File No. 8183/165–169.

Chargé Sands to the Secretary of State.

No. 1244.]

Sir: For the information of the department, I inclose herewith clippings from the Mexican Herald of yesterday and to-day, on the subject of the opening by President Diaz of the first period of sessions of the Twenty-fourth Congress, on the evening of the 16th instant, and the President’s message delivered on that occasion.

I have, etc.,

W. F. Sands.
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Foreign Relations.

Our relations with foreign nations continue satisfactory, and there are no questions pending with any of them of a nature to disturb that condition.

relations with the united states.

The Government of the United States of America has given proofs of its friendliness toward us, and in general such questions as have arisen between ourselves and that Government have been satisfactorily adjusted.

When, as I shall have occasion to mention later on, attacks were made on small border towns by bands of outlaws, the Washington Government not only concentrated forces along the boundary line to prevent the fleeing marauders from seeking a refuge in American territory, but also instituted proceedings for violation of the neutrality laws against those individuals who had made plans in the United States for the raids into Mexico.

central american peace court.

Our ambassador at Washington was present, in company with an American commissioner, at the inauguration of the International Court of Justice, at Cartago, Costa Rica. As a consequence, we have been favored with the visit of a distinguished special envoy of the Costa Rican Government, as we had previously had the pleasure of entertaining commissioners from the nations represented at the Central American peace conference.

We hope that the newly established tribunal will contribute to the maintenance of peace in Central America; and Mexico, for her part, will do all that is possible and proper for the attainment of so desirable an object. With this end in view, the executive consulted Congress as to the estabishment of legations in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and sent the nominations of their personnel to the Senate. The new legations have already been opened, and a diplomatic representative of Mexico is once more in residence at Guatemala City, having charge also of our legation to El Salvador.

revolution in haiti.

In connection with a revolution which broke out in Haiti, the Government of the Republic communicated to the Government of Mexico its determination to recognize no longer the right of asylum in the consulates and legations established in its territory. The executive, notwithstanding the generality and sweeping character of the decision in question, thought proper to comply with the desires of a friendly nation by prohibiting our consuls to harbor Haitian refugees under the present circumstances, while maintaining in principle the practice of granting asylum according to the usage of civilized powers, as an efficacious means, under given conditions, for safeguarding the rights of man and enforcing a proper respect for the claims of humanity.

treaties with foreign powers.

We have entered into postal conventions with some of the Central American nations, and have concluded treaties of friendship and commerce and for the extradition of criminals with Honduras.

committee of jurists appointed.

In pursuance of resolutions adopted by the third Pan American conference, a committee of distinguished jurists has been appointed to consider the measures that should be taken to carry out the decisions of the three international conferences of American States that have been held.

codes of international law.

In due time Mexico will appoint her representatives to the conference that is to be held at Rio Janeiro in May, 1909, for the purpose of drawing up codes of international law for the use of the nations of America.

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affairs of honduras.

One of the resolutions of the Central American peace conference was a declaration as to the neutrality of Honduras, a country which, owing to its geographical situation, has been the theater of international conflicts. Recently its peace was threatened by the incipient revolution, giving rise to questions between it and some of its neighbors. Mexico and the United States, under the obligation which they assumed at the Washington conference to act as mediators in such cases, exercised their good offices to restore harmony among those states which are friends of ours, and our legation at Guatemala City afforded asylum to Sr. Oqueli Bustillos, who had been intrusted by Honduras with a confidential mission to the Guatemalan Government and who believed that he ran some personal risk.

treaties promulgated.

The treaty of arbitration with Italy, signed at The Hague on October 16, 1907; the supplementary convention with Germany, amending the first paragraph of the fourth article of the convention concluded on May 24, 1892; and Mexico’s adhesion to the Declaration of Paris, of April 16, 1856, with respect to maritime law and the abolition of letters of marque, have been duly promulgated after approval by the Senate.

conference on maritime law.

The department of foreign relations has appointed a delegate, and other delegates have been appointed by the departments of war and justice, for the diplomatic conference on international maritime law which is to be held at Brussels in the month of December next.

boundary commission’s work.

In the month of November last the American and Mexican sections of the mixed boundary commission between Mexico and the United States, considerably reenforced by a technical corps of engineers and draftsmen, undertook, and has now completed, the field work for a detailed survey of the Valley of El Paso, embracing a radius of some 200 kilometers. This survey will, it is thought, have an important bearing on the boundary question pending with the United States.

international irrigation questions.

Two engineers appointed as special commissioners by our Government and by the Government of the United States of America, respectively, are engaged in an investigation, irrespective of nationality, of all the problems involved in the irrigation of the Colorado River Valley, in which both countries are equally interested.