Mr. Hutchinson to Mr. Hay.

No. 286.]

Sir: I have the honor to confirm my telegramb of yesterday to the Department.

The exchange of ratifications was announced to the public by the firing of twenty-one guns from the Cerro Santa Lucia shortly after 4 o’clock.

The hour for the exchange had been originally announced for 3 o’clock, but this hour would have interfered with the breakfast tendered the Argentine commission by the Santiago municipality.

Those present at the ceremony were His Excellency President Riesco, the members of his cabinet, the subsecretary of the department of foreign relations, the Argentine minister and secretary of the Argentine legation, the former’s private secretary, Gen. Luis Campos and other distinguished members of the Argentine commission, several Chilean generals, and also the intendente of Santiago.

After the ratifications were read by the Chilean subsecretary of foreign relations and the secretary of the Argentine legation, these secretaries affixed the seals respectively of the Chilean Government and of the ring worn by the Argentine minister to the minutes of the [Page 127] meeting, and then the minutes were signed in duplicate by the Argentine minister and the Chilean minister of foreign relations with a gold pen presented several years ago by the archbishop of Buenos Ayres to the archbishop of Santiago when the latter visited the Argentine capital to consecrate his present colleague. The pen was presented at a time when a pax multa or peace at any price policy was expected to prevail, and the newly consecrated archbishop expressed the hope that the respective treaties might be signed with that pen.

In conclusion, my telegram of yesterday’s date is a pleasant end to those telegrams sent by Mr. Wilson last year, which gave grave cause for apprehension of war between these most southern sister States, stretching side by side for over 1,500 miles. The constant anticipation of a serious war was ever before them, and the treasuries gave to increasing the war ship and the regiment what is now so thankfully given to that national improvement which is only born of peace and the confidence in a prolonged peace.

The new proofs of this new Riescoan era of peace are the turning of the Congress to the serious consideration of the moral betterment of the country; such a consideration as only comes forcibly with the feeling of continued peace. I refer to the suppression of drunkenness, and to compulsory education; and, further, extensive improvements and additions to be made in the railway service of the country, and new and adequate bridges to be constructed over those rivers which have been a constant yearly danger to the public in the winter season.

The words of His Excellency President Riesco (copy and translation of which I inclose), spoken at the beautiful banquet given last night in the Palace of the Moneda in celebration of the exchange of ratifications and in honor of the Argentine commission, are words of noble import which will be respected the world over, and which I hope may often be solemnly but gladly reread by loyal Chileans as one of the brightest pages in their national history.

In concluding this dispatch confirming my telegram of yesterday I may include a word about the royal and brotherly manner in which the members of the Argentine commission have been received here.

The commission occupies a palace belonging to Señora Adela Perez de Balmaceda (the widow of a brother of the late President), taken and furnished by the Government expressly for this occasion. Its principal members are Gen. Luis M. Campos, Gen. José Garmendia, and Admiral Solier.

The commission, besides attending the banquet last evening, has had in its honor a military parade and tournament, three balls, and numerous banquets, etc. To-day the commission breakfasts at the country seat, near the city, of Señor José Arrieta, the minister of Uruguay and dean of the diplomatic corps.

The members of the commission, especially General Campos, have been much cheered by the public, when seen in parade, though the Chilean public, as a rule, is not naturally very effusive.

I have been invited to the banquet and ball to be given to a hundred guests by the Argentine minister, Señor José Antonio Terry.

Any further information concerning the visit of the Argentine commission which may prove to be interesting will be sent in a later dispatch.

I have, etc.,

Norman Hutchinson.
[Page 128]

From El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile, September 23, 1902.

speech of his excellency the president of the republic.

Gentlemen: I welcome the distinguished member of the commission which the Government of the Argentine Republic has designated to solemnize the exchange of the treaties of May.

I salute the Argentine plenipotentiary, Señor Terry, bearing testimony to his intelligent and exalted action in the negotiation of these treaties.

I salute also the representative of His Britannic Majesty, Mr. Lowther, who, serving with appropriate zeal the noble initiative of his Government, has cooperated in this work of peace.

To the President of the Argentine Republic, Lieutenant-Colonel Roca, I send expressions of sincere friendship. His love of peace, his firm purpose to maintain it and consolidate it, associate him in the highest degree with the happy event which we celebrate to-day.

It is a great honor to represent a nation, and a happiness to serve it in its exalted and generous aspirations. I therefore give thanks to Providence that I have been given this honor and this happiness.

The Argentine Republic and Chile, bound together by nature, bound themselves together in their infancy by the noble sentiments of their independence, and, united, they contributed to the liberty of our continent.

Chile and the Argentine, always jealous of their sovereignty and decorum, always respectful of the rights of others, have always removed the discords almost inherent to territorial demarkations, and both Republics have to-day sealed, with the support of a noble and powerful nation, treaties of peace which insure to them an era of loyal confraternity and profitable labor.

This happy era will be lasting, it will be continual, because it is the work of two free and prudent peoples, enlightened by the most vivid light of modern civilization.

I invite you, gentlemen, to associate yourselves with this triumph of civilization, and with the ardent wishes which I express for the happiness of the Argentine people and the Chilean people in this era of honorable peace.

  1. Printed, ante.