File No. 4344/5.
Chargé Heimke to the Secretary of State.
Bogotá, December 29, 1906.
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a letter addressed to me on the 17th instant by Mr. Teófilo F. Lian, as attorney for Mr. Ricardo A. Deeb, an American citizen, residing in this city, with reference to a claim presented by the latter several years ago against the Colombian Government for losses sustained by him through the action of the federal and the insurgent troops during the civil war, or rebellion, that existed in Colombia in the years 1901 and 1902, in which letter Mr. Lian complains of the delay of the Colombian Government in reaching a settlement of the claim in question, and requested the exercise of the good offices of this legation with that Government for an early adjustment of the matter.
In looking into the record of this case in the legation I found that Minister Barrett had addressed a note to the foreign office on the 27th of July last, in which he transmitted to that office certain papers named in his note, stating at the same time that, inasmuch as the claim in question had already been formally considered by the foreign office and that in response to its requirements the claimant had obtained and filed therewith certain additional necessary papers in the case, he requested the minister for foreign affairs to give the claim of Mr. Deeb that full and just attention which it might deserve and then propose the Colombian Government’s terms of settlement as soon as convenient.
As I found that no response had been made to Minister Barrett’s before mentioned note, I addressed one to the minister for foreign affairs yesterday (copy inclosed), in which I called his attention to the unsettled claim of Mr. Deeb and to the fact that up to the present time this legation had not been favored with a response to Minister Barrett’s note of July 27 last, and concluded with a request to be advised of the present status of the matter, and, if it were proper for me to ask, what steps are being taken for a liquidation of the claim in question, which action I communicated to the attorney for the claimant in a letter addressed to Mr. Lian yesterday, a copy of which is herewith inclosed.
This morning I received a note from the minister for foreign affairs, dated to-day (copy and translation herewith inclosed), in answer to mine of yesterday, in which he informed me that the claim of Mr. Deeb in reference is in course of verification, and that the examination and study of the matter would be hastened, in order that a decision thereon may be reached within the least possible time, which information I imparted to Mr. Deeb in an interview with him at this legation, with which he seemed pleased, since, he said, this was the first intimation that had reached him that the Colombian Government had taken under serious consideration the adjustment of his claim; but requested, as his business called him out of Bogota frequently and for long periods of time, that this legation call the attention of the foreign office to the existence of his claim from time to time, so that it would not be forgotten—a claim for horses, mules, [Page 288] cattle, and merchandise taken from him by the federal and insurgent troops during the late rebellion in Colombia, as before stated, the value of which, Mr. Deeb states, amounts to between $74,000 and $75,000 gold. I promised Mr. Deeb that this legation would be pleased to continue to use its consistent good offices with the Colombian Government toward a speedy and an equitable adjustment of his claim, which action I trust will meet the approval of the department.
Inasmuch as I have made reference in this dispatch to Minister Barrett’s note to the foreign office in connection with this matter, I inclose a copy of the same.
I have, etc.,