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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
(1881-1882)

Belgium,   pp. 62-75 PDF (5.7 MB)


Page 72


FOREIGN IRELATIONS.
    WhileĆ½, therefore, the Government of the United States of America
  does not claim or desire that the Republic of Costa Rica and the United
  States of Colombia should on all questions of difference which may,
  arise between them seek either thetadvice or arbitration of this
  government, I cannot but feel that in a question of such direct concern
  to its interests and to its treaty rights and obligations it was not only
  warranted in expecting the formal communication of such action as has
  been already taken, but that its opinion, both as to the character of the
  submissiou and the selection of any arbitrator to be chosen, is entitled
  to the most respectful consideration.
    It belongs, of course, to His Majesty the King of the Belgians to
  determine how far his acceptance of the arbitration which has been
  asked of him, will be influenced by the fact that he may be called upon
  to decide questions ofegrave consequence and direct interest to this
  government, which have been raised without our knowledge, and are
  to be settled without our participation. But it is proper, in order to
  avoid any future misunderstanding, or anything that may then be con-
  strued into intentional disrespect of the decision which His Majesty
  may make, that His Majesty should be informed that while the Gov-
  ernment of the Un ited States has neither formed nor desires to express
  any opinion upon the merits of the convention between Costa Rica and
  the United States of Colombia, yet it will not hold itself bound by any
  decision which would modify or limit either the rights or interests
  which may have been secured to it by the treaty of 1846, the obliga-
  tions of which it has discharged, from the date of its signature to the
  present day, with scrupulous fidelity, unless it has had full opportunity
  to explain and enforce those rights and interests before an arbitrator
  in whose appointment it has been consulted and in whose selection it
  has concurred.
  The method in which you will make this communication must be left
  to your own judgment. I desire, if possible, to avoid a communication
  so formal that it might be misinterpreted into a protest, and you will
  take care before approaching the subject at all to learn that the invita-
  tion to arbitrate either has been, or will positively be, given to His
  Majesty.
  Should it then become necessary you will take care that your repre-
  sentation of the feelings andopinions of your government are made in
  the most respectful form, and you will endeavor to satisfy His Majesty
  that they are communicated to him with no pretensions of interference
with the exercise of his own discretion, but with the earnest. desire of
guarding against the possibility of such a misunderstanding on his
part of the position of the United States of America as might tend to
diminish the friendly feeling and high consideration for His Majesty
which this government has always entertained and expressed.
       1Jam, sir, &c.,
                                            JAMES G. BLAINE.
                               No. 51.
                      Mr. Putnam to Mr. Blaine.
                              [Extract.]
No. 72.]                  LEGATION OF THE UNI'TED STATES,
                       Brussels, June 13, 1881. (Received June 254
  Sin: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of dispatch No. 45-
and to state that I have in person, and by note, expressed to the mini
72


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