Mr. Sherman to Mr. Gana.

No. 24.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 6th instant, in which you state, under telegraphic advice from your Government, that Mr. Edward H. Strobel, the United States minister to Chile, has been in his private capacity selected as umpire to arbitrate an old French claim against Chile, and, inasmuch as Mr. Strobel is at the present time the diplomatic agent of this country at Santiago, you request that he be authorized to accept the office.

The South American mail which reached this Department on the 3d instant brought a dispatch from Mr. Strobel reporting that the under secretary for foreign relations of Chile had sounded him as to his acceptance of the post of arbitrator, if jointly tendered on behalf of Chile and France, and that he had expressed his willingness so to act if the United States Government should approve; but had suggested further efforts for a direct adjustment of the claim which, at the time of writing, had been hopefully reopened.

Mr. Strobel’s successor, Mr. Henry L. Wilson, of the State of Washington, was appointed and confirmed on June 9 ultimo to succeed Mr. Strobel, and will shortly set out for his post of duty. As he will thus relieve Mr. Strobel before the announced arbitration can be completed, if not indeed before it can be actually begun, it is necessary to have a distinct understanding in advance that the tender of the office of arbitrator shall be made to and accepted by Mr. Edward H. Strobel in his individual capacity, and is to be carried on to its finality by him in person, without devolving upon his successor in office when he shall be relieved in the near future. Assuming this understanding to be the purpose and wish of the Chilean and French Governments, as your note indicates, I have to-day telegraphed to Mr. Strobel authorizing him to accept the office of arbitrator, if jointly tendered to him, upon the above-stated condition.

It affords me much pleasure to acquiesce in this renewed application of the salutary principle of arbitration in settlement of international disputes.

Accept, sir, etc.,

John Sherman.