Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 6, 1910
Ambassador Dudley to the Secretary of State.
Petropolis, May 27, 1910.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose the Department of State herewith two copies of the message of President Peçanha to the Federal Congress, read at the opening of the current session of that body on the 3d instant, and to accompany it with a translation of some of the pre-hminary portion and of all relating to Brazil’s foreign relations.
Among international matters mention is made of the death of Ambassador Nabuco and of the eloquent mark of distinction shown his memory by the United States, “associating itself with us in our [Page 116] mourning,” in the transfer of his body in one of the powerful men-of-war of the American Navy to its final resting place on Brazilian soil.
Allusion is made to the recent treaties concluded by this country with Uruguay and Peru, each of which has now been duly ratified by the signatories, thus ending for Brazil any further question of substantial importance respecting the location of her borders.
The three parcel-post conventions, respectively with France, the United States, and Germany, were submitted to congress for ratification—that with France last year and the remaining two in April last at the special session—but are still awaiting its action, which now should not be expected before August or September, next.
The naturalization convention signed on August 23, 1906, at the Pan American Conference by Brazil, the United States, and other powers, was approved by Brazil in October, 1909, but, it is stated, will not be promulgated until approved by the other Governments represented at the conference. The one concluded for the same purpose between Brazil and the United States alone was promulgated by this country on March 10, last.
None of the 23 arbitration treaties or conventions mentioned as concluded by Brazil have been ratified here, with the exception of the one with Chile and the one with Argentine in 1906. That concluded with the United States at Washington in January, 1909, has been the inspiration and model of the numerous subsequent accords.
It is understood that drafts have been prepared by Brazil of a code of public international law and another of private international law for presentation to the International Conference of Jurisconsults which is to meet at Rio de Janeiro, after repeated postponements, on May 22, 1911. The work was intrusted to a judge of the Brazilian supreme federal tribunal, Dr. Epitacio Pessoa, who is regarded as one of the ablest members of his profession in Brazil.
In addition to the parcel-post conventions mentioned and the numerous arbitration conventions, there also awaited the ratification of congress at its opening this month specified acts of the Pan American Conference of 1906; the convention of August 23, of that year, relative to patents, trade-marks, and copyright, as well as four resolutions of the conference.
I have, etc.,
Extracts from the message addressed by the President of Brazil to the National Congress upon the occasion of its opening on May 3, 1910.
To the members of the national congress:
With an immediate view to agriculture I established the ministry of agriculture, industry, and commerce, having requisitioned from the State of Sao Paulo the cooperation and proved competence of its men for this service of such promising results.
In deference to an ancient aspiration of the country, the Government instituted industrial education throughout the whole Republic, and the shops of these new institutions are already frequented by hundreds of scholars. The Government also commenced to care for agricultural education, having promoted, as it should, the cultivation of new crops, and put into execution a more vast plan tending to the exploration of our mines, which are richer than those of countries which base the fundaments of their prosperity on this industry.
The four-year term which is about to end realizes, in relation to railways, the aspirations which arose in the early days of our national existence and which, with honor [Page 117] to the clear foresight of our ancestors, bear witness to the spirit of fidelity and perseverance which has presided over the formation of the progress of our country.
The Central [Railway] of Brazil has reached the banks of the Sao Francisco River, the point our first statesmen had in view when they decreed the great road.
Within a short time the federal capital will be connected with the southern boundary by the Sao Paulo-Rio Grande [Railway], and in contact with the friendly nations which surround us there; the other line, that of Matto Grosso, which will facilitate our relations with the frontier countries on the southwest, is well under way; and the Government, having given a strong impulse to lines in the interior, having authorized the electrification of some of them, thus utilizing our waterfalls, continues interested in the development of those international lines which must contribute greatly to the stimulation of commercial intercourse and to strengthen the ties of friendship with the sister Republics.
Our ancient boundary questions were finally resolved, and to-day the country knows definitely all of the extension of its territory. The country well knows that this great work is due to the Minister Rio Branco, who, rectifying our frontiers, bringing together American peoples and interesting high spirits of the Old World in the evolution of Brazil, has become the mark of the lasting gratefulness of our country.
