regularly approved of and accepted by the contracting Governments, and the time has now come to give it execution.

By agreement, therefore, with the Hon. Don Marcelino Hurtado, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Colombia, duly authorized to this effect by his own Government, I have the honor to address myself to your excellency, requesting that you will please cause the official demand, which I formulate in the name of the Government [Page 958]of His Majesty the King of Italy, to come to His Excellency the President of the Confederation, that he will be so good as to accept the mandate of arbitrator conferred upon his excellency by the high contracting parties.

Herewith inclosed I transmit to your excellency an authentic copy of the text of the above-mentioned protocol and its English translation, with a request that they may be forwarded to His Excellency the arbitrator designated, together with three more copies of the Italian text which I deem convenient to inclose herewith.

In expressing the hope that His Excellency Mr. Cleveland will consider our demand as a new proof of the sentiments of amity and high consideration of the Government of His Majesty the King of Italy, I request that your excellency will be so good as to let me know, at your convenience, the answer of His Excellency the President of the United States 5 meanwhile, in anticipation offering to your excellency my thanks for your courteous intervention,

I avail myself, etc.,

Blanc.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 99.—Translation.]

Mr. Hurtado to Mr. MacVeagh.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith an English version of the convention negotiated at Castellamare on the 18th of August, 1894, by the representatives of the Governments of Colombia and of Italy, with a view to adjust by means of arbitration the pending questions between them, growing out of the claims of the Italian subject Ernesto Cerruti against Colombia.

You will perceive that the high contracting parties, relying on the good and cordial relations which each of them maintain with your Government, and placing the highest confidence in the wisdom, justice, and impartiality of His Excellency the President of the United States of America, have agreed to jointly request him to accept the office and exercise the functions of arbitrator, according to the tenor of the above-mentioned convention.

The negotiation having been definitely approved by both the contracting Governments, the time has arrived to render it operative. To this end, acting under directions from my Government, I beg leave to request that you may be good enough to convey to His Excellency the President of the Union the request above referred to, namely, that he may be pleased to accept the position and exercise the authority which the said convention aims to confer upon him—a favor that would be looked upon by the Government of Colombia as a fresh proof of sincere friendship and good will.

You would confer on me an obligation if, in due course, you would make known to this legation the decision that His Excellency the President may arrive at in this matter; and while thanking you for your kind offices on this occasion,

I avail myself, etc.,

J. M. Hurtado.
[Page 959]
[Inclosure 3 in No. 99.—Translation.]

Protocol.

The Government of the Kingdom of Italy and the Government of the Republic of Colombia desiring to put an end to the subjects of disagreement between them growing out of the claims of Sig. Ernesto Cerruti against the Government of Colombia for losses and damages to his property in the State (now Department) of Canea, in the said Republic, during the political troubles of 1885, and desiring, furthermore, to make a just disposition of the said claims, His Excellency Baron Blanc, minister of foreign affairs of His Majesty the King of Italy, on the one part, and Don José Marcelino Hurtado, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the Republic of Colombia to His Majesty the King of Italy, on the other part, acting with due authority from their respective Governments, have signed this protocol, subject to the approval of the Congress of Colombia, to which it shall be submitted during the present session.

The Government of Italy and the Government of Colombia agree to submit to arbitration the matters and claims above referred to for the purpose of arriving at a settlement thereof as between the two Governments.

To this effect, as soon as this protocol shall have obtained the approval of the Congress of Colombia, the Governments of Italy and of Colombia will join in asking His Excellency the President of the United States of America to be pleased to accept the position of arbitrator in the case and discharge the duties pertaining thereto as a friendly act to both Governments.

As soon as the arbitrator, by his acceptance of the office, shall have qualified himself to enter upon his functions, he shall become vested with full power, authority, and jurisdiction to do and perform, and to cause to be done and performed, all things, without any limitation whatsoever, which in his judgment may be necessary or conducive to the attainment in a fair and equitable manner of the ends and purposes which this agreement is intended to secure.

And he shall thereupon proceed to examine and decide, according to the documents and evidence that may be submitted to him by each of the two Governments or by the claimant as one of the two parties interested in the suit and the principles of public law, first, which, if any, among the said claims of Sig. E. Cerruti against the Government of Colombia be a proper claim or claims for international adjudication; and secondly, which, if any, of the said claims of Sig. E. Cerruti against the Government of Colombia be a proper claim or claims for adjudication by the territorial courts of Colombia. And respecting the claim or claims, if any, which in the judgment of the arbitrator shall have the character of, and belong to, the first class of claims above defined, the arbitrator shall proceed to determine and to declare the amount of indemnity, if any, which the claimant, Sig. E. Cerruti, be entitled to receive from the Government of Colombia through diplomatic action. And regarding the claim or claims of Sig. E. Cerruti, if any, which in the judgment of the arbitrator shall possess the character of, and belong to, the second class of claims above defined, the arbitrator shall so declare them to be and shall take no further action in the matter of such claim or claims.

The claims to which this protocol has reference shall be presented, together with the documents and evidence in their support, to the arbitrator and submitted to him not sooner than six calendar months nor later than seven calendar months, reckoned from and after the date of acceptance of the office of arbitrator by His Excellency the President of the United States of America.

Each of the two parties interested in the suit shall defray the expenses incurred on its individual authority or behalf; but all expenses entailed by authority or with the sanction of the arbitrator for the purpose of conveniently discharging his functions or duties, or for the common benefit of both parties interested in the suit, shall be borne equally between them.

The two Governments solemnly bind themselves to abide by the decisions and awards of the arbitrator, which shall be final and conclusive and not subject either to discussion or appeal. And they further agree not to reopen negotiations or diplomatic discussions on any point or points which the arbitrator may decide or dispose of or which he may declare to have already been disposed of in conformity with public law; nor upon any claim or claims of Sig. E. Cerruti which the arbitrator may declare to have an internal and territorial character.

In witness whereof His Excellency Baron Blanc, minister of foreign affairs of His Majesty the King of Italy, and Don José Marcelino Hurtado, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the Republic of Colombia to His Majesty the King of Italy, hereunto affix their signatures at Castellamare, Stabia, on this the 18th day of August, in the year 1894.

Blanc. [l. s.]

J. M. Hurtado. [l. s.]

[Page 960]

The undersigned declare and acknowledge the foregoing to be a correct and faithful English version of the original protocol as drawn and executed in the Italian language.

Date ut supra.

  • Blanc.
  • J. M. Hurtado.

The undersigned declares and acknowledges the foregoing to be a correct copy of the protocol deposited at the Italian foreign office,


[seal.]
Blanc.