Mr. Hart to Mr. Hay .

No. 170.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith copy of a recent note passed to the Colombian foreign office and translation of the reply thereto of the Colombian minister of foreign affairs.

The Department will observe that there has been other correspondence, but since the matter is terminated I have thought it unnecessary to forward more than the two notes herein inclosed. The Colombian foreign office put in a long protest based on the arguments with which [Page 240] the Department is already familiar. To these arguments I did not think it necessary to reply, as in an interview with the minister of foreign affairs we had already settled the matter, in the terms set forth in the inclosed correspondence, of which settlement I promptly advised the Department by cable. If the Department so desire the correspondence not copied and not translated will be forward promptly on its suggestion to this effect.

I am, etc.,

Chas. Burdett Hart.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Hart to Mr. Marquez .

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s polite note of January 25, 1899, in which I am advised that your excellency’s Government accepts the offer of my Government to receive in full satisfaction of the Panama Star and Herald claim the sum of $30,000 United States gold. According to my understanding of the arrangement agreed upon between your excellency and myself, in the recent interview which I had the honor to have with your excellency on the subject, the sum above named is to be paid as follows, in drafts on New York at sixty days from sight: one draft for $10,000 on February 10, 1899; one draft for $10,000 on April 10, 1899; and one draft for $10,000 on June 10, 1899. I shall be glad if your excellency will kindly confirm this understanding.

I observe that in the note to which I now have the honor to reply your excellency embraces the opportunity to make a new protest against this claim. I observe also that the new protest is sought to be supported by arguments which have heretofore been advanced by your excellency’s Government in support of its contention and which have been replied to at length on the part of my Government. Since the basis of settlement has been reached and the terms of payment agreed upon, I do not think it necessary to present again the arguments by which my Government has demonstrated the wrong and injustice of the order suspending the publication of the Panama Star and Herald, and sustained the justice of the claim for damages resulting from that arbitrary and unjustifiable act.

I embrace this opportunity to renew, etc.,

Charles Burdett Hart.
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Marquez to Mr. Hart .


Sir: On the 21st instant I addressed to the minister of the treasury the following communication:

I have the honor to inform your excellency that, in accord with the determination of the council of ministers on the 19th instant, it has been resolved to proceed with the definitive arrangement of the claim which the Government of the United States [Page 241] has been sustaining in favor of the old Panama Star and Herald Company for the suspension of that newspaper, ordered by the civil and military governor of Panama in the year 1886.

The said arrangement is perfected and the claim terminated according to the Republic’s acceptation of the offer which the said Government has presented through its diplomatic representative in this capital, which is that the amount of the said claim, which was originally fixed in $91,000, is reduced to $30,000, which, according to the agreement with the minister of the United States, will be paid to him in drafts at sixty days’ sight, as follows:

The 10th day of February next $10,000
The 10th day of April of this year an equal sum 10,000
The 10th day of June of the same 10,000

Begging that your excellency may be good enough to make the necessary arrangements to the end that these payments of which this communication treats maybe made in the form as I have described, etc.

The preceding communication being in entire accord with the oral agreement which I had occasion to bring to a conclusion with your excellency to terminate the claim in question, and having set forth in my former dispatch addressed to your excellency the proper protest against that demand, I refer to your excellency’s note of the 28th instant, in which you ask for the ratification of the said agreement.

I offer to your excellency the assurance, etc.,

Carlos Cuervo Marquez.