Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.

No. 282.]

Sir: In my No. 239, of the 29th of September last, I had the honor to inform you that I had addressed a note to Señor Moret, the late minister of state, informing him of his failure to answer your note of the 22d of June as to the payment of the Mora claim. On the 1st of October Señor Moret replied that an answer would be given as soon as he could consult the whole council of ministers on the subject. Failing to receive a further reply, owing, no doubt, to the recent change in the ministry of state, I addressed to Señor Groizard a note, of which I inclose a copy herein. I have today received his reply, a copy of which is also inclosed, with translation.

Awaiting your further instructions, I am, etc.,

Hannis Taylor.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 282.]

Mr. Taylor to Mr. Groizard.

Excellency: It now becomes my duty to impress upon you the fact that on the 22d of June last I delivered to your predecessor, Señor Moret, an important communication from my Government touching the payment of the already adjusted Mora claim. Failing to receive a prompt reply from Señor Moret to the communication referred to, I reminded him by note on the 20th day of September that an answer was expected by my Government without further delay, as the correspondence in the case had been called for and submitted to the Senate at its last session. On the 1st of October Senor Moret replied that no answer had been sent to the communication of June 22 because before an answer could be given it would be necessary to consult the whole council of ministers upon the subject. He promised, however, that “as soon as the ministers meet again in Madrid, and the president is present at the sessions, I will consult with him on the subject.” Since then I have waited in vain for the promised reply. As the note of June 22 has already remained unanswered for more than six months, you will now understand why I am now instructed to respectfully, yet firmly, insist upon a reply without further delay.

I seize this occasion, etc.,

Hannis Taylor.
[Page 1161]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 282.—Translation.]

Mr. Groizard to Mr. Taylor.

My Dear Sir: I have received your note of the 28th instant, in which you remind me of the dispatch which, by direction of your Government, you delivered to my predecessor on the 22d of June last relative to the payment of the sum agreed upon as indemnity to Don Antonio Maximo Mora.

Surely your excellency, whose impartiality is well known, will not fail to appreciate the regret experienced by Señor Moret, when, on account of the circumstances, he found himself unable to fulfill, as he earnestly desired, the offer made to your excellency in the note of the 29th of September.

For my part, as soon as the urgent duties of the department under my charge have allowed me, leaving aside arguments already discussed and commencing from the actual state of the question, I have made, inspired by the friendly spirit which animates the Government of His Majesty in its relations with that of the United States, a profound and careful study, even in its smallest details, of all that relates to the Mora claim; and I am bound to declare, with the sincerity and frankness of my character, that the opinion which I have formed in the matter agrees with that which my predecessors in the department which I have the honor to represent have been maintaining, because this claim is based upon principles which the United States, such faithful and zealous observers of their Constitution, can not ignore.

This opinion is, in short, that the payment of the indemnity in question depends not at present upon any resolution of the executive power. To accord such payment is only within the attributes of the Cortes, which has shown very clearly the difficulties found in voting it. (I believe, however, as my predecessors did also, that when the occasion arrives the Cortes will be disposed to vote the necessary credit for the Mora indemnity, provided such vote coincides with the decision of the United States to settle the pending Spanish claims.) To try now to ask from the Spanish Parliament the necessary credit would be to run the risk of repeating what happened on the presentation of the Cuban budget for 1887–88 by the minister of ultramar to the Congress of Deputies, and also would perhaps, to the evident regret of the Spanish Government, make more difficult, when the proper time comes, a satisfactory solution so interesting to both countries.

To this laudable end will contribute in no small part the execution of the convention, whose draft your excellency presented, and whose bases are being made the subject of a most careful study in this department in my charge. But as this question affects directly the ministry of ultramar, the opinion formed of that convention by the ministry of state will have to be submitted to its judgment in the first place.

Notwithstanding, I may now make in anticipation to your excellency the statement that, in conformity with one of the clauses of the convention, the Mora claim will be excluded from the decision of the commission, it being a fact that the voting of its payment belongs to-day to the Cortes of the Kingdom.

For the rest, your excellency may be firmly persuaded, and may so assure your Government, that that of His Majesty, animated by the [Page 1162] best wishes and as another proof of its sympathy for the United States, will use every means in its power in order that this matter may receive a satisfactory termination.

I seize this opportunity, etc.,

Alejandro Groizard.