« AnteriorContinuar »
far there had beeu no general uprising in the country in favor of the rerolution, as the invaders expected. There is little doubt, however, that unless the Government should succeed in suppressing the movement promptly, the country will have entered into a long period of con. vulsion and bloodshed. I have, &c.,
HENRY O. HALL.
Mr. Hall to Mr. Bayard.
No. 444.1 UNITED STATES LEGATION IN CENTRAL AMERICA,
Guatemala, November 11, 1885. (Received December 4.) SIR: In my dispatch No. 441, of the 4th instant, I reported to you that a hostile expedition to invade and revolutionize Nicaragua had already landed in the territory of that state. I have now to inform you that I have received telegrams from the minister for foreign affairs of Hon. duras and President Cardenas, of Nicaragua, announcing the complete defeat of the invaders and their retreat into Honduras, where they were disarmed by order of the Government and sent to Tegucigalpa. * . *
Yesterday I telegraphed you the following: The minister for foreign affairs of Honduras telegraphs the expedition against the Government of Nicaragua has been defeated; invaders have been forced to take refuge in Honduras. I hare, &c.,
HENRY O. HALL.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Pringle.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 18, 1885. SIR: I bave received Mr. Hall's confidential dispatch No. 404, of August 31 last, announcing that ex-President Zavala, of Nicaragua, had accomplished the object of bis recent visit to Guatemala, and that the amicable relations between those two sister Republics, which the decree of the late President Barrios, of February 28 last, had temporarily interrupted, had been re-established,
The President directs me to say that he has been much gratified at this intelligence, and to express his willingness to permit our repre. sentatives in Central America to use their influence to that end when it can be done with full recognition of the sovereign rights of those states. He hopes, also, as do the people of the United States, that not only may there be between the Central American Republics the most perfect, cordial, and friendly understanding, but that the fullest measure of success may be realized through their combined peaceful endeavors, and a new era of prosperity be vouchsafed unto them. I am, &c.,
T. F. BAYARD.
Mr. Pringle to Mr. Bayard.
Guatemala, December 6, 1885. (Received January 4, 1886.) SIR: I beg to report that the elections passed off quietly, and Gen. eral Manuel Barillas has been elected constitutional President, and Vi. cente Castaneda Vice-President of the Republic of Guatemala.
The official announcement does not take place until Congress meets next August.
I also inclose a decree of General Menendez, President of Salvador, relative to the dissolution of the Assembly, and also the decree in which he declares the country under martial law. I have, &c.,
D. LYNCH PRINGLE,
Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.
(Inclosure 1 in No. 454.-Translation.)
Decree of General Menendez, President of Salvador. Francisco Menendez, general of division and provisional President of the Republic of Salvador, considering:
(1) That ever since the first session of the constitutional Congress there has been noticed a spirit of division amongst the members composing it, a departing each day further and further from that patriotism with which it should be inspired, so as to establish the institutions which must consolidate that real liberty, peace, and public order to which all Salvadorians legitimately aspire.
(2) That notwithstanding the notorious designs of leaving an inadequate constitution, and not only a palpable but aggressive resistance to the reforms indicated by the executive power, the latter has reached the extreme of its prudence and tolerating spirit, abstaining from having recourse to those violent measures demanded by the public sentiment, from the desire to evade for the Republic a scandal and the evils attendant upon an abnorinal situation of the country, as well as from the hope that it would have succeeded in causing the opposition circle to relax in their mournful endeavors to provoke difficulties and disturbances.
(3) That the moderation of this conduct is almost interpreted as weakness on the part of the Government, and that, far from diverging from their intentions, which are hostile towards it and which are tending to denaturalize the glorious programme of the revolution, it appears better to have given them more strength of mind and greater audacity to bring into play their machinations, an overestimating and abusing of the unlimited liberty and the guarantees which this same Government has vouchsafed them.
(4) That from this cause the dissenters, against the actual dictates and against a good and liberal constitution, have engendered in the Republic an anomalous, unsustainable situation, the uneasiness sequential to a public lack of confidence and the intranquillity among the citizens, which is the unavoidable result of the endless expectation of a revolutionized state of politics.
(5) That of late the spirit of discord has manifested itself by events which have taken place in the excited session of to-day, in which a considerable number of members of the assembly, not wishing to become the plaything nor the ridicule of the opposition party, violuntly abandoned their seats, with protests that they would never return to occupy them, this action causing Congress to be spontaneously dissolved.
