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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

Venezuela,   pp. 1191-1228 PDF (16.3 MB)

Page 1228

of this government, be a deplorable spectacle to see hostilities against
Venezuela initiated by the great European republic, and it would be
an evil to France, for which her share in the Venezuelan debt-would
afford no compensation whatever. You will remind M. Gambetta that
the question at issue is not whether France shall surrender the amount
owed her by Venezuela, but whether she will have it paid in install-
ments at the same ratio of the other creditor nations, or in a larger ratio
not acknowledged by the United States to be e(quitable.
  This government is convinced that, speaking as its representative,
you can readily persuade M. Gambetta that the position of the United
States in the controversy is one founded on the principles of justice,
and you should further pursuade him that the solicitude of this govern-
ment has not been so much for the protection of its pecuniary interests
as for the higher object of averting hostilities between two republics,
for each of which it feels the most sincere and enduring friendship.
  You will take an early occasion to bring the whole matter, in con-
nected shape, to the attention of L. Gambetta, adverting especially to
the condition of the question at the time when the previous represent-
ations of this government were made. In doing so you will read this
dispatch to M. Gambetta, at the same time leaving with him a copy.
      I am, &c.,
                                            JAMES G. BLAINE.

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