Mr. Uhl to Mr. Taylor.
Washington , June 6, 1895.
Sir: Your No. 282, of January 4, 1895, inclosing the last communication of the Spanish Government in reference to the Mora case, was duly received. Prior to its receipt Congress had called for all the papers connected with this negotiation, and it was deemed best to postpone a reply pending Congressional action on the subject. I now inclose a copy of the joint resolution passed after the most careful consideration by the Senate and House of Representatives, and approved by the President, and which thus becomes the positive rule of the action of this Department. I also inclose for your information the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of representatives urging the adoption of the resolution.
After consideration of these inclosures, you will seek an interview with the Spanish minister of state, and make to him the following communication, indicating courteously that the Government of the United States must insist upon an early and definitive reply.
You will express the great regret of this Government at the long delay of this negotiation which seemed to have been brought to a satisfactory close in December, 1886, upon the acceptance by the United States of a proposition of settlement voluntarily made by the Government of Spain in recognition of its responsibility, growing out of its own decrees, for the restoration of Mr. Mora’s estates.
Firmly convinced of the intention of the Spanish Government, as explicitly declared at that time, to settle this case by the payment of the stipulated amount, in compromise of an admitted absolute indebtedness, this Government has made the most liberal allowance for delay due to difficulties encountered in the Spanish Cortes. It has gone even further to facilitate the action of Spain than it was under any diplomatic obligation to go. It has offered to the Spanish Government an arbitration convention for the prompt adjustment of outstanding unliquidated claims of Spanish subjects against the United States. The terms of this convention have been submitted by you to the Government of Spain, and more than a year has elapsed without their approval, their modification, or their rejection.
In the meantime, the Mora indemnity remains unpaid, although the convention was proposed on the express condition that payment should not await its conclusion, nor be dependent upon its results.
While this Government is of opinion that the Spanish Government has had ample time to decide upon the merits of this convention, it is not disposed to complain of any fulness of examination which the Spanish Government may wish to give before adoption. The complaint is that this examination should be made the occasion of further delay by the Spanish Government in the payment of the Mora indemnity.
In view of the long-protracted negotiation, of the change in the whole [Page 1163] character of the agreement of 1886 which Mr. Groizard’s note would seem to reaffirm, and of the joint resolution of Congress, it becomes my duty to instruct you to say again to the Spanish minister of state that while we do not object to any reasonable examination of the proposed convention, we can not consent to the further postponement of the payment of the Mora indemnity as in any way dependent upon the conclusion his Government may ultimately arrive at respecting the convention. You will say to him that this Government now asks the Spanish Government, in fulfillment of its voluntary promise, for payment of the stipulated indemnity, with interest from the time when the principal should have been paid under the agreement of December, 1886.
Should the financial condition of Spain render it impossible for that Government to pay the full amount at once, you will urge an immediate payment on account for the present relief of the individual claimant, who is now and has been for nearly a quarter of a century deprived of his property, and that arrangements shall be made for the early payment of the balance.
I am, etc.,