Spontaneous immigration shows statistics in excess of two-thirds over the former periods of subsidized immigration. While attracting the foreign workman and surrounding him with comfort, the Government could not be indifferent to the deplorable situation of the populations of the North in their affliction by drought, and for this reason it gave a permanent and systematic organization to the work destined to attenuate their position. There have already been taken steps looking toward the sanitation of the flats of Rio de Janeiro by means of dredging the rivers which empty into the Bay of Guanabara (Rio de Janeiro), work which will make available to stock raising and agriculture an area of about 4,000 [square] kilometers in the vicinity of this capital. The sanitary rehabilitation and embellishment of Rio de Janeiro continues to preoccupy the Government, which has undertaken the transformation of the Quinta da Boa Vista, (old residence of the Emperor), and has resolved, among other things, the question of electric illumination and the leasing of the docks of the port of this capital.
The codification of the laws on process of the Federal capital, which will abolish useless formulas and customs, thus simplifying, so far as possible, the operation of justice and making the judgment of cases more prompt, is nearly finished.
The questions of social, political, and administrative character which have arisen in this period have received constitutional solutions, and excepting the plurality of remuneration of public, civil, and military employments which the Government prohibited—its act, however, not having elicited the assent of the other powers—and that of immunity from duties so prejudicial to the proper collection of revenue and which also did not merit your support, all others were generally well received, including that which formally signalized the abstinence of the State from participation in religious ceremonies, guaranteeing, nevertheless, the liberty of all sects.
By practicing a policy of rigorous restriction of public expenses the Government was enabled during the last few months to commence remittances to Europe of funds which have attained a sum in excess of £9,000,000. The Government being in this manner enabled to meet the payments for the new squadron and the new equipment for the army, as well as other obligations of a national character, considered it to be its duty, availing itself of the authorization conceded in a timely hour by the National Congress, to anticipate the amortization of our foreign debt, suspended by the funding loan. This measure, which relieved the difficulties imposed by that agreement, produced a beneficial result in the country and abroad.
The public credit thus consolidated, and the quotations of our securities elevated, the operation of the conversion of interest from 5 per cent to 4 per cent became necessary, and the Government did not hesitate to undertake it. The part already realized in the markets of London and Paris has given excellent results.
The economies of the budget were not sufficient, however, to meet the expenditures of the anticipation, of the amortization of our foreign debt; neither were the economies resulting from conversion sufficient. Some other measure was necessary to reduce the annual figure of our gold obligations, and this measure was the redemption of the loan of 1879.
The prices of our products have remained high. The conversion office has its deposits elevated during these months of government from £5,000,000 to £17,267 764–6–4, and its emissions, from Rs.93,000:000$ ($28,179,000) to Rs.276,284:229$124 ($83,714,121).
With regard to the operations of foreign credit, I have, at all opportunities, made it clear that the union would assume no responsibility whatever in connection with [Page 118] loans contracted for by the States, as in its opinion the excessive liberty at their disposition to undertake them may become noxious to the general credit of Brazil.
Our foreign relations with other nations happily are maintained unaltered. In order to strengthen these relations, to improve them, removing the causes of misunderstanding and promoting the harmony necessary to the competent collaboration in the work of American progress, my Government has worked assiduously in continuing the work of its predecessors. Flattering results have come to crown this sincere and pertinaceous effort so far as concerns us individually and separately.
At this moment no cloud darkens the international horizon of Brazil and we have more than sufficient reason to compliment ourselves on the celebration of the last pacts defining our frontier diplomatic achievements of prolonged historical reflection and in which you so intelligently and patriotically took a capital part.
Brazil knows to-day what it has of its own, which is much and will be immensely more, thanks to the productive work of its sons, who are ambitious to prove that they deserve such a rich patrimony, and to the foreigners, whom the broad hospitality of this country will soon turn into Brazilians.
But, if we feel ourselves tranquil and secure, the same does not happen with some of the friendly and neighboring nations of the Pacific, where questions which appeared to be on the road to amicable settlement have suddenly taken on the abrupt character of a conflict which will menace American peace.
While respecting the just susceptibilities of the sovereign governments deeply interested in clearing grievances and obtaining reciprocal reparations, Brazil formulates the most cordial wishes for the prevalence of calmness and wisdom in the spirits agitated by the noble passion of patriotism, and that once more the scourge of war may be averted from our continent, above all in this year when two of our enlightened sisters, Argentina and Chile, are preparing to commemorate the first centennial of their political emancipation.
Among the great collaborators of the Government in its international policy we have to lament the loss of Ambassador Joaquin Nabuco, who died at Washington on the 17th of January last. His death was not bemoaned only by his fellow citizens. The Government of the United States of America, associating itself with our mourning, saw fit to give to the memory of the Brazilian ambassador significant testimony of its affection, transporting the body in one of its powerful warships of its fleet to rest on Brazilian soil.
