File No. 5590/1.

Minister O’Brien to the Secretary of State.

No. 240.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith clippings, in duplicate, and translation thereof, from La Prensa of February 16, 1907, entitled “The presidential message,” reviewing the works of the administration of President José Batlle y Ordoñez, who will retire from office on March 1 next. I particularly invite the department’s attention to that part devoted to foreign relations, where reference is made to the visit of the Secretary of State to the River Plate republics.

I have mailed printed copies of the complete message under separate cover.

I am, etc.,

E. C. O’Brien.

the presidential message.

The executive power takes pleasure in giving evidence that the most absolute tranquillity reigns in all the country, and that the period covered by this message has been characterized by the greatest dedication to elements of labor and progress to their tasks, which have obtained ample and worthy recompense, favored by an atmosphere of peace and order.

The partial senatorial elections in six departments and for juntas in Rio Negro were effected in the greatest order and with the most complete liberty, it not being possible with reason to formulate a single charge against the authorities, the high body, called to officiate at these functions, having consecrated itself to this purpose.

On the other hand, the respect for individual guarantees and for property, which constitutes one of the most legitimate and honest standards for our country, has been maintained and augmented, if possible, the Government exercising a very severe censure over the authorities under it, punishing every abuse, such as omissions or deficiencies in their action, to the end of fulfilling [Page 1087] impartially the laws, to stimulate the zeal of officers, to demonstrate in exemplary form the true conception of the duties imposed on it.

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The executive power initiated, during this period, and obtained your sanction for a law relative to clandestine fishing, intended to repress efficaciously the transgressions against property and national sovereignty, which have been committed on our eastern coast.

It sent to your honorable body a simplified project on the creation of the high court of justice; another declaring salaries and pensions to be unembargoable; another relative to the betterment of the laboring class, regulating the hours of work, establishing weekly rest and protective measures for women and children employed; and another establishing an annual tourney of athletic games.

Seconding an initiative of the superior tribunal of justice, the creation of a new office of magistrate of crime and of a new judge of instruction for the capital were solicited from your honorable body. With your sanction, these offices are already in exercise, as well as the new office of official defender of the criminal, which was added by the assembly.

Making use of the constitutional prerogative of pardoning penalty of death—considering it to be warranted by the circumstances—said penalty imposed on the criminal, Ramon Gadea, was commutted in accordance with the dispositions of the law of October 30, 1883.

In this sense, the executive power permits itself to solicit again your deferent attention to the project of law suppressing capital punishment, which would incorporate in our legislation, a reform worthy of our social and institutional advancement.

The commissions charged with the study of the reform of the code of civil procedure, of the administrative code, of political legislation, and the register of original property, have assiduously continued their tasks, and from information the Government has, they will not delay in terminating them.

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Ministry for foreign affairs.

The two most important matters which, during the last period, were called to the attention of this ministry were consular reform and the Third Pan-American Conference. In this respect, among other things, it says:

“The laws on diplomatic and consular reorganization suitably drawn up, they have already begun to produce effects which at a no distant time will be truly beneficial to our country.

“In accord with the respective law, our diplomatic representation is extended to a majority of the more important civilized nations of the earth, such a delicate mission having been confided to national figures well equipped to lend useful service to the Republic.

“The consular representation, at the same time, is experiencing a radical change. Already the consideration, with which, in diverse countries of those most advanced, the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is appreciated, increases notably.

“The Third Pan-American Conference, held in Rio Janeiro, was a brilliant manifestation of American thought. In it, the unquenchable purposes of fraternity which animate the peoples of the Continent, were expressed in an indelible manner for the glory and honor of our America.

“The presence thereat of the illustrious North American statesman, Mr. Root, bearer of the special greetings from his country to her lesser sisters in the civilization of America, was a beautiful compliment to that congregation of brothers.

“As to how these manifestations were accepted and acknowledged, I do not need to state as they are so well known.

“For our part, we bring them out in the most eloquent manner on account of the visit to Montevideo of the illustrious man of state, the honor taking the initiative that brought about his presence among the peoples of the Plate being ours.

“The project for installing lines of rapid and direct steamer communication between the Republic and United States, already on the road toward realization, and the augmentation of commercial transactions with that and other nations of the American continent, will be, without any doubt, an immediate consequence of the aforesaid event.”