« AnteriorContinuar »
Mr. Thomas to Mr. Fish.
UNITED STATES LEGATION, Lima, Peru, February 27, 1873. (Received April 18.) SIR: The inclosed translation of a conference between the minister of foreign relations of Peru and the minister resident from Colombia is re. spectfully inclosed for your information. After reading this protocol, I sought an interview with the minister of foreign affairs for Peru, and was assured that the omission to include the United States with the Spanish republics as parties to be concerned in constructing the proposed canal across Central America was, as I supposed it to be, accidental.
The minister embraced the occasion to express an earnest desire to see the Government of the United States take the lead in all measures which have for their object the improvement in the commercial and political condition of Spanish-American republics. I am, &c.,
Protocol of a conference held between the Perurian minister for foreign affairs and the resident
embassador of Colombia relative to an interoceanic canal.
José de la Riva Aguera, Peruvian minister for foreign affairs, and Teodore Valenzuela, resident minister of Colombia, having met in the foreign office with the object of taking into consideration the projected work of an interoceanic canal, the first said:
“The government of Peru has regarded with interest the plan of an interoceanic canal across the isthmus which divides the two continents of America, and believes that such a work will affect not only civilization and the commerce of the world in general, but in a special manner the political and commercial interests of Peru. Inspired by this idea in the treaties which were celebrated with the republics of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in 1857, certain stipulations were inserted tending to the establishment of an interoceanic highway, but unfortunately this agreement was not ratified, and this grand work remained a mere project. But that now, knowing that this question is being debated afresh, he should wish Señor Valenzuela to be good enough to tell him if the Colombian government had celebrated any treaty with any other government, or any private company whatever, for the carrying out of the work, and if, in case such an agreement had not been entered into, if they were disposed to enter into a negotiation with Peru, either to undertake the work jointly, or with the help of all the Spanish American republics which are interested in its completion, or, at least, with the participation of Peru, giving her the share in the profits and advantages to which her help might entitle her.”
The Colombian minister replied:
That it was very satisfactory to him to see that the Peruvian government understood so well the importance of an interoceanic canal, whose results would doubtless be favorable to Peru, taking into consideration the daily increasing importance of its principal port, Callao, and the rapid progress of Peruvian commerce in the last few years. That the Colombian government was not, at present, bound by any treaty in the
1 few years ago two understandings were come to with the United States of America for the excavation of the canal, and the last was even approved of by the Congress of Colombia with certain modifications. The Congress of the United States had no opportunity of discussing it, and in the mean time the period for the exchange of ratifications had passed.
Therefore, Colombia has entire liberty of action in the matter, with regard to which there is, at present, no other practical fact worthy of mention than the permission granted to the American Government to send exploring parties into the States of Cauca and Panama, explorations which are about to be repeated, as has been announced by the press.
Colombia is therefore disposed to treat with Peru, and would see with the greatest pleasure this great undertaking, which would be the most important work of our age, carried out with the intervention of that republic and the remainder of America; but, if such a thing were not possible, she would be inclined to give Peru whatever intervention the latter might take in the work, giving her, of course, a share of the profits and advantages to which her participation might entitle her.
Colombia perfectly understands that the community of interests which a canal would establish between her and the republics that might take part in the undertaking would be a powerful and durable link in the chain of close union with which she desires to be bound to her sisters
The foreign minister said: “That in view of the frank and friendly disposition which animates the Colombian government, and taking into consideration the fact set forth by Señor Valenzuela, that an American exploring expedition was about to visit the Isthmus, his government would like to add some competent persons to it in order that they might be informed of the practicability and cost of the work, if such an addition to this commission could possibly be made, and meanwhile, that is to say, until such intelligence had been obtained, which would be duly communicated to the Colombian government, the preliminary negotiations relative to the work could go on."
The Colombian minister said that he accepted, in the name of his government, the idea of sending a party of engineers to join the American exploring party, and whose admission the Colombian government would be glad to recommend. They would, besides, furnish every assistance in their power in order to further the ends of the commission, considering it as sent by themselves; hoping that the minister would be good enough to let him know in time the names of the parties who might be selected by his government.
The interview being at an end, it was resolved to draw up the present protocol, which has been signed in duplicate.
I. DE LA RIVA AGUERA.
UNITED STATES LEGATION,
Lima, Peru, April 4, 1873. (Received May 5.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose a statement prepared at my request showing, for the information of your excellency, the number of Chinese imported into Peru between the 1st of March, 1872, and 1st of April, 1873; also the number of deaths on board of ships within the same period engaged in this coolie trade.
Having made careful inquiry on the subject, I am prepared to say that the treatment of these unfortunate Chinese, thus forced violently from their homes by the landholders of Peru, by whom crowds of them are employed, is more harsh than that to which slaves in the United States were formerly subjected.
