Mr. Bryan to Mr. Hay.

No. 84.]

Sir: Regarding the visit of the North Atlantic battle-ship fleet to Lisbon, I have the honor to report the very favorable impression on the whole community here created by the war ships and their officers. The King and other authorities’ have extended to the visitors a most cordial welcome.

The advent of the Kearsarge, Maine, and Alabama on June 1, was very timely, not only in affording an opportunity for the admiral and other officers to participate in the ceremonies of the initiation of the Duke of Beja, second son of the King, as a naval apprentice, but also enabling me to present on that occasion our officers to the King, Queen, and other attending members of the royal family.

Rear-Admiral Barker, Captain Rodgers, and Flag Lieutenant Eberle accompanied me to a dinner given in compliment to them by the Portuguese sovereigns.

[Page 704]

The King, Queen, Queen Mother, and Infante Don Alfonso made an exception in order to honor our country by attending the ball, given by me for the visiting officers at this legation, and repeatedly expressed their satisfaction at that entertainment.

The King lunched with Admiral Barker aboard the flagship, which he examined most minutely, with avowal of much admiration for all he saw. On that occasion, and on that of another handsome entertainment on the Kearsarge, everything was admirably arranged by Admiral Barker and his staff. This experienced commander in chief has here confirmed his reputation as a thorough disciplinarian, and as a worthy representative abroad of our great Navy, while his captains and staff have shown themselves throughout possessed of ability and savoir faire.

On the eve of their departure they were entertained at an elaborate and elegant banquet, given by the ministers of marine and foreign affairs, at which heartiest expressions of good will were exchanged.

Altogether the presentation made by our war ships and their commanders in Lisbon has added greatly to the prestige of our country in Portugal. This is evidenced by many favorable editorial comments, several of which, together with translations, I herewith inclose.

The receipt of the telegram from President Roosevelt to King Carlos was duly appreciated and complimented in the warm expressions to me of the royal recipient.

I have, etc.,

Charles Page Bryan.
[Inclosure.—Translation.]

portugal and the united states.

On the occasion of the King’s visit to the American squadron, now in the Tagus, toasts wer offered respectively by the Portuguese Sovereign and the commander in chief of that squadron, the warm expressions in which they were couched being significant of the cordial relations existing between the two nations, and to which the distinguished representative of the United States at this court has so sympathetically and effectively contributed.

As already mentioned in the Seculo the King accepted the invitation to the interchange of civilities on board of the flagship Kearsarge.

At the serving of champagne, Admiral Barker, in command of the squadron, proposed drinking to the health of His Majesty, not only as the sovereign of this nation, but also as the mariner who maintains the traditional maritime glory to which Portugal is indisputably entitled. To the person of the monarch, and to the ilustrious Portuguese navy, the toast presented ardent expression of sympathy, as well as fervent wishes for the prosperity of the kingdom, with grateful acknowledgments for the hospitality and manifestations of appreciation received by the squadron in this capital. His Majesty, Don Carlos, responded in toasting Admiral Barker, also the American Navy and President Roosevelt of the United States, adding that there was full justification of the sympathy and gratification with which Portugal welcomed the squadron of the North American Republic.

The American minister, Mr. Charles Page Bryan, then toasted their Majesties, the Queen D. Amelia and the Queen Dowager, Maria Pia, with expression of best wishes for the utmost happiness of all the august royal family.

A careful examination of the vessel by the King, under the intelligent guidance of Capt. Raymond P. Rodgers, then followed, the detailed explanations by that distinguished officer, eliciting from His Majesty avowal of thorough [Page 705]appreciation of the perfection with which the great battle ship had been constructed.

The King descended into the engine rooms and observed the operations connected with the artillery, including some not generally made known. His Majesty was profoundly impressed with the attentions thus shown him by the officers. In fact was so much pleased with the captivating manner of his reception, and by the attentions on board of the vessel, that he dispatched a cable message to President Roosevelt, expressing the satisfaction with which he had visited the vessels of the squadron, and his pleasure at the presence here of a division of the Navy of the United States with its brilliant officers. This message was promptly responded to by President Roosevelt.

* * * * * * *

Without doubt in this interchange of compliments there is that bond of personal sympathy which the Portuguese sovereign creates and preserves in his relations to other chiefs of state, including President Roosevelt. We should not, and can not, deny that our country may in some measure, at least, be benefited by these relations. In the present instance the cordial expressions of President Roosevelt have accentuated that amicable relation, and the people of Portugal accept with gratitude the message received by their august sovereign and reciprocate warmly like wishes for the prosperity of the people of that grand American nation, as expressed for us by their noble President. In many ways the visit to Lisbon of the American squadron may strengthen the bonds of friendship between the great Republic and this smallest power of Western Europe.