Mr. Tillman to Mr. Olney.
Quito , April 20, 1896 . (Received May 13.)
Sir: I have the honor to state that on the 14th of this month I received your telegram saying, “Your sixty-seven received. Ask formal acceptance arbitrator by Ecuador and prompt submission of case as provided convention.” On the next morning, April 15, I sent to the minister of foreign affairs a note, copy of which is inclosed (No. 1) in which I asked if he would signify to me in writing that Mr. St. John was acceptable as arbitrator; but receiving no reply I called in person late in the afternoon of the 18th and courteously informed him that I was anxious to have his answer, that I might on that evening send the information to you. He replied that the Government was endeavoring to agree upon a settlement with Mr. Santos, and that while he knew of no objection to Mr. St. John he could see no use of an arbitrator in the event of an agreement as to the amount to be paid to Santos, and that he could not promise me an answer before to-morrow, the 21st.
Again, at 9½ o’clock this morning, I had an interview with the supreme chief and the minister of foreign relations, when the same reasons were given by them for the delay in the acceptance or nonacceptance of Mr. St. John as arbitrator.
I informed them that I could not object to an agreement between them and Santos as to the amount to be paid him, subject to the approval of the United States, but that I had informed Mr. Santos [Page 105] that when the terms of settlement were ascertained I was of the opinion that these terms and the amount should be made the award of the arbitrator already selected in accordance with the convention which was entered into two years ago by a different administration in Ecuador with the United States. On the 16th of February, as soon as I learned of the appointment of Mr. St. John, I wrote to the supreme chief a note, a copy of which, is inclosed (No. 2), asking if he was acceptable to Ecuador, but I received no reply; but it appears that a correspondence was immediately begun between Mr. Santos and General Alfaro. On the 29th of the same month I delivered to General Alfaro the note, a copy of which is inclosed (No. 3), again asking if Mr. St. John was acceptable to Ecuador, when he informed me he had written to Santos and was expecting an answer, and referred me to Minister Montalvo. The two last notes were addressed to the supreme chief for the reason that he had requested me to advise him of progress with Mr. Jones. On seeing the minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Montalvo, on the same day or the day following, he said there was no objection to Mr. St. John, but that they expected to agree on the amount with Mr. Santos. In a few days he sent me a copy of the telegram, of which a translation was forwarded in my No. 67, of March 12. I now send you copy of note and translation from Mr. Montalvo, inclosing terms of settlement suggested, with translation of the same, to which reference was made in my No. 70, of April 9 (inclosures 4, 5, 6, 7). * * *
It will be seen from the above narrative that I have been unable to obtain an answer in writing as to the acceptability of Mr. St. John, and verbally only that he is not objectionable.
Can the whole purpose of the convention be continually defeated by an objection to the arbitrator on the part of either Government? Under the convention are not both parties compelled to submit the case to the arbitrator named, as well as bound by the decisions in accordance with the convention and awards of the arbitrator? I have felt that, in view of the uncertainty of régimes of government here, it were better to ask that the question be determined by the arbitrator or that the agreement as to the amount of damages and other facts in the case be made the award of the arbitrator, and I have so advised Mr. Santos, through Consul-General Dillard, at Guayaquil, in a letter bearing date April 14, a copy of which I inclose.
I have, etc.,