File No. 711.21/200.


No. 10.]

Sir: In reference to your telegraphic instructions dated September 29, I have the honor to enclose herewith copies of the original Spanish [Page 322] text and English translation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs’ note of the 6th instant in acknowledgment of mine dated October 1st, in which, pursuant to your instructions, I made a formal offer of twenty million dollars in full settlement of all our pending differences with Colombia, to include also any claims Colombia might have against the Republic of Panama.

I have reason to know that the terms in which my note was couched, made a most favorable impression upon the President, the Minister, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

With the help of the Committee and under the President’s direction, the Minister will now proceed to draft a counter-proposition and in order that it may come as near being acceptable as possible to the Government of the United States, Dr. Urrutia will confer with me regarding the respective points to be contained therein.

I understand that the counter-proposition will consist of a note transmitting the essential conditions desired by Colombia in the form of a project for a treaty. This draft treaty will consist of at least four articles embodying the following cardinal points: one, moral reparation; two, preferential privileges in the Canal; three, fixation of boundary line; and four, money indemnification. In discussing these several features it will be my earnest endeavor to keep the Colombian demands within reasonable bounds.

I have [etc.]

Thad. A. Thomson.

The Colombian Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Minister.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to refer to the courteous note of the first instant, by which your excellency has informed the Government of the Republic that the Government and the people of the United States desire that everything that may have marred or seemed to interrupt the friendship between the two nations should be cleared away and forgotten; that your excellency’s Government therefore desires to terminate the differences which have arisen between it and the Republic regarding the reparation for the losses, both moral and material, which Colombia has suffered by reason of the circumstances accompanying the acquisition of the rights which the United States now enjoys on the Isthmus of Panamá; and that your excellency therefore offers in the name of your Government the sum of twenty million dollars in full settlement of all claims and differences pending between our two Governments and between the Government of the Republic and Panamá.

I have received instructions from His Excellency the President of the Republic to inform your excellency, as I have the honor now to do, that the Colombian Government duly appreciates the sentiments and desires of friendship and of justice expressed in your excellency’s note.

In order to cooperate on its part in reaching that just and friendly settlement which is desired by your excellency’s Government, my Government will proceed to communicate to your excellency, with the promptness and the attention which the matter requires, its ideas regarding the bases of a possible and convenient arrangement. One of these bases is the proper indemnity for damages and losses, which will be opportunely considered in connection with the other stipulations which the Republic deems necessary for the complete solution of the claims and differences to which your excellency refers.

The Colombian Government, in spontaneously concurring with that of the United States in favor of a direct settlement of this matter, hopes that it will prove feasible and effective and that in this way it will not be necessary to continue [Page 323] its efforts looking to the acceptance of other measures proposed by Colombia and which are still pending.

In expressing to your excellency these ideas and intentions of my Government, I have [etc.]

F. J. Urrutia.