File No. 821.032/4.

Message of President Don Carlos E. Restrepo to the Colombian Congress, July 20, 1913.


In the memorial of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and in the annex thereto you will find a detailed statement of the memorandum1 presented by Mr. J. T. Du Bois, Minister of the United States to our country, regarding bases for a statement with that country; also the minutes of the conference of February 15th of this year between the said Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia.2 These most important documents are already known to our compatriots, and you will appraise them with all patriotism.

The Government of Colombia, for its part, deemed itself compelled to refuse these arrangements, in the belief that they were not in conformity with the sentiments of reparation and justice held by the nation.

In spite of the fact that this conference was declared to be informal by the American Minister, the President of the United States presented in his message of March 1st of this year to the Senate the report of the Secretary of State, which contains an account of the refusal of the propositions.

As the Government of Colombia did not find entirely exact the statement of historic facts presented by Mr. Knox, its Minister at Washington was instructed to make the necessary rectifications, which was duly done.

The advent of the new administration in the United States under leadership of two eminent persons, Messrs. Wilson and Bryan, caused the Colombian people to conceive great hopes that with their friendly support we should receive at an early date complete compensatory justice. As reasons for this nattering hope great weight is attached to the appointment of Mr. Thompson as Minister of the American Government to that of Colombia, as we have received the highest recommendations regarding this meritorious citizen; also the conduct of notable North Americans, like Senator Hitchcock and Representative Rainey, who have presented to the Congress of their country very significant resolutions which tend to favor the cause of justice and of Colombia.

We are awaiting the arrival of Mr. Thompson, confident that before the close of the sessions of this Congress, there will be submitted to your consideration the means of coming to a perfect understanding with the American Government.

The probability that the Isthmian Canal will shortly be ready for service, the desirability of cultivating frankly cordial relations with the United States, the conspicuous development and progress of our nation and the special requirements of our maritime provinces, render every day more imperative an understanding with the great Republic of the North.

  1. Inclosure 2 with the Minister’s despatch No. 135 of February 5, 1913; see ante.
  2. Inclosure with the Minister’s despatch No. 141 of February 28, 1913; see ante.