(6) That the first and principal duty of the Government is to maintain sacredly the principles of authority and of public order, and it would not be compatible to the fulfillment of this duty were it to forsake the great social and political interests which are intrusted to it by going so far as to countenance with criminal indifference, thereby compromising its own dignity, the disorder caused in the very body of Congress itself, wbich threatens the public peace and the free and republican practices of the people of Salvador, whose guardian and defender it is.
FIRST AND ONLY ARTICLE. It is hereby declared that in consequence of the spontaneous dissolution of the constitutive Congress without fulfilling its high mission,
notwithstanding that it had been organized for two months, the dictatorship in which
(Inclosure 2 in No. 454—Translation.)
DECREE OF GENERAL MENENDEZ, PRESIDENT OF SALVADOR.
Francisco Menendez, general of division and provisional President of the Republio of Salvador, considering
(1) That the scandalous dissolation of the constitutional Assembly might give rise to new disorders, which the Government must,avoid in time and repress in a prompt and energetic manner;
(2) That however painful, and even repugnant, it may be to appeal to measures of a grave character, it is necessary to do so in extreme cases, in order to preserve public order and when the tenacity and obstinacy of those who try to destroy the principles of authority, without whose shelter liberty is an empty word;
By virtue of all the authority with which I am invested,
ARTICLE 1 declares to be re-established in full force the state of siege under which the Ropablic has been maintained already a situation which the same national Con. gress dissolved to-day of its own accord brought about and determined to maintain.
ART. 2. This decres shall take effect from this date.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Hall.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 6, 1886. SIR: I transmit, for your information, copies of the correspondence exchanged between Mr. Jacob Baiz, consul-general of Honduras at New York, and this Department touching the movements of the American steamer City of Mexico outside of the jurisdiction of the United States. It will be seen from the letters of Mr. Baiz that he labors under the im. pression that to prevent a violation of our neutrality laws this Govern. ment should instruct its vessels of war to keep a watch on the City of Mexico, having as is alleged, an unlawful purpose against the peace of Honduras.
I have not thought it necessary to discuss the subject with Mr. Baiz. I have therefore confined myself to the statement that the acts complained of were committed, if at all, against the sovereign neutrality of Great Britain and should be dealt with according to British law, and that this Government had already given abundant proof of its desire to prevent any violation of its neutrality within the jurisdiction of the United States.
With these prefatory remarks it appears not inappropriate to add a few general observations upon the subject.
It is usual, when application is made to this Department to take action to prevent what are supposed to be impending breaches of neutrality, to base such application ou affidavits, or on statements of proof susceptible of being reduced to affidavits, on which the interposition of the De. partment is asked. This requisite has not been insisted upon in the present instance; for, supposing the case presented by the letter of Mr. Baiz to be fully verified, it is not one on which any present action of the Department could be based.
Breaches of neutrality may be viewed by this Government in two aspects: First, in relation to our particular statutes; and, secondly, in respect of the general principles of international law. Our own statutes bind only our own Government and citizens. If they impose on us a larger duty than is imposed on us by international law, they do not correspondingly enlarge our duties to foreign nations, nor do they abridge our duties if they establish for our municipal regulation a standard less stringent than that established by international law,
The complaint that Mr. Baiz makes is, that the steamship City of Mexico, a passenger and freight vessel, claimed to be entitled to carry the flag of the United States, took on board at Belize, January 12 last, when on her ordinary coasting route, some political refugees, who it is supposed were meditating hostile action against the Government of Honduras.
It will scarcely be contended that an act such as this, even supposing it would be regarded as a breach of neutrality if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States, can be imputed to the United States when committed in a foreign port; nor can it be justly urged that, because the vessel in question sails under the flag of the United States, it is the duty of this Government to send cruisers to watch her to prevent her from committing breaches of neutrality when on her passage from one foreign port to another. For this Government to send armed res. sels to such ports to control the actions of the City of Mexico would be to invade the territorial waters of a foreign sovereign. For this Gorernment to watch its merchant and passenger vessels on the high seas, to stop them if they carry contraband articles or passengers meditating a breach of neutrality, would impose on the United States a burden which would be in itself intolerable, which no other nation has undertaken to carry, and which the law of nations does not impose.
In what has been stated I have referred exclusively to the international obligations imposed on the United States by the general principles of international law, which are the only standards measuring our duty to the Government of Honduras. Whether the City of Mexico, when she returns to her home port, or those concerned in her or in this particular voyage, may be subject to adverse procedure under our nentrality statutes, I have not deemed it necessary here to discuss or decide. I am, &c.,
T. F. BAYARD.
(Inclosure 1 in No. 325.]
Mr. Baiz to Mr. Bayard.
