File No. 823.5048/132.
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador of Great Britain.
Washington, February 25, 1913.
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge, with thanks, the receipt of your excellency’s note No. 29, of the 6th instant, enclosing two copies of a despatch from His Majesty’s Consul at Iquitos, reporting on the labor conditions in the Putumayo region.
In accordance with your excellency’s request for a copy of Consul Fuller’s report on the same subject, I have the honor to enclose herewith duplicate copies of the correspondence on the Putumayo atrocities, submitted to the House of Representatives by the President on the 7th instant.
Before transmitting this correspondence to the President, the Department of State conferred with the Peruvian Minister, apprizing him of the general tone of Mr. Fuller’s findings. Mr. Pezet thereafter described the measures recently adopted by the Peruvian Government with a view towards ending the mistreatment of the Putumayo Indians and made renewed assurances, on behalf of his Government, to the effect that it would henceforth rigorously inforce law and order throughout the rubber-producing district of Peru.
In your excellency’s note under acknowledgment you were good enough to ask for an expression of my views regarding the Putumayo question and the action now called for thereon. In reply I may say that, in view of the vigorous policy apparently animating the present administration in Peru, the remoteness of the district and the attendant obstacles in the way of effective reform, I am of the opinion that any further action on the part of His Majesty’s Government or of the American Government would appear inopportune, at least at the time being, inasmuch as it might be instrumental in stirring up public sentiment in Peru to such an extent as to hinder whatever real desire now exists there for bettering the conditions under which the Indians labor.
In passing, I should like to inquire whether or not you have any confirmation of the press reports stating that Mr. Arana is expected before long to arrive in England for the purpose of testifying before [Page 1289] the Court of Inquiry, and what would be the attitude of His Majesty’s Government towards a request from the Government of Peru for the surrender of Mr. Arana, under a request for his extradition, should he present himself on English territory.
With Mr. Pezet’s consent I herewith enclose a copy of his note1 herein referred to, as of possible interest to your excellency.
I have [etc.]
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