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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

Belgium,   pp. 62-75 PDF (5.7 MB)

Page 75

of the baron, that the communications relating to the acceptance by
His Majesty of the office of arbitrator had so far been informal; that it
was proper His Majesty should be informed of the position of the Gov-
ernment of the United States to the proposed arbitration; that after
the official notice had been duly given and His Majesty had decided to
accept the trust, should he so decide, the opportunity I desired would
be afforded me. I then replied that my government might desire its
position to be understood by His Majesty while yet deliberating upon thei
question of accepting the office of arbitrator, that the subject might be
fully before him, and, if so, that I would be glad of the opportunity to
present it at that stage of the proceedings.
  Mr. Orban then said:
  I see your view, Mr. Minister. This is the situation, The treaty provides
its arbi-
trator in this order:
  1st. The King of Belgium.
  2d. The King of Spain.
  3d. The President of the Argentine Republic.
  As yet only informal communications on the subject have been made. After
the formal
official notices have been given and before His Majesty's decision upon the
question of
acting as arbitrator, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity you wish,
as you
have here expressed, and be duly advised through the foreign office. This
subject will
be laid before the minister of foreign affairs, who will doubtless inform
His Majesty.
   With that understanding terminated the official interview. Nothing
 could be more kind than the manner in which the subject, as I pre-
 sented it, was treated. I entered into no details, generalizing through-
 out as I have indicated.
       I have, &c.,
                                             JAMES 0. PUTNAM.
                                 No. 54.
                       Mr. Putnam to Mr.. Blaine.
 No. 84.]                  LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
                         Brussels, July 187 1881. (Received July 30.)
   SIR: I have the honor to state that Mr. Frere,. director-general of the
 foreign office, called upon me at the legation on the 16th instant. Re-
 ferring to the interview narrated in my dispatch No. 74, lie said that
 the statement he then made was informal, but that he now called, by
 instruction of the minister of foreign affairs, to state to me officially
 that His Majesty the King of Belgium, when officially informed of his
 selection as arbitrator under the treaty between Costa Rica and Colom-
 bia, would decline that trust. * * *
        I have,                              JP.
                                          S   JAMES, O..PUTNAM,

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