Mr. Snyder to Mr. Hay.

No. 383.]

Sir: President Reyes recently sent a message to Congress outlining the policy to be pursued, or which he desired to pursue for the next two years.

I have the honor to inclose herewith copy and translation of that part relating to the foreign affairs of Colombia which I thought might be of interest to the Department.

I am, etc.,

Alban G. Snyder.

Presidential message.

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foreign relations.

The administration proposes to cultivate them in the best manner possible with the countries of Europe and America.

Our situation regarding Panama requires extreme prudence and discretion, as we will be irresistibly brought into antagonism with the United States, to whom we owe the unjustifiable despotism to which we have been made victims. It is possible that the course of events in the interior of the United States as well as on the Isthmus of Panama may facilitate the beginning of negotiations which may satisfy our dignity and preserve our interests. I think it would be opportune for Congress to legislate on the matter, fixing general terms, but leaving to that time sufficient latitude to the executive power in order to cover the variety of incidents which may present themselves, it being well understood that whatever negotiation is arranged ought to be submitted to Congress in extraordinary sessions if necessary. Perhaps this may be the most painful matter in our immediate future; to solve this requires a considerable degree of prudence and justice so as to appreciate the true situation and how far we would be justified in hunting a definite solution to the ambiguity which to-day exists, and which ought not to be put off indefinitely.

The legations which the Government ought now to sustain will be: One in Europe, one in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, and Central America, and another in South America, with the necessary secretaries so that they may be left in these as chargés d’affaires in the capitals. In the United States a legation will be opened when the defense of our interests demands it. These legations ought to be sufficiently paid and endowed with the expenses of representation which the dignity and decorum of the country requires.

The consulates we may have in order to manage the large sums in gold resulting from the increased tax on invoices ought to be better paid than now in order that they may be properly served.

To regulate the service of consuls so that those employed may contribute, in addition to the studies and reviews which they will remit periodically, the industrial and economical development of the country.

The Government will work with great interests in order to settle the boundary questions pending with Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, and in fixing definitely the frontiers. For this it needs competent diplomatic agents and the necessary resources.

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