Vice-Consul MacMaster to the Secretary of State.

Sir: I have the honor of inclosing herewith two copies of El Porvenir, the semiofficial paper of this city, of September 25 and 26, relative to the visit made to this city by the honorable Secretary of [Page 441]State on the 24th instant. In the last-mentioned paper appears the speech made by our honorable Secretary, in English and in Spanish. The whole country appears to be most pleased, and the relations between the Americans resident here and the Colombians have improved greatly. With sentiments of the highest consideration.

I have, etc.

M. B. MacMaster,
American Vice-Consul.
[Inclosure No. 1.]

Speech of His Excellency Vasquez-Cobo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, at a breakfast, given to Mr. Root, at Cartagena, September 24, 1906.

[Translation from the Spanish.]

Mr. Secretary: Upon receiving your excellency within the confines of our heroic and glorious Cartagena, I present to you a cordial greeting of welcome, in the name of Colombia, of His Excellency the President of the Republic, and in my own.

You return to your own country to enjoy merited honors and laurels after a long tour, giving a hearty embrace of friendship to our sisters, the Republics of the South, and in breaking your journey upon our burning shores we receive you as the herald of peace, of justice, and of concord with which the great Republic of the North greets the American Continent. I trust to God that these walls, the austere witnesses of our glory, will serve as a monument whereby this visit may be noted in history!

The honorable Minister Barrett, the worthy and estimable representative of your excellency’s Government, has just finished journeying through a large part of our vast territory; he, better than any one, will be able to tell your excellency what he has seen in our beautiful and fertile valleys and mountains, in our flourishing cities and fields, and among the five millions of lusty, high-minded, peace-loving, and hard-working inhabitants, who to-day think only of peace and useful and honest toil.

This is the nation that greets you to-day and with loyalty and frankness clasps the hand of her sister of the North.

Mr. Secretary, upon thanking you for the honor of this visit, I fervently pray that a happy outcome may crown your efforts in the great work of American confraternity, and I drink to the prosperity and greatness of the United States, to its President, and especially to your excellency.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Reply of Mr. Root.

Your Excellency, and Gentlemen: Believe, I beg you, in the sincerity of my appreciation and my thanks for the courtesy with which you have received me, and for the honor which you have shown me. When the suggestion was made that upon my return from a voyage encircling the continent of South America I should stop at Cartagena for an interview with you, sir, before returning to my own country, I accepted with alacrity and with pleasure, because it was most grateful to me to testify by my presence upon your shores to my high respect for your great country, the country of Bolivar.; to my sincere desire that all questions which exist between the United States of Colombia and the United States of America may be settled peacefully, in the spirit of friendship, of mutual esteem, and with honor for both countries. Especially, also, I was glad to come to Colombia as an evidence of my esteem and regard for that noble and great man whom it is the privilege of Colombia to call her President to-day—General Reyes. I have had the privilege of personal acquaintance with him, and I look upon his conduct of affairs in the chief magistracy of your Republic with the twofold interest of one who loves his fellow-men and desires the prosperity [Page 442]and happiness of the people of Colombia and of a personal regard and friendship for the President himself.

I have been much gratified during my visit to so many of the Republics of South America to find universally the spirit of a new industrial and commercial awakening, to find a new era of enterprise and prosperity dawning in the Southern Continent.

Mr. Minister and gentlemen, it will be the cause of sincere happiness to me if through the present friendly relations, based upon personal knowledge acquired here, I may do something toward helping the Republic of Colombia forward along the pathway of the new development of South America. With your vast agricultural and mineral wealth, with the incalculable richness of your domain, the wealth and prosperity of Colombia are sure to come some time. Let us hope that they will come now while we are living, in order that you may transfer to your children not the possibility but the realization of the increased greatness of your country. Let us hope that some advance of this new era of progress may come from the pleasant friendships formed to-day. While I return my thanks to you for your courtesy let me assure you that there is nothing that could give greater pleasure to the President and to the people of the United States of America than to feel that they may have some part in promoting the prosperity and the happiness of this sister Republic.

I ask you to join me in drinking to the peace, the prosperity, the order, the justice, the liberty of the Republic of Colombia, and long life and a prosperous career in office to its President—General Reyes.