New York, December 24, 1885. (Received December 26.) Most EXCELLENT SIR: In the name of the Republic of Honduras, and as its representative, I have the honor to address your excellency, for the purpose of making known to you all the events and antecedents of the warlike expedition which, over
since the month of May last, it has been attempted, and is still being attempted, to send against the Republic which I represent. I do this for the double purpose of condensing the facts, and of begging this Government to furnish all possible aid, or such as, in view of the friendly relations existing between the two countries, it may be thought proper to grant, owing to the circumstance that the plans have been formed and the expedition set on foot in this port.
In the first place, the steamer Dorian sailed from New York on the 29th of May last for Bluefields, in Nicaragua, having on board a cargo consisting of the following articles: Fifty boxes of rifles and bayonets, one box containing a drum, ten boxes of carbines, one box of cornets, one box of sabers and belts, four boxes of cutlasses and scabbards, twenty boxes of knapsacks, three boxes of horse trappings, one box of tools, one box of bags, eight boxes of hardware, four boxes of shirts, six bundred and ten boxes of cartridges, three boxes of percussion-caps, and eighty-eight half barrels of flour. With this cargo she sailed, not for the port of Bluefields, for which she had been cleared, but for the Republic of Honduras, where she was to discharge ber cargo. Owing to unfavorable circumstances, however, she found it impossible to accomplish her purpose, and returned with the aforesaid effects to the port of New York early in July last.
The vessel was cleared for that voyage by the firm of A. D. Straus & Co.
Toward the close of the aforesaid inonth of July I was privately informed that the firm of A. D. Straus & Co. had purchased the steamer City of Mexico, for the purpose of sending her to the northern coast of the Republic of Honduras with a revolutionary expedition. This furnished additional evidence of the object of the expedition which had sailed on board the Dorian, and, as will be seen, the news was subsequently confirmed, since the steamer was for a long time at the wharves in New York, and the detectives whom I had employed to keep watch told me of mysterious persons who visited her,
Early in September I was informed that, as it had been found impossible to organize the projected expedition, and as the purchasers had not yet paid for the steamer City of Mexico, that vessel was about to be sold at public auction, and the result was that the said steamer was, early in October, reincorporated into the Alexandria Line, to which she had previously belonged, and was cleared by said company for a regular trip to Mexico.
In the latter part of October the Government of Honduras telegraphed to me to keep a watch on General Deigado, Colonel Morey, Mr. Ayestas, and a few other persons, who had then recently arrived in New York for the purpose, as was said, of promoting a revolution. In consequence of this order of my Government I employed detectives, from whom I learned that the aforesaid persons, under the leadership of Don Marco A. Soto, were really forming plans to get up another expedition against that Republic; and early in the present month I learned that the firın of A. D. Straus & Co. was again in treaty for the purchase of the steamer City of Mexico, and that it was intended to fit her out once more for a new expedition. I therefore redoubled my vigilance, and learned that the ownership of the said steamer had really been transferred to a Mr. Hollander, who was simply an agent for Messrs. A. D. Straus & Co., who were getting the steamer ready for a voyage. I afterwards found that the cargo which had been brought back by the steamer Dorian, and which was then in Beard's storehouses in Brooklyn, was to be put on board of the City of Mexico, together with some small pieces of artillery and two steam-launches, and that an effort was being made to recruit two hundred men, who were ostensibly to be sent to work in the mines of Honduras, where they were to have constant employment.
This being the case, it seemed to me that the time had come when it was proper for me to take some official steps to prevent the now possible and even probable expedition from being successful through aid afforded it by the United States. I consequently addressed the New York custom-house authorities, requesting them, in virtue of the laws which prohibit the organization of such expeditions against friendly nations, to prevent the departure of that vessel. While things were in this condition I called on your excellency, in company with the minister of finance of the Republic of Honduras, who bappened to be here at the time, and we gave your excellency an account of all that was going on. This had a good effect, and the expedition was apparently broken up in consequence.
It now appears, according to recent investigations made by me, that the steamer City of Mexico sailed for Progreso, Mexico, with a cargo of merchandiso, and that the munitions of war above referred to, which were to be taken by the City of Mexico, have been taken by the steamer Andes, which is bound to Jamaica, and I am assured that this has been done in order that the steamer City of Mexico, on her return trip, may touch at Jamaica and there take those munitions on board, thence proceeding to ber original place of destination.
For this reasou I again address your excellency, begging you, if it is your desire and in your power once more to do something to prevent this expedition from reaching its destination, to do so, either by making representations to the authorities of