Mr. Gresham to Mr. Gray.


The terms of Mexico’s demand upon Guatemala have been obtained from the ministers of both countries here. The fact that the present controversy is related to, if not the outgrowth of, the boundary treaty of 1882 between Mexico and Guatemala, the conclusion of which was largely due to the mediation of the United States, constrains the President to express the earnest hope that the two neighboring States will omit no means of reaching a direct settlement of their differences, and failing in that refer them to friendly arbitration. The President is unwilling to believe that Mexico contemplates a precipitate resort to [Page 988] arms. By their example the United States have contributed to the establishment of the principle of arbitration, and, in the President’s judgment, Mexico can not assume the responsibility of disregarding the moral obligation to assist in extending the beneficent influence of this principle, especially on the American continent.

You will immediately communicate to the minister of foreign affairs the substance of this instruction, leaving with him a copy if desired.