In the dominion of our international policy the two most important acts celebrated since the opening of the first session of the present legislature are the treaty of September 8, 1909, between this Republic and Peru, completing the demarcation of the frontiers of the two countries and establishing general principles of commerce and navigation in the basin of the Amazon, and the treaty of the 30th of October last, modifying our frontiers with the oriental Republic of Uruguay on Lake Merim and the River Jaguarao and establishing general principles of commerce and navigation in those far-off districts.
After these two agreements we can say that we know what, definitely, are our boundaries, what is the territorial extent of Brazil, and to what limits the activity of the Brazilian people may be regularly and pacifically exercised with its neighbors without further possibility of disagreements and conflicts.
To-day we have our frontiers defined with all the countries which surround us—with French Guiana, by the arbitral decision of December 1, 1900; with Dutch Guiana, by the treaty of May 5, 1904; with British Guiana, by the arbitral decision of June 6, 1904; and with the following Republics: Venezuela, by the treaty of May 5, 1859; Colombia, of April 24, 1908; Ecuador, of May 6, 1904; Peru, convention of October 23, 1851, modified in part by the accord of February 11, 1874, and completed now by the treaty of September 8,1909; Bolivia, by the treaties of March 27, 1867, and of November 17, 1903, which only require ratifications or explanatory declarations with reference to the mark of the Rio Verde (treaty of 1867) and with reference to the portion from the Abunan to the slough Bahia (treaty of 1903); Paraguay, by the treaty of January 5, 1872; Argentina, by the arbitral decision of February 5, 1895, and by the treaty of October 6, 1898; and with Uruguay, by the treaty of October 12, 1852, described, so far as concerns the most southern stretch of the frontier, by the accord of April 22, 1853, and altered, with reference to Lake Merim and the River Jaguarao, by the treaty of the 30th of October last.
Our last two boundary treaties, with Peru and Uruguay, merited your approval at the extra session which has just ended and were ratified by the contracting Governments. The exchange of ratifications of the treaty between Brazil and Peru was [Page 119] effected the day before yesterday in this city, so that this act is complete, lacking only the promulgation.
The exchange of ratifications of the treaty with Uruguay should soon be realized.
I hope that the small questions of form which have delayed the signing of an act declaratory of the demarkation of the frontier between Brazil and the Argentine Republic may soon be resolved.
For the small section not comprehended in the demarkation, between the confluence of the Quarahim and the extreme western end of the island Brazileira, or island of Quarahim, we proposed a special treaty or convention, if the matter can not be resolved by means of a complementary and declaratory article.
The mixed commission for the demarkation of the frontier between Brazil and Bolivia terminated its work in Matto Grosso, as well as the location of the Rio Yerde, in the terms of the accord of February 8, 1907. This year, as soon as the condition of the streams permits, it will proceed to Amazonas to mark the boundaries from the Madeira to the confluence of the Yaverija with the Alto Acre, as this is the meeting point of the new Peru-Bolivian boundary according to the protocol signed at La Paz on the 17th of September last by the plenipotentiaries of Bolivia and Peru.
I am going to encourage the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of commerce and navigation which we celebrated separately with each of the Republics of Ecuador and Colombia, signed at Rio de Janeiro, the first on May 10, 1907, and the second on August 21, 1909, both having already received your approval. The legislative decrees authorizing these exchanges bear, respectively, Nos. 2086 and 2247, under the dates of August 10, 1909, and of the 27th of April last.
The Brazil-Peruvian accord, signed at Lima on April 15, 1908, for the navigation of the Rio Japura, or Caqueta, was approved by the national congress and sanctioned by the legislative decree No. 2098, of the 14th of September last, which approved it.
I trust that the conclusion of the treaties of commerce and navigation with Bolivia and Chile may not be delayed The first of these is becoming more and more urgent on account of its being an obligation assumed in the boundary treaty of November 17, 1903.
In a message of July 13, 1907, there was submitted to your decision a convention to determine the status of naturalized citizens who again take up their residence in the country of their origin, this agreement being signed on August 23, 1906, at the Third Pan American Conference; and in another message, of May 22, 1908, the convention which, for the same purpose, we signed at Rio de Janeiro on April 27 of this year with the United States of America, was also recommended to you. The first was sanctioned by decree No. 2115, of October 8, 1909, but its promulgation was effected only after the said convention was approved by the other Governments represented at the conference; the second was sanctioned by decree No. 2116, of September 8, 1909, and, after the exchange of ratifications in this city on the 28th of February, was promulgated by decree No. 7899 of the 10th of March last.
