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United States Department of State / The executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the fiftieth Congress. 1887-'88

Bolivia,   pp. 45-46 PDF (548.1 KB)

Page 45

                             No. 45.
                      Mr. Seay to Mr. Bayard.
No. 76.]                 LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
           Ea Paz, December 6, 1886. (Received January 18, 1887.)
  Sin: By my dispatch 'No. 60, dated May 6, 1886, I informed the
Department that the Bolivian Government would soon depart for Sucre,
the constitutional capital, remain there temporarily, hold the regular
session of Congress there, and return to La Paz in the fall. It did de-
part about May 15.
  As the time for the adjournment of Congress approached speculation
became rife as to the question whether it would redeem its promise to
return to La Paz. It was at first given out that it would pay a visit to
Cochabamba and then return to Sucre. But when the President and
his cabinet came to decide the question it was determined to remain at
Sucre. As the rainy season will prevent travel until April or May it
was very natural that such a step should be taken. But not a word
was said as to its return to La Paz after that time. Hence a very nat-
ural fear among the people of La Paz that it will never return, Sucre
is the constitutional capital, but, by Article 41, the President may, for
"grave reasons," call the sessions of Congress elsewhere. It has
nearly the whole of the last fifteen years, sat at La Paz. President
Pacheco, being a resident of Sucre, it is feared that he will keep the
Government there during at least the remaining two years of his term.
It will be observed that under the present constitution no one place
can be selected as the permanent seat of Government. It may continue
to be peripatetic or not, the question depending on the President's ideas
as to what constitute "1gravet reasons." My colleagues have instruc-
tions to remain here until such selection is made, and so remain.
  In the mean time the Government has not communicated with the
diplomatic corps on the subject officially. We know nothing of its in-
tentions except what we gather from the rumors and speculations of
the public. We shall be cut off from each other for five or six mouths
by the weather, the communication by the mule post being very pre-
carious. Removal of a legation to 8ucre would be troublesome and
expensive at any time. As La Paz is even now quite accessible to the
outer world by lake and railroad, and bids fair to be more so by the ex-
tension of the railroad, one would suppose that it is bound to be the
permanent capital at no distant day.
       With much respect, etc.,
                                                  I. A, SEAkY4

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