University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the forty-seventh Congress, 1880-'81
(1881-1882)

Belgium,   pp. 62-75 PDF (5.7 MB)


Page 71


Majesty the King of the Belgians; in the unlooked-for case that he
shall not choose to accept, His Majesty the King of Spain; and in the
event, equally unlooked for, that he shall also refuse, His Excellency
the President of the Argentine IRepublic, in all of whom the high con-
tracting parties "have, without any difference whatever, the most un-
limited confidence."
This convention was signed in San Jose on the 25th December last;
was ratified by the council of state of Costa Rica, signed by President
Guardia and transmitted to the Colombian Government for due ratifi-
cations.
   No formal communication, either by the Republic of Costa Rica or
 the United States of Colombia, has been made to this government, of
 their intention to negotiate or the actual execution of this convention;
 and we are still without information of its tatification by the Gov-
 ernment of Colombia.
   It is sufficient for your present instruction to say that the boundary
in
 dispute is the line of territorial division between the Republic of Costa
 Rica and the State of Panama, one of the component states of the
 United States of Colombia, and its final settlement by this arbitration
 will define the limits of the State of Panama and theextent of the rights
 of the sovereignty of the United States of Colombia over its territory.
   You are aware that by the thirty-fifth article of the treaty of 1846-148,
 with the United States of Colombia, then known as New Granada, the
 United States of America guaranteed not only the neutrality of the
 Isthmus of Panama, but the sovereignty of the United States of
 Colombia over the territory of that state. You will observe by ref-
 erence to the provisions of that treaty that this obligation was as-
 sumed by the United States of America, not only that any interoceanic
 communicatign through the isthmus might be protected by the power
 of the United States of America, but that they should also be in posi-
 tion to assert and maintain the rights which they have acquired under
 the treaty. This guarantee is therefore not only an obligation which
 they may be called on to perform upon the demand of the United
 States of Colombia, but it is also a right which they may claim to ex-
 ercise in their own discretion, for the maintenance of their own inter-
 ests.
   The effort, apparently a very earnest one, which is now being
 made to construct an interoceanic canal across the isthijius, and the
 necessity which this government now recognizes of establishing under
 its treaty privileges such coaling and naval stations on the Atlantic
 and Pacific coasts of the isthmus as will enable it to discharge, if re-
 quired, the obligations of guarantee which it has assumed, make it a
 matter of direct interest to the United States of America to have as-
 certained what are the limits of the State of Panama, and especially
 its littoral extent on either ocean.,
   The guarantee of the United States of America has now been in
 force for over thirty years, and upon more than one occasion they have
 been called upon to discharge the duties which it imposes, in the in-
 terests of other powers, while rec(ent events have given increased and
 increasing importance to the rights which it confers, it cannot be a
 matter of indifference to the United States of America whether the
 littoral line of either ocean in the neighborhood of any projected in-
 teroceanic communication is within the guaranteed territory of the
 United States of Colombia, or within the lawful boundaries of the Re-
 public of Costa Rica, With whom its treaty obligations are of a differ-
 ont character.
71
BELGIUM*


Go up to Top of Page