File No. 823.5048/51.

The American Consul at Iquitos to the Secretary of State.

No. 3.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s confidential instruction No. 1 of April 6, 1912. and inclosures, relative to the situation in the rubber districts along the Putumayo River. The instruction has been carefully studied, and every effort will be made to keep the Department promptly and fully advised of developments.

Immediately on arriving I called on the British Consul, Mr. G. B. Michell, who told me that he had already been informed by his Government of my transfer to this post. He stated that he had already collected some data on the subject and had had several conferences with the prefect, Señor Francisco Alayza Paz-Soldan, regarding the situation.

Mr. Michell left the day after my arrival for an 18–day trip up one of the other rivers, but we arranged for further conferences on his return. In the meantime, he has courteously placed some of his information at my disposal.

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We shall try to make some arrangement to go up the Putumayo on a launch other than those belonging to the parties responsible for the atrocities, and it is altogether probable that we may be able to go up together in the latter part of July or August. In the meantime, I shall collect what information I can here and will report to the Department by the next mail.

In this connection, it is interesting to note that the present prefect leaves Monday, June 3, for what is stated to be a 3–months’ trip to Europe; but that there seems to be some doubt locally as to his return. As the Department is aware, this gentleman has been regarded as favoring measures that would put a stop to the practices that have occasioned so much serious criticism.

I regret my inability to furnish more information at present. It is very hard to get anything done here, and I have been obliged to live on the steamer that brought me until I finally managed to put up temporarily in one large room, without any furniture at all, in an unfinished building. There is absolutely no accommodation for travelers in Iquitos, and the cost of everything is so exorbitant that no one maintains an establishment of a size that would enable them to put up a guest even for a few days. Thus, most of my time since arriving has been taken up in making provision so that I should at least have a place to sleep.

Owing to his imminent departure, the prefect is so busy that it is very difficult to secure interviews with him, and the moment did not seem opportune to inquire what is being done along the Putumayo. Besides I had the question of temporary recognition to settle first, and, as stated in another dispatch, this is not yet satisfactorily concluded.

I have [etc.]

Stuart J. Fuller.