Chargé Magruder to the Secretary of State.

No. 556.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith the message of President Williman, delivered at the opening of the third session of the Twenty-third Congress.

I have, etc.,

Alexander R. Magruder.

Message of the President of Uruguay.


The relations of the Republic with the other States continue on a basis of the most cordial friendship. The attentions received by us from various nations are most flattering, for they demonstrate the respect and consideration our country has merited.

The members of our diplomatic and consular corps have been principally instrumental in bringing about the consideration we now enjoy, for they have worked with zeal for the welfare and future of the Republic under the guidance of the foreign office. But, on the other hand, the worthy diplomatic and consular representatives accredited here, who, by their reports on the various conditions of our national life, have disseminated the fact of our progress and riches, have proven a most important factor in improving our relations with the outside world.

In the message which I had the honor of addressing to your honorable body on February 15 of last year I expressed the conviction that the two international questions which have so greatly occupied the attention of the general public were on a good road. Now it is the greatest possible pleasure for me to communicate their happy termination. I refer to the codominion, with the United States of Brazil, of Lake Merim and Yaguaron River, and the dispute with the Argentine Government over matters known to your honorable body.

On December 30 last a treaty of rectification of boundaries was signed in Rio Janeiro between the plenipotentiaries, His Excellency Baron de Rio Branco, Brazilian minister for foreign affairs, and the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of our country, Rufino T. Dominguez, in which the rights of Uruguay to sovereignty over the waters of Lake Merim and Yaguaron River were declared existent. Thus becomes satisfied an old-time national desire carried out, in a disinterested manner, by the Brazilian statesman, with all respect for justice and confraternity, as has been announced by the eminent statesman who directs the foreign affairs of that country.

On February 5 last there was signed in Montevideo, between the Argentine plenipotentiary, Dr. Roque Saenz Pena, and the oriental plenipotentiary, Dr. Gonzalo Ramirez, who were designated for the purpose, a protocol, which, by the elimination of former differences, reestablishes the cordiality of relations of the two countries.

The brotherly manner in which our neighbors of the Plata cemented the traditional friendship of the two peoples occasioned great rejoicing in political, social, and commercial circles and in the press, and by public manifestation the Argentines have received the best possible testimony of our affectionate sympathy.

It is especially pleasing to me to inform your honorable body that the Governments of the United States of Brazil and of Chile have congratulated us on the conclusion of this protocol, and that these two events, of the greatest interest to the Republic, have been received with high satisfaction over the entire country.

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The Spanish training ship Nautilus visited us in June last; the Amethyst, of the British squadron, came in August last, and L’Avenir, belonging to His Majesty the King of Belgium, in September last. We have expressed our gratification over these courteous visits, and have rendered homage to the distinguished commanders and officers of these vessels during their stay in our waters.

An especially pleasing event, particularly so on account of the condition of affairs at the time, was the mission confided by the Government of the Argentine Republic to the battleship Almirante Brown, which came to Montevideo for the purpose of taking part in the festivities of August 25, our independence day. Argentine’s participation in this patriotic anniversary brought about an excellent impression—an impression thoroughly demonstrated by our reception of the visitors—thus still further cementing the ties of traditional friendship between the two countries.

In December a French fleet, under the command of Rear Admiral Aubert, visited us on the highly flattering mission of saluting Uruguay and her Government. The officers and crew of the powerful warships were received by us with the greatest possible cordiality, French and orientals mixing in the greatest harmony. Our people, properly gauging the importance of this visit on international relations, enthusiastically joined in the reception and entertainment of the distinguished guests.

The Republic of Cuba has given proof of its intention to draw tighter the bonds of friendship between us by accrediting here a permanent diplomatic mission, which has been received by my Government with high pleasure.

The Argentine Republic proposes to celebrate this year, in May, its hundredth anniversary by means of congresses, conferences, and expositions, in which we will be represented by official delegates, having accepted, with the best wishes, the invitations sent, and joining with great pleasure in this glorious anniversary of a friendly country.

This date coincides with the Fourth Pan American Congress, which is to be held in Buenos Aires also, and to which delegates will be sent to take part in its deliberations.

On May 14, 1909, the ratifications of the naturalization treaty celebrated between the Republic and the United States of America were exchanged in the ministry of foreign affairs; and on November 15 last the treaty on the extradition of criminals, celebrated between the Republic and Chile, was also ratified in the same manner. Consequently these two conventions are now a part of our international legislation.

The Goverment is giving due consideration to various drafts of international treaties on arbitration, extradition of criminals, and commerce.

For the purpose of drawing up such conventions, on bases of reciprocal advantage to the contracting parties, I have, with the consent of the permanent commission, confided to the minister for foreign affairs, Antonio Bachini, a special mission in Europe.