Minister Russell to the Secretary of State.
Bogotá, March 22, 1905.
Sir: Referring to my cable of yesterday in regard to the settlement of the claim of the Cartagena company, I have the honor to state that the terms of the settlement were the very best that could be obtained, and the Government of Colombia has acted in a very fair and equitable manner in regard to this matter. The minister for foreign affairs when he authorized me to summon Mr. Ford, the general manager, to Bogotá, assured me that he intended to examine the question very thoroughly and make a definite offer of settlement. The negotiations have been conducted at the foreign office between the minister for foreign affairs, Don Climaco Calderón, Mr. Ford, the general manager of the companies, and myself. There has been no friction whatever during the discussions, and I must say that the Colombian Government has acted throughout with that spirit of fairness which resulted in an award so just and equitable to this American corporation. The bonds given are called vales de extranjeros, and their issue was authorized by law 27, of 1903, for the purpose of paying claims of foreigners arising from the last revolution, are redeemable at the custom-houses for the payment of duties to the extent of 8 per cent of the amount due, and bear interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum.[Page 243]
I inclose for your information copy of a letter to me from Mr. J. T. Ford, general manager of the companies interested, which gives a detailed statement of the manner in which this claim was settled. I am especially pleased to place on record the fact that Mr. Ford, by his judicious and temperate attitude in the presentation and management of this matter, has greatly facilitated me in obtaining an amicable and equitable settlement of the claim in question.
I am, etc.,