Mr. Snyder to Mr. Hay.
Bogotá, February 24, 1904.
Sir: Referring to my telegrams of December 26, 1903, and January 20, 1904, in reference to the Bogotá City Railway Company, I have the honor to inform you that papers in this matter were not forwarded to the Department for the reason that before the next mail day prospects presented themselves for a peaceful settlement of the difficulty, and I preferred to be able to so inform the Department rather than forward papers in what promised to be another disagreeable claim.
The Bogotá City Railway Company, which enjoys the disadvantage of existing under two separate concessions, one from the city and one from the Department of Cunclinamarca, had been annoyed for some time by petty actions of the departmental authorities, and finally a decree was published by the governor ordering the company to comply with certain conditions. This was refused by the company on the grounds that said decree was contrary to the law and the concession of the company, with the result that on December 25, 1903, the Chapinero line was seized by the authorities. After trying to operate the line themselves for about three days, they gave up the attempt and endeavored to pass the line back to the company, which refused to accept it, and thus matters stood for nearly a month.
Upon receipt of Department’s instructions of December 31, 1903, in answer to my telegram of December 26, 1903, I presented the matter to the minister for foreign affairs, who, with the minister of Government, both expressed an earnest desire to see the matter amicably settled in fairness to all parties.
Upon January 17 last I received a verbal request from the vice-president asking me to use my good offices with the governor, and saying he would do the same with the company, so as to have the matter arranged at once, as the public as well as the interested parties were sufferng great inconveniences as a result of the suspended service.
On the day following, with full powers to represent the company, I met the secretary of the governor in the office of the minister of Government, and after a conference lasting two days an agreement seemed no nearer than at the beginning until the minister of the Government informed the secretary that he must accept the compromise, which he, the minister of Government, had helped to draw up, and which he considered fair to all parties, or he would so order its acceptance in a decree.
After some further talk it was accepted by the governor, approved by the vice-president, and a legislative decree issued making it a law.
Thus, as reported in my telegram of January 20, 1904, this difficulty and others pending between the company and the Government were settled satisfactorily, at least for the present, to all parties concerned.
I must add here that in the whole affair an earnest desire for a friendly settlement was evinced by all the authorities of the National Government connected with the case, and the only trouble was with the departmental authorities.
I am, etc.,