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fully realizing the gravity of the occurrence, my government, as soon as informed thereof, acted with all the energy and zeal demanded by the friendly relations which have existed and to exist between the governments of Her Britannic Majesty and that of Guatemala. You have been a witness of the earnest solicitude of my government anci of the manner in which it has deplored tho outrage done to the consular agent of Her Britannic Majesty.
My government, sir, which sincerely desires to cultivate the most friendly relations with foreign powers, and especially with Great Britain, is ready, in view of this mfortunate occurrence, to give a further proof of this desire, and also of its determination that no foreigner coming to this republic shall be injured either in person or property, but that, on the contrary, all shall enjoy the hospitality of this country, with all the gnarantees and securities that are furnished by the most civilized nations of the world. You may rest assured that the parties who have been guilty of the criminal act in question will be punished to the full extent of the law ; also, that my government will give the fullest satisfaction to that of Her Britannic Majesty, and that it will make dne reparation when the investigation which it has ordered shall be closed.
I have the honor to reiterate to you, sir, the assurances of my high consideration, and to subscribe myself, Your obedient servant,
MARCO A. SOTO. Mr. HENRY SCHOLFIELD,
Chargé d'Affaires of Her Britannic Majesty in Central America.
(Inclosure 2 in No. 153— Translation.)
Protocol of the conference held at the ministry of foreign relations of Guatemala, at 1 o'clock
in the afternoon, Vay 1, 1874, between the licentiate Don Marco A. Soto, minister of foreign relations of said republic, and Mr. Henry Scholfield, chargé d'affaires ad interim of Her Britannic Vajesty, for the purpose of determining the satisfaction which is to be given by Guatemala to the English gorernment, in view of the outrage done in the port of S. 'n José to Mr. John Magee, British vice-consul, by Commandante José Gonzalez, a Spaniard in the service of the republic.
1st. The aforesaid chargé d'affaires stated that being convinced of the desire of the government of Guatemala to settle this matter in a manner satisfactory to both governments. as declared in the letter of this ministry of the 25th of Aprillast, in which he was informed that the parties guilty of the criminal act in question should be punished to the full extent of the law; that this government, moreover, would give the fullest satisfaction to that of Her Britannic Majesty, and would makedne reparation when the investigation ordered by it should be finished; the chargé d'affaires, being convinced of this,'said that, since the initiatory steps had already been taken, he desired that the final settlement of this matter should be explicitly agreed upon. The minister of foreign relations stated that his government, in accordance with what it had promised to Her Britannic Majesty's chargé d'affaires, bad already ordered, through the supreme court of justice, the offenders to be arraigned before the ordinary courts for trial and punishment, according to the laws of the country, since the outrage had been committed in the territory of the republic, the government of Guatemala thinking that by this step the best satisfaction would be given that it could offer that of Her Britannic Majesty, in accordance with the practice of civilized, nations. Mr. Scholtield declared himself satisfied with this action on the part of the government.
2d. In testimony of the desire of the government of Guatemala to preserve the most friendly relations with that of Her Britannie Majesty, and as a proof of the deep pain with which it has seen the outrage which has been done to Vice-Consul Magee, the government will order a salute of twenty-one guns to the Britisha tlag to be fired in the port of San José on such day as may be agreed upon with ller Britannic Majesty's chargé d'affaires.
3d. Her Britannic Majesty's chargé d'affaires also asked an indemnity for the ontrage done to Vice-Consul Magee by Commandant Gonzalez. The minister of foreign relations stated that the government of Guatemala did not consider itself under obligations to pay such indemnity: first, because Mr. Magee, as was known to the chargé d'attaires, had officially declared that he did not wish his government to inake any claim, and that he himself would make none; second, because the government of Guatemala dil not think the case to be one demanding indemuity according to the general principles of justice and the special circumstances of the act giving rise to this claim.
The government of Guatemala declares, however, that if that of Her Britannic Majesty, when it shall have full knowledge of the attair, of the conduct of the government of Guatemala in the matter, and of the manner in which it has deplored this occurrence, shall think proper to ask for indemnity, and shall insist upou it, notwithstanding the
desire to the contrary expressed by Mr. Magee, then the government of Guatemala will enter into negotiations with that of Her Britannic Majesty for the settlement of that point,
Ath. It was finally agreed that the subject of this protocol should be settled in these terms, and that the government of Her Britannic Majesty should make no claim on this ground in future, save such as might arise from the 3d point, on indemnitication.
