Mr. Tillman to Mr. Olney.
Quito , March 12, 1896 . (Received April 2.)
Sir: I have the honor, and it is my duty, to report that on the 9th of this month I received a note from the minister of foreign affairs asking permission to pass through a large door on the street, by which the rooms of this legation are entered, for the purpose of entering rooms in the rear of the legation, in order to make arrest of Colonel Hidalgo and to search for arms.
As the rooms of the legation were entirely above and separate from the rooms which are freely entered by the public, I made no objection. Colonel Hidalgo, finding that he could not escape, requested me to tender his surrender to the two officers who came into the court below, which I did, and secured for him a promise of kind treatment and a fair trial. The copies of the notes, with translation of that of the minister of foreign affairs, are herewith inclosed (Nos. 1, 2, and 3).
I find also in a morning paper of this day a similar correspondence on the same subject between a minister of the former government and myself of date August 14 and 15, 1895. This last correspondence has not been forwarded to you for the reason that in the collapse of the former government and the excitement incident to it and the removal of the legation rooms the letter of the minister to me had been misplaced before it was registered. The publications were made by the government here, that of the 9th of this month in the Official Register and that of the 14th and 15th of August in the Scyri of to-day. I inclose copies of the latter, with translations (inclosures 4, 5, and 6), and also an editorial from the Scyri (inclosures 7 and 8).
One of the greatest difficulties which a foreign minister has to meet here in times like those I have had grows out of the mistaken notion that legations are “cities of refuge,” where every class of lawbreakers are safe from arrest. It were better, of course, that diplomatic and consular officers should have rooms entirely separate from all others, but this is almost impossible without great expense, the houses being very large and costly or small and unsuitable, and often unclean.
I have, etc.,