File No. 8183/162–164.

Ambassador Thompson to the Secretary of State.


Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of the Diario Oficial of April 1 containing the President’s semiannual message at the opening of the Chamber of Deputies yesterday, and a clipping from the Mexican Herald of today which gives a true English translation thereof.

I have, etc.,

D. E. Thompson.


Complete review of public affairs.

Messrs. Deputies and Senators:

In fulfillment of a constitutional duty, I have the honor of appearing before you, as on other occasions on which you have inaugurated your useful labors, to inform you as to the condition of the manifold national interests intrusted to the care of the executive.

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Foreign Relations.

Our relations with foreign Governments are in every way satisfactory and in most cases are characterized by sincere friendship.

central american peace conference.

The Central American peace conference, to which I had the honor of referring in my last message, was held at Washington, and the delegates who represented the various nations of Central America at that conference signed, among other treaties, one that provides for the creation of a permanent court of arbitration, which, in view of the commendable purpose, will, it is to be hoped, contribute to the welfare of the nations in question.

The conference possessed special interest for us, both because of the participation therein of our ambassador at Washington, in concert with a commissioner of the American Government, and because it afforded a propitious occasion for proving to the Republics of Central America that Mexico is keenly alive to all that concerns them, identifying herself as she does with the independence, the peace, and the progress of all the countries of the New World. To the influence of this spirit we owe, no doubt, the visit here of the delegates of Honduras and Nicaragua who represented their respective Governments at the conference, and of whom the former is clothed with the character of minister plenipotentiary to Mexico and in that capacity has negotiated with the Government treaties of amity and extradition which will be submitted to the Senate.

venezuela makes payment under arbitral award.

The Republic of Venezuela, complying with the arbitral award rendered in favor of Mexico in the matter of the claim of Messrs. Martinez del Rio, has been paying to us the stipulated percentage of the customs receipts at La, Guayra and Puerto Cabello. The money received has been turned over to the claimants, though a question is pending in regard to certain deductions withheld by the Caracas Government, a question which, it is to be hoped, will be adjusted satisfactorily.

magdalena bay concession.

The Government of the United States asked permission to station two coaling vessels for the service of its Pacific Fleet in Magdalena Bay for a period of five years. In accordance with the constitution a bill on the subject was presented to the Senate, limiting, however, the period of the privilege to three years and laying down the principle of strict reciprocity in so far as Mexico is concerned, for it was considered that, on that basis, while on the one hand a service is rendered to a friendly nation, on the other the Republic suffers no harm, nay, secures a privilege which may at some time be of use. The views of the Senate coincided with those of the executive, and the permission was granted on the conditions named.

arbitration treaty with the united states.

An arbitration treaty is being negotiated with the Washington Government through our embassy at the American Capital, and in due course this treaty will be submitted to the Senate. The various controversies that naturally arise between the Government of the United States and the Government of Mexico, owing to their constant relations of every kind, have been adjusted in a spirit of the utmost fairness and friendliness.

the hague convention.

Our delegates to The Hague peace conference made known, on September 27 last, Mexico’s acceptance of the Declaration of Paris of April 16, 1856, with regard to special points of maritime law, including the abolition of letters of marque, and also signed all the other conventions adopted, with the exception of one which treats of the firing of projectiles and explosives from balloons.

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all treaties to be submitted to the senate.

These conventions, as well as an extradition treaty which the Government recently negotiated with the Netherlands, will be submitted to the Senate in the same way as was a general arbitration treaty with Italy, negotiated between the delegations of the two countries at The Hague peace conference, and which has already been sanctioned by our second chamber.

a decoration from the netherlands

In connection with the extradition treaty negotiated between Mexico and Holland, Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina was pleased to confer on me the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, and, as a mark of friendship and consideration toward the Republic, commissioned the commander of the cruiser Gelderland to repair to Vera Cruz and thence to this capital in order to deliver to me the insignia. I received them and deposited them in the department of foreign relations until such time as I could ask Congress for permission to accept this distinction.

reorganization of consular service.

The foreign commerce of the Republic has kept pace with the upward movement of our wealth and prosperity, and one of the tokens of this growth is the increased importance of the Mexican consular corps which represents the commercial interests of the country abroad. This has necessitated a reorganization of consular affairs in the department of foreign relations, a new bureau having been created to take charge of the administrative features of the consular service, while the existing consular bureau will interest itself exclusively with the commercial features.

Department of War and Marine.

jamestown exposition.

When Mexico had once accepted the invitation to take part in the International Exposition of Jamestown in commemoration of the third centenary of the foundation of that city, the commission appointed to represent the war department repaired in good time to Norfolk in order to take part in the solemn inaugural ceremonies.

Mexico Day, as the celebration courteously organized on September 16 last, the anniversary of our independence, was called, proved a great success, and the executive cannot refrain from noticing the satisfactory results obtained by our exhibits, which won 14 first prizes and 4 second prizes.