Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 5, 1905
Ambassador Thompson to the Secretary of State.
Petropolis May 10, 1905.
Sir: For the information of the Department of State, I inclose herewith supplements to the Brazilian Review of May 9 containing a complete translation of the message delivered to the National Congress on the occasion of its opening on the 6th instant by Dr. Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves, President of Brazil.
I have, etc.,
Message presented to the National Congress by the President of the Republic, Dr. Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves.
Gentlemen of the National Congress: In accordance with constitutional precepts, I have again the honor of informing you of the movement of public affairs.
At an opportune moment you were made aware of the sad events of the month of November last; clearly understanding the gravity of the situation, you decreed a state of siege in the federal district and the township of Nictheroy, so as to facilitate bringing the guilty persons to justice.
The reasons which lead to this action under decree No. 1297 of November 14 last, still obtaining, the government found itself compelled by decrees Nos. 5432 and 5461 to prorogue the state of siege until the 18th of March last.
My object in proceeding thus was to secure the public order against evil elements well known to all, and to impede the occasioning of ill effects to the great social and political interests profoundly affected by the delay in preparation of indictments against the individuals responsible.
The government has not made use of the state of siege for any ulterior end; all persons have freely exercised all their rights, and it was declared at an end the moment it ceased to be necessary to the safety of the Republic.
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Happily we continue to enjoy the advantages of peace and I may assure you that never were our relations of friendship closer or more cordial with the other powers.
When I addressed to you my message of May 3, 1904, our relations with Peru wree passing through a most delicate crisis, which obliged me to take certain measures for the maintenance of peace and the safeguarding of our rights. The prudence of the two governments finally avoided the danger of a rupture, and on July 12 of the same year two treaties were signed in this city which merit your prompt approbation and that of the competent authorities of Peru.a One of these treaties refers to arbitration the claims of Brazilian citizens on account of violence suffered or stated to have been suffered from Peruvians on the Alto Purus and Alto Javary since 1902. The other stipulates that the diplomatic discussion relative to an accord on the question of the frontier from the source of the Javary to the eleventh parallel of longitude, as stipulated between Bolivia and Brazil, shall commence on the 1st day of August and terminate on the 31st of December, the two governments at the same time manifesting their sincere intention of adopting amicable means of settlement, viz, through the good offices of a friendly power or by submission of the question to an arbitrator, if within the period indicated or such other period as may be mutually agreed to no direct and satisfactory accord be arrived at. It was further stipulated that during this period, and for this period only, the territories of the Alto Jurua above the confluence with the Breu and of the Alto Purus above Catay shall be neutralized. These territories during the period of neutrality are to be governed by mixed police commissions, and in each a mixed fiscal post is to be established. Two scientific commissions will explore the two rivers throughout their course in the neutral territory.[Page 101]
The governments found great difficulty in constituting and putting in motion the commissions. On this account the period of neutrality was in December last extended to the thirty-first of the present month. The instructions to the fiscal commissions could not be signed until the 21st January last, nor those to the police and scientific commissions till February 4. Between the 24th of March and the 1st of April these commissions set out from Manaos. The police commissions should arrive at their destinations, Breu and Catay, almost at the end of the neutrality period. On the other hand the Peruvian minister here left for this country on March 22 on leave of absence. These circumstances render a further extension of time absolutely necessary. The two governments have already arrived at an understanding and the matter will in a few days be put on a regular footing by an exchange of notes.
The Brazilo-Peruvian arbitration court should assemble in this city on the 10th of July under the presidency of Mg. Julio Tonti, Archbishop of Ancyra, the arbitrator chosen by the two governments, and who has obtained from the holy father Pius X the necessary permission to accept the honorable charge.
At the mouth of the Amonea, a tributary on the left bank of the Jurua, there arose unhappily, in the early part of November last, a conflict between a small contingent of the fifteenth infantry and some volunteers on the one hand and the Peruvian garrison who, in compliance with the agreement of June 12, should have evacuated that position. The order of the Peruvian Government was forwarded per telegraph from Lima to the prefect of the department of Loreto enjoining the withdrawal of the military and customs post established at this point at the end of 1902, but there was great delay in its execution, and this conflict arose through the Peruvian commandant not having received any orders whatever on this matter nor any information as to the agreement itself.
In fulfillment of article 3 of the treaty of November 17, 1903 (the treaty of Petropolis),a we paid in London to the representative of Bolivia, on the 10th of June, 1904, and the 31st of March last, the indemnity of £2,000,000 which we agreed to pay for the reoccupation of territories ceded by us in the basins of the Jurua and Purus, south of the frontier agreed on on March 27, 1867. The arbitration court created by Article 2 of the treaty should commence work during this month, once the Bolivian member arrives. This court also will be presided over by the apostolic nuncio duly authorized by his holiness.