There were signed in this city the following postal conventions:
- With France, on June 3, 1909, for the exchange of parcels without declared value.
- With the United States of America, on March 26 last, for the exchange of parcels.
- With Germany, on the 20th of April last, for the same purpose.
The first was submitted to your examination and decision in a message of November 17, 1909, and the last two in a message of the 23d of April last. In the other three contracting countries the agreements of this nature do not require legislative approval.
In messages of June 11, September 8, November 23, and December 24 I submitted to your approval several treaties and conventions of general arbitration concluded by Brazil with different Governments of America, Europe, and Asia. The following are the agreements of this nature which we have celebrated:
- Treaty with Chile, of May 18, 1899 (exchange of ratifications on Mar. 17, 1906).
- Treaty with Argentina, of September 7, 1905 (ratifications exchanged on Dec. 5, 1908).
- Convention with the United States of America, on January 23, 1909.
- Convention with Portugal, on March 25, 1909.
- Convention with France, on April 7, 1909.
- With Spain, on April 8, 1909.
- With Mexico, on April 11, 1909.
- With Honduras, on April 26, 1909.
- With Venezuela, on April 30, 1909.
- With Panama, on May 1, 1909.
- With Ecuador, on May 13, 1909.
- With Costa Rica, on May 18, 1909.
- With Cuba, on June 10, 1909.
- With Great Britain, on June 18, 1909.
- Treaty with Bolivia, on June 25, 1909.
- Convention with Nicaragua, on June 28, 1909.
- With Norway, on July 13, 1909.
- With China, on August 3, 1909.
- With Salvador, on September 3, 1909.
- Treaty with Peru, on December 7, 1909.
- With Sweden, on December 14, 1909.
- With Haiti, on April 25, 1910.
- With the Dominican Republic, on April 28, 1910
All of the treaties and conventions from Nos. 3 to 20 have already been submitted to your examination. Other agreements of the same nature are being negotiated.
The Brazil-Bolivian Arbitral Tribunal, which held its sessions in this city under the presidency of the Nonce Apostolique, terminated its labors on the 3d of November last. It began on May 20, 1905, and interrupted its session on May 20, 1906, resuming them again on November 3, 1908. During the first of these periods it was principally occupied with its organization and the study and examination of reclamations presented; during the second, it judged all of these reclamations.
The Brazil-Peruvian Arbitral Tribunal continues its sessions here, also under the presidency of the Nonce Apostolique. If there be no new postponement it should terminate its labors on July 31.
The International Conference of Jurisconsults, which was to meet this year at Rio de Janeiro, was postponed to May 21, 1911. It will be composed, as you know, of delegates from the American Republics and will be called upon to organize a code of public international law and another of private international law.
Brazil was, and continues to be, represented at the International Conference of Maritime Law at Brussels. It also sent representatives to the following congresses and conferences: Third International Congress of History and Music, in Vienna (May 25 to June 2, 1909); Fourth International Lacticinium Congress, at Budapest (June 1909); Second International Congress charged, with determining the nomenclature of the causes of death, in Paris (June 1 to 3, 1909); Seventeenth International Irrigation Congress, at Spokane (August 9 to 14, 1909); Second International Congress for the Protection of Infants, Budapest (August 28, 1909); Fifth International Congress of the Resistance of Materials, in Copenhagen (September, 1909); and the International Medical Congress, Budapest.
With the presidential message of November 16 of last year there were remitted to you:
- The convention of August 23, 1906, relative to patents and inventions, industrial models and designs, trade-marks and copyrights.
- The resolution of August 7, 1906, reorganizing the international office of the American Republics.
- The resolution of August 23, 1906, with reference to the Pan American Railway.
- The resolution of August 13, 1906, recommending the creation of special dependent sections of the foreign office and specifying their functions.
- The resolution of August 23, 1906, recommending the celebration of an international American conference which should adopt efficient measures for the benefit of products of coffee.
All of these international acts are awaiting legislative action.
The following foreign adhesions to acts to which Brazil is a party were communicated to us:
- Of the Empire of Ethiopia to the Universal Postal Convention; decree No. 7,441, of June 24, 1909.
- Of the Colony of Surinam to the agreements of Rome of May 26, 1906, relative to letters and boxes with declared value and the mode of collection; decree No. 7,624, of October 21, 1909.
- Of Servia to the additional act of Brussels modifying the international convention of March 20, 1883, for the protection of industrial property; decree No. 7,840, of January 27, 1909.