Mr. Lord to Mr. Hay.

No. 23.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you under separate cover two copies of President Roca’s message submitted to the Argentine Federal Congress at the formal opening of that body on the 1st instant.

I also inclose translation of that part of the message relating to the foreign relations of this country as may prove of possible interest to the Department.

I have, etc.,

Wm. P. Lord.

Message of the President of the Republic at the opening of the session of the National Congress.

Messrs. Senators and Deputies: I fulfill a constitutional duty by opening the period of your ordinary sessions and by giving you an account of the general condition of the nation.

The friendly relations which the Republic has always entertained with the other nations have been maintained without alteration whatever, and the old questions [Page 9] that could have given cause to differences have definitely disappeared or are in process of an easy and peaceful settlement.

The demarcation of the international limits, which have been the object of constant attention, have caused no further difficulties. In fulfillment of agreements and treaties, the frontier line with Chile continues to be determined by the erection of the marks in the part agreed upon, and in the part in which disagreement occurred the solution of the Government of Her Britannic Majesty is awaited, without any trouble whatever arising, it only having entailed a journey of the minister of foreign relations through incidents of an internal character which were easily and definitely settled.

It is pleasing for me to indicate in this connection that, as we have been approaching the settlement of this laborious and complicated matter, we have been able to better appreciate the good will with which the Government of Chile has assisted in smoothing the difficulties in the fulfillment of the international treaties.

With Bolivia the boundary line has been the object of agreements and studies, supported by surveys of the ground, that may be said to be definitely concluded, and will serve to complete the work of demarcation without difficulty, all the more when the Governments have always met each other animated by elevated sentiments with regard thereto.

Since the arbitral award that concluded the boundary questions with Brazil there remains only the tracing of the line fixed and the demarcation of that part which was never object of discussion. To this end the agreement was concluded which received the approval of your honors, and, when once ratified, should be fulfilled in all its parts without objection.

Once that all the above-mentioned work shall have been concluded, the boundary of the Republic will remain determined in an immovable manner, it being even now proper to say that all possible conflict has disappeared.

But though all these solutions facilitate the exercise of territorial sovereignty in its relations with the neighboring States, the attitude of the Republic in the international community demands close and diversified ties that alone can be assured by respecting every right and by manifestations that correspond to friendly sentiments.

In accordance herewith and with the strong belief that the maintenance of peace should be the object of the foreign policy of the Republic, I have celebrated with various nations treaties of arbitration that have been submitted to your consideration, and availing myself of legal authority, I have concluded a commercial agreement with the United States of America, studying at the same time agreements of the same character with other States.

In response to joint indication I have visited their Excellencies the Presidents of Brazil and of the Oriental State of Uruguay, receiving in consequence thereof from those people and Governments special manifestations that impose our recognition, for they demonstrate in how great affection they hold the Argentine people and Government, and how they consider themselves allied with their destiny in the present and in the future.

The voyage of the training ship Presidente Sarmiento has been, in all parts of the world where it touched, the object of cordial and spontaneous demonstrations of an official and popular character that especially oblige our gratitude.

The manifestations by which Spain distinguished herself has given occasion to a measure, long required, claimed and imposed by the close ties that unite us to the mother country. I refer to the discreet form in which, at public festivals incident to our anniversaries and other solemn celebrations, the national hymn is to be sung, in order not to wound the patriotic susceptibilities of the Spaniards. This measure has been well received, and has retroacted sympathetically, having the best of effect and originating a fresh current of generous sentiments between the two nations.

Notwithstanding that from special reasons incident to the financial situation of the nation we were prevented from taking part in the Paris International Exposition, we have sought to respond to the various invitations that have been addressed to us to participate in the congresses that are to take place there; and we have named delegates to the congresses of medicine, of hygiene, of demography, of railroads, of public aid and benevolence, whose presence at them and whose reports will redound to the advantage of the nation.

An American congress is to shortly meet by the initiative of the Government of the United States, having the same objects in view as the one held in 1889. Having been especially invited to take part, without the time and place of the meeting having been determined upon, I have accepted the invitation not only as an act of courtesy, but also as I entertain the belief that the holding of such a congress can be fruitful to the relations of the American States living far apart, notwithstanding that common interests and aspirations demand closer ties.