In testimony whereof, the present protocol was signed and sealed in duplicate by the licentiate Don Marco A. Soto, minister of foreign relations, and Mr. Henry Seholfield. chargé d'attaires of Her Britannic Majesty, both pledging themselves to fulfill the stipulations made by their respective governments, at Guatemala, May first, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four.
MARCO A. SOTO,
Chargé d'Affaires of H. B. M.
(Inclosure 3 in No. 153.]
Mr. Scholfield to Señor Soto.
Guatemala, April 30, 1874. Sir: Last Sundar, when I had the honor and pleasure of visiting your excellency, you were kind enough to indicate to me that it would be advisable to put in writing the exact nature of the satisfaction for the outrage on Vice-Consul Magee that would be accepted by Her Britannic Majesty's government.
With the view therefore of setting at rest this affair, the importance of which canDot be exaggerated, I have the honor of requesting an interview, at the hour that may be most convenient to you, so that we may agree upon a memorandum on the subject that shall be binding on our respective governments.
I avail myself of this opportunity to repeat to your excellency the assurance of my most cordial friendship.
HENRY SCHOLFIELD. His Excellency Dox MARCO A. Soto,
Minister for Foreign Affairs.
(Inclosure 4 in No. 153.]
Mr. Scholfield to Señor Soto.
GUATEMALA, May 2, 1874. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's dispatch of April 25, informing me of the outrage on Vice-Consul Magee at San José, and of the stepis taken by the government of the republic in connection therewith.
I cheerfully bear witness to the horror and indignation with which, not only all the members of your government, but all classes of society in Guatemala have reprobated this deplorable event; and I have seen with the greatest satisfaction the energy and good feeling that were displayed by the President and all the ministers, who by their thoughtfulness and promptitude have avoided what, at one time, threatened to become a catastrophe for the republic.
The frank and loyal explanations and apologies, so spontaneously tendered to my government, reflect the utmost honor on this administration, who have thus proved tbat they sincerely desire to protect with equal rights the native and the foreigner.
In congratulating myself on the settlement of this matter, I have to thank your excrlleney for the conciliatory and friendly manner in which the negotiations have been conducted.
Tavail myself of this opportunity to repeat to your excellency the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.
HENRY SCHOLFIELD. His Excellency Don MARCO A. Soto,
Minister for Foreign Afairs.
Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.
May 23, 1874. (Received June 18.) SIR: I bave the honor to inclose you translated copies of the message of President Guardia, of Costa Rica, dated the 1st May, and of the answer of the Constituent Assembly, dated May 12.
I have made marginal marks on pages 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, and 17 of the former, to which your attention is respectfully invited.
His frank acknowledgment of the serious opposition his government encounters, is so unusual in public documents in this quarter, that it excites my admiration, while it couvinces me the disaffection is more wide spread than I ventured to state in my No. 124.
His statement in regard to the resources of the country enabling the government to carry on the work of the railroad to Port Limon, and, at the same time, to pay its expenses and meet obligations, is so grave a mistake, one might well be surprised if he were a stranger. I believe it is a matter of public notoriety that the last four installments ou Costa Rica bonds, issued and negotiated for railroad purposes, have not been provided for. It is so published in the newspapers, and I understand the English agent here says such is the fact.
I still bave some hope the railroad may be completed from Alajuela (a place in the interior, where it now begins) to Port Limon; but if it is true, as asserted, that the British bondholders have declared their determination to take no more bonds of Costa Rica as long as President Guardia reirains in power, that hoped for event may be delayed several years. To our country the completion of that line would tend far more to advance its commercial interests than of the road now finished from ocean to ocean.
There is but little doubt the telegraph line from Punta Arenas to Port Limon will be finished before many months elapse unless a revolution occurs. I have, &c.,
[Inclosure 1 in:No. 159.- Translation.)
Message of the President of the republic of Costa Rica to the National Congress, May 1, 1874.
Honorable representatives of the people: The opening of your session is very pleasing to me, as it to-day complies with the rule prescribed in the constitution of the republic.