The demarcation of the frontier should commence shortly by commissions, Bolivian and Brazilian, as provided for by Article 4 of the treaty. I shall not delay in carrying out Article 7, by which we are bound to construct a railway from Madeira to Mamore, an undertaking which will be of no less value to our States of Matto Grosso, Amazonas, and Para than to Bolivia.
The frontier treaty concluded on May 6 of last year with Ecuador was approved without alteration both by yourselves and the sister Republic.b I trust within a few days to exchange the respective ratifications.
The negotiations regarding the frontier with Dutch Guiana have not, unhappily, gone forward as rapidly as I had hoped would be the case. The Hague Government is still awaiting the arrival of information requested from the superior authorities of the colony, but I cherish the hope that this affair, so important to the two powers interested, will be concluded before the termination of the labors of the present session.
It is necessary to occupy ourselves diligently with the question of our frontiers with Venezuela and Colombia. The ministers whom I have accredited to those countries have but just arrived at their posts. I count upon receiving shortly the representatives sent to Brazil by these two countries, with whom we have for so long been on terms of close friendship.
On the 14th of July last His Majesty the King of Italy, the arbitrator chosen by Brazil and Great Britain, handed at the Quirinal to the representatives of the two powers the verdict drawn and signed on the 6th of the same month in the terms of the treaty of London of November 6, 1901. In virtue of this sentence the rivers Cotingo and Tacutu constitute our frontier with British Guiana to the west. As you are aware, these lines are completed to the east by the divortium aquarum of the Acaray and Tumucumaque mountains from the source of the Tacutu to that of the Corentyne, a line already established by the two contracting parties in a note attached to the treaty of 1901.
Recent explorations show that the source of the river Catingo is in Mount Roraima, and not in Mount Jokatipu, as was presumed in the English cartographic documents and accepted in the arbitral award. It is at the former point that our Venezuelan frontier commences.
I at once fulfilled my obligations in thanking the royal arbitrator for the solicitude with which he studied the question submitted to his judgment, and also thanked our advocate, Señor Joaquim Nabuco, for the competence and brilliancy with which he defended the cause of Brazil.[Page 102]
It now remains for the two governments interested to occupy themselves with the demarcation of the frontier from the source of the Corentyne to Mount Roraima, and it is also necessary to decide the line of division Oyapoc-Tucumumaque, which separates Brazil from French Guiana. We were ready for this in 1900, but a delay appeared necessary to the French Government in order to give an opportunity to the French commission to obtain a change of climate after their long sojourn in Cunany.
The department of foreign affairs has already received the reports of the commission for the demarcation of the frontier with Uruguay, Pepry Guassu, Santo Antonio, and Iguassu, from the confluence of Quarahim to the Alto Parana. The maps, which are under examination, lack thus far the approval of the two governments.
Our sometime legation in Washington has been raised to the rank of an embassy, and I have nominated our late minister, Señor Joaquim Nabuco, to be the first ambassador, dating the commission from the 10th of January. On the same day, as had been arranged, President Roosevelt submitted to the Senate the nomination of Mr. David E. Thompson as ambassador of the United States in Brazil. The nomination having been approved on the 13th of January, the credentials of the two new ambassador is were signed in Rio de Janeiro and in Washington on the 21st of January. The rapidity with which the two new embassies were created clearly shows the mutual esteem existing between the two governments and the good will with which the Government and people of the United States respond to our ancient and loyal friendship for them.
On the 16th of March last I had the pleasure of receiving the credentials of the first ambassador of the United States of America to Brazil. Our ambassador, who is at present in London completing the labors of his special mission in Italy, should leave during the course of the present month for Washington.
An international sanitary convention was signed in Rio de Janeiro on the 12th of June last between Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil.a Through the action of circumstances outside of our control it has not thus far been possible to carry out in Montevideo the indispensable formality of an exchange of ratifications.
The projected convention for the repression of the traffic in white women and of an accord for its execution were signed in Paris on the 12th of June, 1902.b The National Congress approved it on the 27th of December, 1904, and as, owing to lack of time, Brazil alone was lacking at the exchange of ratifications I have resolved to express my adhesion to the said convention in accord with the faculty conceded thereby, and our minister in France has been authorized accordingly.
By notes of August 9, 1904, the Governments of Brazil and Italy have extended till the 31st of December, 1906, the commercial agreement of July, 1900. Up to the present Italian products enjoy the benefit of the Brazilian minimum tariff, and the duty on Brazilian coffee entering Italy can not exceed 130 lire per 100 kilograms.
The treaty of friendship and commerce concluded on June 16, 1903, with Persia, and approved by you on December 27 last, has thus far not been promulgated owing to the impossibility of exchanging ratifications.
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