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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 74


74                      FOREIGN RELATIONS.
                                No. 53.'
                      Mr. Putnam to ,Mr. Blaine.
 No. 74.]                 LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
                         Brussels, June 27, 1881. (Received July 9.)
   Sin: I have the honor to state that your dispatch No. 46, relating to
 the proposed treaty arbitration between the governments of Costa Rica
 and Colombia, duly arrived at the legation.
   An incident which occurred within a few days left no doubt in my
 mind that the question of His Majesty's acceptance of the trust as arbi-
 trator had in some form" come before him for his consideration. I felt
 so assured of it that I felt justified in calling upon Baron Lambermont,
 assistant secretary of the foreign office. I soon introduced the sunlject
 of the treaty, and stated that I was under the impression that His Ma-
 jesty had the subject of acting as arbitrator between those two govern-
 ments under consideration, if he had not already decided as to its accept-
 ance. He said that as yet His Majesty had not received the formal
 official notice, but that informal communications on the subject had been
 made tothe foreign office by the minister of Costa Rica. This satisfied
me
 that I did not mistake in believing that the subject-matter of accepting
 the appointment had already, at least informally, been placed before
 His Majesty, and that the necessary formal notice-necessary even that
 the office of arbitrator might be declared and the duty transferred to
 His Majesty the King of Spain-would be positively given.
   I stated to Baron Lambermont that, as he was aware, the Government
 of the United States had very important treaty rights and obligations
 in connection with the isthmus and territory of the State of Panama.
 That there were special and controlling reasons why the Government
 of the United States felt it due both'to His Majesty and to itself that
 if the question of acting as arbitrator was presented to His Majesty he
 should be advised of the exact position of the Government of the United
 States toward the proposed arbitration; that it deemed this necessary
 to prevent any future misunderstanding or misapprehension on the part
 of His Majesty that might arise from any attitude the Government of the
 United States might feel it its duty hereafter to take, in view of its
 existing treaty rights and obligations; that I was instructed by my gov-
 ernment if the question of acting as arbitrator was submitted to His
 Majesty, to seek an opportunity in a method most agreeable to himself
 to present to him its position in connection with the proposed arbitra-
 tion ; that the object was not to seek to influence in any degree any de-
 cision of His Majesty, nor to present any view of its own on the question
 to be submitted, but solely that its own position in connection with the
 arbitration might be understood by His Majesty; that it felt all the
 more desirous that it be understood because of the high consideration
 the government entertained for His Majesty.
 Baron Lambermont asked me if my instructions were to present what
 I might have to communicate in writing. I replied that my govern-
 ment, I felt, would prefer a less formal method, as what it desired was
 in as simple manner as possible to make known its own position, as I had
 stated. At this point in the interview the assistant secretary-said he
 would ask in Mr. Orban, chief of the "1Direction Politique" of
the office
 of foreign affairs, with whom all-the communications onthe subject had
been made.
  I repeated in substance to Mr. Orban, on his coming in, what I had
previously stated to Baron Lambermont. Hie confirmed the statement


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