Some of you already have experience in those affairs that during past years have been the object of the conscientious consideration of the national representation, Others have been called recently by the vote of the people to the honored position in which the free suffrages of their constituents have placed them.
You, together, form the sovereignty, and I do not doubt that, penetrated by the great importance of your mission, you will all be able to provide for the necessities of your country.
Placed in a position superior to my merits, but not to my sincerity, self-denial, and patriotism, which I have shown so often, that I justly believe you can appreciate these, so I will immediately submit to your distinguished consideration the principal affairs of the administration.
Costa Rica is at peace, and no accident disturbs the pleasant relations that exist with foreign nations, with which she is conuected by treaties of amity and commerce.
The proper secretary will give you an account of what has been agreed upon with
His Majesty the King of Italy. From want of time, I was unable to present it for Four consideration during the last session.
The same secretary will give you an account of the treaty of boundary, celebrated between this republic and that of the United States of Colombia, and also of additional conventions.
Respecting the republics of Central America, sisters of Costa Rica, the government conld encourage no sentiment that would not tend to the preservation and increase of those good relations that ought to bind together the people who formed for a long period one nation.
Although there have been moments in which evil tidings, arising from various sudden changes of the functions of these countries, caused a rupture to appear imminent, prevented by the indestructible bonds, and community of interest, my heart's sentiments, adhering closely to sister nationalities, strengthen with my constant faith in the fraternity, not only of Central America, but of all republics that have the same origin.
Alwars solicitous for the accomplishment of so grand an idea, I will not lose an opportunity of proving, with deeds, the sentiments I have just now uttered, even if any sacrifiee on my part will serve to coutribute towards fixing a firm basis for the future union of the countries, invoked to form one single nationality.
The interior tranquillity has remained unchanged, but I ought not to conceal that I have been compelled to repress different attempts to subvert public order.
I understand very well that no government will ever exist that has no opposition. I also believe it is useful when inspired by true patriotism, and has for a guide frankness, and for its sole aim the public welfare.
I have always been very far from condemning this unquestionable right, naturally belonging to every citizen of a free republic, of forming an opinion concerning that which belongs to all and is for all, and of making it known, even in the seat of the government. The authorized word of the patriot, whatever it may be, is always respectable, for it is inspired by the rectitude of justice and by the goodness ot intention.
Nothing has been more pleasing than any inspiration of this kind. I have always been disposed to listen to every one, understanding how difficult is the task of governing, and how much the assistance of other minds can contribute to the general welfare that bring disinterested assistance for transacting business.
But although such are my convictions, and cherishing the veneration that I profess for individual liberty, that which I have found in the path I have trod are thorns, that at times have wounded my heart, but they have not turned asiile my steps nor confused the conscience of the ruler, since those repressive measures that I have seen the necessity of taking have had entire respect to the supreme duty of preserving public order, a duty that the constitution gives to the executive power.
But these affairs, señores representatives, of which each respective secretary will give you an account, bear the seal of that mildness which has characterized the acts of my administration.
You know that I have begun with good faith a programme of the redemption of this country honorable and laborious, worthy of every sacrifice on the part of the ruler who directs the business; yon knew that I have broken entirely with old babits that more than the welfare of the nation kept in view the importance of customs, perhaps worthy, but of little moment in comparison with general interest; you know that I have undertakes a great work that has begun to spread civilization through the republic, a work that will interfere with private interests, as always happens with great and worthy enterprises, much more with those interests that affect the capital not only of the natives, but also of foreigners, so that for the prospect of their own advantage they do not hesitate to place obstacles in the way of that of a country that tries to use the advantages of its topographical position and the energy and virtue of its sons.
Add to this the false personal ambition, always awake and never sleeping ; the spirit of evil lifting up its head, without considering that its sad triumph will ruin the happiness of the country, will destroy its credit abroail, and will impede the finishing of an attair of such vital importance that instead of arousing opposition demands the assistance of all the good sons of the country.
Desirons, however, that my personality might not be invoked as a pretext by the discontented, in November of the past year I resigned the command into the hands of the first vice-president to exercise the executive power, reserving my position in the aring for reasons of well-known public convenience.
Disposed to sustain order in the interior, and to defend the national autonomy, I proclaimed with frankness to the face of the nation my sentiments and propositions.