It will be a source of poignant regret to all who recognize the right of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, if the Peruvian gorernment and other South American governments cannot be induced to abandon this abhorrent traffic.
The abolition of this terrible trade, I have thought, might be one of the beneficial results of a conference of diplomatic representatives of the United States and of the Spanish-American republics. I am, &c.,
Table showing importation of coolies and fearful mortality on the voyage to Peru during year
ending March 31, 1873.
UNITED STATES LEGATION,
Lima, Peru, April 29, 1873. (Received May 26.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a printed translation of the speech of President Pardo, made at the close of the extraordinary session of the Congress of Peru on the 28th instant. I am, &c.,
Speech of President Pardo at the close of the extraordinary session, April 28, 1873, to the Con
gress of Peru.
HONORABLE REPRESENTATIVES: Before the Congress of 1872 closes its sessions, allow me to pay you a tribute of respect, which only is the testimony of the gratitude of the country for the intelligence, application, and elevated patriotism with which you have carried on your la bors.
The republic needed, without doubt, in the legislature of 1872, more than at any other time, the exhibition of these great qualities; as in no epoch save the present had there accrued from the force of circumstances and the efforts of individuals more difficult and vital problems on whose solution, and even on the forgetting of the slightest of which, depended the fate of Peru.
In the political system, in the moral system, in the religious system, in the economic system, in each sphere of social activity, you found a grave situation to consider, a great obstacle to avoid or an imperious necessity to satisfy.
A government undermined by its own errors and sacriticed by its own children had sunk along with itself constitutionalism in the republic; a country constantly repressed in the exercise of its liberties dashed in to saved them at the moment they were disappearing, and, having saved them, had become an inexorable judge and a cruel executor in its own cause. A demoralized army, startled by the enormity of a crime to the perpetration of which it had been led by deceit; an administration relaxed by abuse, personal and even local ambitions awakened and kept up by an inconsiderate distribution of funds which had been hastily discounted on the future; an
angmented army and civil list, making the situation of the new government still more difficult; the income from the guano absorbed by the external debt; the home revenue of the country insufficient to meet its obligations, and the greater part of these anticipated; public works for enormous sums contracted and under construction without the necessary funds to realize them; public order compromised with the threat of twenty thousand workmen without work, and the mercantile interests of the country intimately connected with those of the contractor for these works; lastly, together with such terrible and complicated elements, a religious question, ready to beak out as soon as it should be touched : these are the principal characteristics of the situation which we inherited, one of those situations in which Providence proves the virtues of a people, and it is for this that it bears in its bosom the lightnings of the tempests and the future of the nation.
Peru has given a new proof that he was able to save her, and she has been saved. thanks to the universal protection of the All-Powerful, and the harmony of will and effort with which the public authorities and people have acted; the former interpreting the aspirations of the last, and the latter helping the former with all their might.
But that union, that agreement whence effect and force have sprung, are themselves the result of a great moral and political cause which the public powers should study.
Peru in her administrative march found herself involved in the complicated crisis which I have just described, and is now undergoing a salutary change, in which new ideas, new sentiments, and new aspirations are creating new political forces and opening up new prospects.
This transformation, which we can call the resurrection of the public spirit, has exhibited this in all its fullness when the bands which confined it disappeared. It distinguished the public evil from the public good by criticizing the wants of the country, which knows them because it feels them. It entered with warmth into the struggle in aid of this good, which is its own, increasing a hundred-fold the elements of intelligence and will, whose concourse is necessary in the passage of great crises, teaching and strengthening with them the constitutional authorities who are their representatives, and constituting, in a word, a new political system, to which the feeling of legality on which public liberty reposes to-day will serve as a wide and immovable base. Neither let us be alarmed nor our convictions shaken by the abuses of them which we
e-neither in the course of written words nor in the face of facts. These abuses are the shade of great events and a new proof of their existence. Let us only lament the deviations from the right road which they have caused, and the strange fate which Providence has bestowed in these latter times on those who have set up this ensign in opposition to its designs.
Peru has been desirous of realizing the republic, and has been doing so for some time, swayed between incredulity and passion, sustaining at first, within the limits of the law, an obstinate struggle against all the elements of authority, combined to oppose the rights of the people, and afterward defending with her powerful will the constitutional edifice which she had raised from its ruins, by her activity only causing every attempt to overthow it to fail, and proving herself a determined upholder of constitutional order, tolerating at the same time excesses of liberty with the tranquillity of strength, and solely deploring them for the credit of the republic
This regeneration of the public spirit, properly understood and directed, and seconded by the proper authorities, is the true secret of the success of your labors, and of the vigor with which you have constituted the republic.
The first two laws which you passed were those of the national guard and of the Inicipalities. Both obey the same sentiment, are the fruit of the same conviction, respond to the same necessity. The people in Peru is an element of order and the safest rampart of the institutions; they are directly interested in the progress of the country, which is inseparable from peace, and they are, therefore, and at the same time, the most enthusiastic and powerful support and co-operators in the public administration.
