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 second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90
(1888-1889)

Colombia,   pp. 405-432 PDF (11.1 MB)


Page 430


  430                      FOREIGN RELATIONS
  lished a business the plant and good-will of which may be estimated at
  $1,000,000.
    By the decree of the Colombian Government, as to which you have
  already been instructed, a monopoly in the sale of ice in the Isthmus,
  and in Colombia generally, is to be granted to the highest bidder, it
  being a condition of the sale that those obtaining the proposed monop-
  oly shall renounce their right, if they be citizens of a foreign country,
  to call on the sovereign of that country to procure redress in case wrong
  be done them.
    I have now to instruct you that the decree is, in the opinion of this
 Department, in contravention not merely of treaty stipulations, but of
 the fundamental sanctions of international law. The condition of re-
 nunciation of political rights which it imposes on the purchaser of the
 proposed monopoly is one to which the members of the Boston Ice
 Company, all of them respectable and responsible citizens of Massa-
 chusetts, must refuse their assent, not merely from loyalty but from
 policy. No citizen of the United States doing business in a foreign
 land can, with due self-respect, or with due respect to his own country,
 make such a renunciation.
   In Article II of the treaty of 1846, which is still in force, between
the
 United States and Colombia, the respective parties thereto ", engage
 mutually not to grant any particular favor to other nations, in respect
 of commerce and navigation, which shall not immediately become com-
 mon to the other party, who shall enjoy the same freely, if the conces.
 sion was freely made."7
   The "favored nation" clause takes us to the third article of
the treaties
 between the Republic of Colombia and Sardinia and France, respect-
 ively, and to the second article of the treaties between the Republics of
 Colombia and Peru, Portugal and Great Britain, respectively, in which
 there is granted to the citizens of the respective countries an unlimited
 liberty of trade to the cities of the contraeting parties.
   Article III of the treaty of 1846, as aforesaid, provides that-
   The two high contracting parties, being likewise desirous of placing the
commerce
 and navigation of their respective countries on the liberal basis of perfect
equality
 and reciprocity, mutually agree that the citizens of each may frequent all
the coasts
 and countries of the other, and reside and trade there in all kinds of produce,
manu-
 factures8, and merchandise.
   It is further provided that such citizens "shall enjoy all the rights,
 privileges, and exemptions in navigation and commerce which native
 citizens do or shall enjoy, submitting themselves to the laws, decrees,
 and usages there established, to which native citizens are subjected."
   Article VII of the same treaty provides:
   It is likewise agreed that it shall be wholly free for all merchants,
commanders of
ships, and other citizens of both countries, to manage by themselves or agents
their
own business in all the ports and places subject to the jurisdiction of eadh
other, as
well with respect to the consignments and sale of their goods and merchandise
by
wholesale or retail,    . they being in all these cases to be treated as
citizens of
the country in which they reside, or at least to be placed on an equality
with the sub-
jects or citizens of the most favored nation.
   These stipulations are re-affirmed in the first division of Article
XXXV, with particular reference to the Isthmus.
  In Article XVII, certain articles are specified as comprehended under
contraband," among which ice is not included.
  Article XVIII provides that-
  All other merchandise, and things not comprehended in the articles of contraband,
explicitly enumerated and classified as above, shall be held and considered
as free,
and subjects of free and lawful comamerce, so that they may be carried and
transpor'ted
in the freest manner by the citizens of both the coutracting parties, even
to placesj
belonging to an enemy. * * *          .   . ...


Go up to Top of Page