Very soon the dissensions increased, the lack of concert in the administration was felt, and restlessness of spirit reigned.
I found it necessary for me to take again the reins of government, but resolved to Freire after two days, baving restored quiet. I called the second vice-president to the chair, and went to the frontier of the country between this republic and Nicaragua.
Señores Representatives, neither the moderation and respectabilitv of the second vicepresident, nor the measure that I had taken of departing from the center of the ad
ministration could restrain the revolutionary attempts that compelled me again to occupy the presidential chair, and to take measures against the principal authors of these foolish projects, exhibited in open light and confessed to me myself, and against those who were attempting to corrupt some of the worthy chiefs of an army that had given me undoubted proofs of loyalty and adhesion.
I present to you the republic at peace and advancing in the path of progress.
The rural and city property maintain an increased value that can be only explained by the public wealth and general confidence.
The high price of coffee has compensated in part the failure in the crop, and it is hoped with great probability that the next will be more abundant. I notice only a few difficulties in commercial transactions, on account of the increase of importations, which has produced a sort of money-crisis.
The public instruction is the object of such care as a branch of such importance deserves, and in all the provinces works of utility and beauty are commenced.
The telegraphı already counects the capital of the republic with the city of Liberia, and very soon it will be connected with Limon.
The grandest and most important enterprise that has been commenced since our independence until this time without doubt is the construction of the Railroad of the North.
The work already extends over a line of eighty miles, over fifty of which the locomotive runs. The interior trattic between the four principal provinces is carried on with regularity, and is daily increasing:
The inconveniences with which it had to contend have been great, the tropical character of the country, the national and foreign interests that opposed it, the political passions that, with a madness scarcely conceivable, have adopted as their Hag opposition to the grandest of national enterprises, the crisis that has been felt in Europe and caused the bonds of all countries to depreciate, and especially those of the republics of Spanish America, and finally, obstacles of all kinds necessary to be undergone with a persevering faith never surpassed.
The government, that has taken no step backward in the path of progress, is far from being dismayed at the innumerable obstacles the construction of the railroad has encountered, concerning the coudition of which that secretary will give you full information who has taken under his care the administration of these works, that they may continue without interruption; therefore the necessity has arisen for using economy in public expenses, and increasing the tax on aguardiente and tobacco.
It is very satisfactory to me to announce that the revenues continue increasing so much that they are sufficient to defray the expenses of the administration and to meet its contracts.
May the divine Providence continue to dispense upon Costa Rica the inestimable blessing of peace and interior tranquillity. Under its shade the immense resources of our young country begin to develop themselves as it advances with a firm step to take the position that belongs to it in Spanish America, approaching its beautiful future as it completes the iron road, that way of indefivite progress to the republic. To this end my constent care has been directed, and, in fact, my hopes have gone still further : I am taking steps looking not only to the completion of that line but also to a continuation of it to the Pacitic. I have hopes of being able very soon to give you an account of this matter concluded in a manner to give satisfaction to the most exacting expectations; my idea is that the government should cease to be the controller of the work; that the finishing of it should be positively secured, and the republic should be freed from all debt through the means of reasonable concessions.
Believe me, Señores Representatives, I do not entertain any greater ambition than to assure to the republic the termination of a work in which is enshrined its future progress.
Having commenced it, prosecuted it until it has assumed its present condition, to be assured of its completion is the only reward I desire for those efforts that I have expended, of which present and future generations will derive the benefit,
Never have I believed that I possessed the necessary qualitications for filling the position in which the confidence of my country has placed me.
On the other hand, if, during four years, I have been able to acquire any experience in public attairs, this same lapse of time has weakened in turn my moral forces, by the troubles and deceptions inseparable to the exercise of power.
I notice, moreover, there is a social circle discontented with my administration, and while there is no complaint from the immense majority, for the first time I have seen the necessity of speaking to you of the attempts to overturn this government.
In truth, I have not feared that a revolution without a ilag could triumph, but would be dissipated before the loyalty and discipline of the army, the good sense of the people, who would have nothing to gain from such a revolution; but permit me to say, with the frankness of a soldier, that this ingratitude bas pierced my heart; that the task that I have undertaken demanded that all the men of any merit should afford me