The national guard law has called on them to exercise the first mission; the municipal law has removed the obstacles to the carrying out of the second.
The realization of the first has destroyed by itself alone the fears entertained by those who have not yet perceived the internal revolution that is going on in our mode of political being; it has caused them astonishment to see the haste with which the citizens have come forward at the call of the law, without considering that it is the law which bas responded to the call of the citizens.
I hold to the belief, in spite of the many difficulties which the realization of the second will have to encounter, and although some towns may stray from its practice, that those who have placed themselves at the head of their brethren will teach them the method of exercising the very ample rights conceded by this law, in which are recognized three municipal entities: those of the district, of the province, and of the departinent. The doors of the institutions are open even to foreigners; the right of dietating regulations is conceded to popular bodies; they may impose taxes and raise loans without needing the approbation of Congress or of the government; local administration in all its branches, except one, is given up to them, and that is the judicial, whose organization is fixed by the constitution; and, in one word, the most ample rights with which the municipal institution has been organized in other nations have been established.
The national guard and municipal laws will be the memorable works of the present legislature, for they constitute the foundation of the republic; of that republic in reality which will raise itself more proudly the more it is opposed.
However sufficient these laws might be for the glory of the legislature of 1872, they are not the only claims with which history will present you to your fellow-citizens.
The economic situation of the country has absorbed the most considerable part of your time and labor, and, thanks to a series of dispositions in which it is grateful to me to recognize the union of the members of the chambers in one sole aspiration, measures have been adopted by the Congress from which we may look for the results which you have anticipated.
Our credit being menaced by the emission of a loan whose negotiation was twice interrupted, public works contracted for, whose cost greatly exceeds the sum voted for them; a considerable interior floating debt, payable at sight, pending; the product of the guano claimed and absorbed by the external debt and anterior obligations; the natural resources of the country utterly inadequate to tend to even the ordinary exigencies of the administration; our economic horizon lowered until on every side a disastrous crisis was threatened which only your prudent and intelligent action, the confidence which the Congress and the government have been fortunate enough to inspire in the uprightness of their acts, and the resolute aid offered by the people, from the humblest artisan up to the most powerful institutions of credit, have been able to dispel. All have suffered, and all have waited with faith. Their confidence will not be abused.
You began by respecting the rights of our foreign creditors, and you have not considered for your internal necessities the proceeds of the guano which is compromised abroad. By this act you have saved our credit, and you have found means to cover the deficit in the charge for railways without adding to the public burden, but on the contrary obtaining concessions in the contracts already celebrated.
Turning our eyes to the interior, you have increased our national income by the modification of the custom-house tariff and the monopoly of saltpeter, measures which you have sustained with that vigor and abnegation which only convictions inspired by the necessities of the country can give. By these you have called into being an internal credit in the true acceptation of the word, for you instilled confidence into hearts afflicted during the last twenty years for the economic future of the country. After such measures as these, it matters very little that an inevitable deficit should appear in the budget for the next two years, as it will appear, although reduced to one-half, in the following financial period. What was of importance to all was to know if Peru had sufficient patriotism to face at the same time the economic and political crises in her existence which we are now undergoing; and she has had it. I am confident that this deficit, the expression of the crisis in which the period of my rule will serve as an epoch of transition. I am confident, I say, that this deficit will shortly be met-do not wonder at the phrase-by the virtues of the people; by their energy to sustain peace; by their devotion to labor, which will raise the sum of our national productions—the only real and copious fountain of a State's prosperity.
To this end will contribute powerfully many of the laws of the present legislature, and especially that which has for its object the favoring of foreign immigration, affording to the immigrants every kind of facility to enrich our country with their habits and ideas and our people with their race.
Your law modifying civil proceedings, that which decrees central prisons in order to render effective the repression of crimes at present frequently upunished for want of secure jails; that for the establishment of normal schools, in order to educate preceptors of both sexes; that which votes the necessary funds for bringing European professors to our schools and colleges, and Sisters of Mercy for our charitable institutions, show by themselves alone that moral necessities, which, be it said in their honor, is more desired among American nations than material ones, has not less merited your attention than our political, administrative, and economic interests.
Industry, in its most important branches, has also had a share in your laborious session. Mining will find, in the new legislation concerning coal-inines, with which our territory is covered, principles which will remove many of the obstacles opposed to the development of this great wealth by laws inadequate to the proportions of modern undertakings in mining. The resolution, which, notwithstanding our difficult financial circumstances, you have taken to devote a large sum during the next years to the construction of bridges, roads, country prisons, and school-houses, will also help to the same end; more particularly, the establishment of the normal school of agriculture, which will furnish to this, the principal source of our riches, elements which the isolated agriculturist cannot encounter, such as the crossing of the breed of cattle, the introduction and trial of new methods and improvement of the existing systems, es