Mr. Sorsby to Mr. Hay.

No. 144.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith two copies of President Pando’s final message.

A large part of the President’s message is devoted to the discussion of the subject of railways for Bolivia, and it is strongly recommended that a thorough examination and study of the country and the several proposed railway lines be made by competent railway engineers before definite arrangements with respect to concessions or contracts for the construction of any of said lines be given, the expenses for such surveys and studies to be paid out of the interests accruing on the £2,000,000 Brazilian indemnity, which indemnity fund, it is generally agreed, shall be wholly employed in the development of railways in the country.

I have, etc,

William B. Sorsby.
[Page 99]

Honorable Senators, Honorable Deputies:

The legal period of the mandate which confided the delegate functions of the presidency to my person having matured, I have the honor to present myself once more before the honorable Congress, to give an account of the principal acts of the administration belonging to the last year and to resign to the honorable Congress the functions of the high office exercised.

In fulfilling this honorable duty I salute with respect the honorable representatives of the nation here assembled on the date which commemorates the foundation of the Republic for the highly important object of the change of the personnel of the executive, conformable to the vote expressed by the people in the last electoral contest.

It is for me a cause of great satisfaction to finish my duties in the midst of the tranquillity and confidence which come from the preservation of public order in the interior. In this delicate task I have been aided by the desires and the sentiments of the whole nation.

* * * * * * *

My Government has developed invariably a policy of tolerance and of justice, adapted to the social state of the country. The liberty of the press, even in its greatest aberrations, has always met with respect and tolerance; the rights and securities of the citizens have been protected with solicitude, and the tendency has been toward cementing internal peace in the absolute power of the constitution to make it stable and fruitful.

* * * * * * *

Our international relations with the states of the continent and the powers of Europe that honor us with their friendship have been maintained and cultivated with preeminent attention. Their worthy representatives have received from my Government the proofs of courteous cordiality that can facilitate the discharge of the diplomatic steps with which they were intrusted.

The demarcation of boundaries with the Argentine Republic will continue in the current year, except as regards the question relative to the territories next to the town of Yacuiba, by the protocol of January 28 last.

With the advance of the works of the North Central Argentine Railway the commercial relations of both countries must increase, by consolidating the union of the two people upon the foundation of sentiments as cordial and affectionate as they are spontaneous and lasting.

Mr. José Maria Escalier, accredited as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary on special mission to the Argentine Government to procure, jointly with the minister of Peru, Mr. Osma y Pardo, the acceptance of the arbitration juris stipulated with that nation, communicates to us that he has obtained a satisfactory termination, declaring officially the acceptance of the Argentine Government as arbiter in our questions of boundaries with Peru.

* * * * * * *

In the fulfillment of the treaty of Petropolis the Government of Brazil has placed at the disposition of that of Bolivia, through the medium of the accredited firm, Rothschild, the sum of £1,000,000, corresponding to the first installment of the fund of indemnification. This sum remains at the disposition of the National Government, earning the interest of 11 per cent per annum. The honorable Congress will give, within the stipulations of the agreement to which I have made reference, the application that it may judge most pertinent and reproductive.

* * * * * * *

In execution of the agreement of November 17, 1903, and for the effects of the arbitration stipulated upon the claims resulting from the insurrections and the warlike state of Acre, the Government of Brazil has designated to represent it the distinguished statesman, Mr. Carlos Augasto de Carvalho. The stipulation of a prorogation at the place of the reunion of the court until the 10th day of November next has been authorized.

The organization of the committee of boundaries belongs to the Government, in order that it may proceed to the execution of the works of demarcation of frontiers with Brazil, in conformity with the treaty of Petropolis.

* * * * * * * *

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Consistent with the programme adopted by my Government to settle international differences by the peaceful means of diplomacy, whenever the negotiations consult the mutual interests of the high parties that meet for a solution of that nature, every effort has been made to arrive at an agreement with the neighboring Republic of Chile. Causes, independent of the will of our office of chancellor, have deferred this solution, which the convenience of both countries makes necessary. I earnestly desire that the preeminent labor of the Government that has begun may be the prudent and successful settlement of this business in harmony with the aspirations of the Bolivian people under the peculiar idea of the present conditions of the nation.

Mr. Ignacio Calderon, accredited envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Bolivia to the Government of the United States of North America, has been officially received by the President, Mr. Roosevelt, on May 27 last.

Mr. Calderon is, besides, charged with promoting the formation of a company of builders of railways, a task that he has undertaken with activity and good results, transmitting the reports that will be submitted to you by the office of the division.

The Government recognized under date of April 20 last the independence of the new Republic of Panama, Mr. Ignacio Calderon being charged with the personal presentation of this document on his passage through the Isthmus. The opening of the canal is a thing that must advantageously influence the commercial currents of the Pacific.

* * * * * * * *

Pending the decision of the President of the Argentine Republic, the arbitration juris stipulated with the Government of Peru, and the acceptance, of the arbiter being officially declared, the representatives of each one of the countries that are to be present at the arbitral judgment should be at once established, presenting their allegations of defense within the limits of a year. The Government has a sufficient store of documents for the defense of the rights of Bolivia in the archives of the office of foreign relations, and some other means having been adopted for the acquisition of other elements of defense which are able to reenforce our perfect right over the territories comprised in the court of Charcas.

* * * * * * * *

Conformable to the desires of the honorable House of Deputies, a project of a commercial treaty has been subscribed with Mr. Joseph Belin, chargé d’affaires of France, which yet does not have the approval of the high parties contracting, to be submitted to your consideration.

I am able to announce to you with the greatest satisfaction that our diplomatic relations with the European powers are every day more extended, the legations of Germany, Austria, Spain, England, and Italy existing at present, accredited to the Government of the nation, although without residence in the country.