Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.

No. 344.]

Sir: In my No. 340, of the 17th instant, I had the honor to report that I had communicated on that day to the minister of state the contents of your telegram of the 16th, touching the Alliança incident. On the next day the minister of state requested me to call upon him on the 19th at 5.30 o’clock. During the interview which then took place the minister read to me the draft of a note which he had prepared, and which he said he would send me, subject to any changes I might see fit to suggest. He said that his earnest purpose was to promptly give to the Government [Page 1183] of the United States the most complete satisfaction in his power. I replied that, while I was not authorized to pass upon the sufficiency of his note, I would venture to suggest (1) that the admission of the wrongfulness of the act be made in terms which could not be mistaken; (2) that a definite assurance should be given that the officer responsible for the wrong should be properly punished. He then amended the note so as to make the first admission more emphatic, and added that the promise already given that the officer should be properly punished would be carefully observed. He assured me that as soon as the official report, daily expected by mail, should be received, the officer who committed the fault would be dealt with according to the facts, and that I would be duly informed as to the result. As soon as the official note thus prepared was received at the legation, I transmitted its contents to you by cable. I inclose the full text of the note, with translation.

I am, etc.,

Hannis Taylor.
[Inclosure in No. 344.—Translation.]

The Duke of Tetuan to Mr. Taylor.

My Dear Sir: I have been informed by your note of yesterday of the telegram which the Secretary of State has addressed to you relative to the Alliança incident.

As I had the honor to tell you in my note of the 9th instant, I proposed to supplement it as soon as the report called for was received, which, having started from Havana by mail on the 30th ultimo, is expected at Madrid every day. The fact that my colleague of marine has transmitted to me a telegram from the commander-general of that station, which has been received in my department to-day, enables me, however, to recognize that when the Venadito fired upon the Alliança the latter was, in fact, outside of the jurisdictional zone of Spain, and that therefore, recognizing that fact, the official accidentally in charge of the command of the Spanish ship at that time committed an error undoubtedly involuntary.

When His Majesty’s Government shall be able to understand the event in all its details from the study of the report which will shortly arrive, as I have already said, it will examine the conduct of the official who then commanded the Venadito, in order to proceed as it shall be fit, as His Majesty’s Government has promised. It can not but lament an occurrence so contrary to the sentiments which animate it—as it has said on various occasions—not to interfere with or hinder under any pretext the legitimate commerce of the United States.

I avail, etc.,

The Duke of Tetuan.