File No. 711.21/169.

The Secretary of State to the Minister of Colombia.

Sir: Referring to your note of May 3d last, I am directed to say that this Government prefers to postpone, for the present, the consideration of the question of arbitration, in the hope that by direct negotiations the matter in dispute between us may be satisfactorily adjusted. I have been in conference with Mr. Hannis Taylor, the counsel and legal adviser of the Republic of Colombia, in regard to this matter, and shall be pleased to take the subject of direct negotiations up with you or him, jointly or severally.

Our nation has its own honor at stake in all matters which involve fair dealing toward other nations, and I speak for the President and, I am sure, for the whole people, as well as for myself, when I express the earnest desire that we may be able to remove every obstacle that stands in the way of perfect confidence and free intercourse between the two nations.

I take [etc.]

W. J. Bryan.