« PreviousContinue »
reached Sofia, Bulgaria, on the 17th; that I left Sofia again on the 21st and arrived here yesterday. On the 19th instant I cabled you as follows:
On my arrival in Sofia, after conferring with Mr. Elliot, I called at the Bulgarian foreign office, made the acquaintance of the minister and several other officials, and left a formal request, in French, that arrangements be made for me to present my credentials to the Prince. The next day I was informed, verbally, and subsequently I was notified in writing, that an audience would be granted me on the afternoon of Saturday, September 19. At the time set I was called upon at my hotel by an adjutant (a colonel), who accompanied me to the palace in a court carriage, drawn by four horses, and with a cavalry escort. At the palace I was received with the customary ceremony, which was quite as much as that connected with the reception of an ambassador
Having been told that it was usual to make a formal speech in connection with the presentation of my letters (a copy of my remarks having been asked for in advance by the foreign office), I spoke as follows, on being received by the Prince:
MONSEIGNEUR: I have the honor to present herewith the President's letter accrediting me as diplomatic agent of the United States to Bulgaria. In delivering this letter it is my agreeable duty to convey assurances of the best wishes of the American Government for the prosperity of Bulgaria and of the cordial friendship which is felt in the United States for the Government of Your Royal Highness. I am charged to act in a manner to cultivate and maintain harmony and good will between the two countries, and I am happy to say that it will give me pleasure to use my best efforts to this end.
On receiving my letter (standing) the Prince replied in French. A copy and translation of his remarks are appended hereto. Afterwards he gave me his hand, we sat down, and a general conversation followed, which lasted for about half an hour. General Petroff, the prime minister of Bulgaria and the minister of foreign affairs, was present at the audience, and a number of court and other officials were in attendance in the anterooms. I was escorted back to my hotel with like ceremony.
In the evening a dinner was given in my honor at the palace at which were present, among others, the prime minister, Mr. Elliot the personnel of the British agency, and the “American colony” in the person of Doctor Wheeler (who was described as being interested in various kinds of mining enterprises). During our conversation in the afternoon the Prince learned of my fondness for Wagner's music, and in the evening a specially arranged programme included “Marching through Georgia," “ The Belle of New York," Sousa’s “ High School Cadets," as well as selections from the Rheingold, Meistersinger, and Parsifal. During the dinner the Prince proposed the health of the President, in English (a copy of his toast is appended hereto), and after cheers were given the orchestra played the "Star Spangled Banner.” In reply, I proposed the health of the Prince, the royal family, and Bulgaria in a few words in French.
The Prince had heard of the discomforts connected with my trip from Rustschuk to Sofia (there being no sleeping car, and my having to sit up all night in a compartment with five other people), and on my arrival at the station on Monday evening I found that, by his orders, a special car had been placed at my disposal. This I enjoyed BRAZIL.
a Printed ante.
MONROE DOCTRINE AND DIPLOMATIC CLAIMS OF EUROPEAN POWERS-PRESS COMMENTS ON NOTE OF ARGENTINE GOV. ERNMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES."
Mr. Thompson to Mr. Hay. No. 11.)
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Petropolis, April 16, 1903. Sir: Believing that it may be of interest to the Department, [inclose herewith a copy and translation of an editorial. appearing in the prin cipal opposition newspaper of Rio, which criticises the action of the Argentine Government in regard to the Monroe doctrine, and elaborates views as to the attitude which ought to be taken by South America toward that doctrine, which are very generally held among certain classes of Brazilians. I have, etc.,
D. E. THOMPSOX.
THE MOS ROF DOCTRINE.
The note directed by the Argentine chancellery to the United States of America seems to us a very good illustration of the extent to which, in this grave period oi our international life, some of the statesmen of Latin America are being misled. It is certain that that error gives us the measure of the way in which, perhaps in all the South American countries, public opinion studies events and judges anomalous situations which in many parts of the continent the mistakes and wrongdoings of the governments are creating. The case of Venezuela, the most recent and of the most positive eloquence as a notice to the nations of South America, caused a kind of chorus of clamoring or of protests to explode that had been lying dormant in certain Americans who, with respect to the great power at the Worth, live forever midway between fear of the expansionist policy of Washington and the plaintive desire and request for Yankee tutelage.
l'nquestionably there has fallen upon the Argentine Republic a great responsibility from now on into the future. The responsibility in diplomatic history for the movement which is operating, or at least for the manifestations which are going on in almost all the Republics of Iberic origin in relation to the United States of America, will devolve upon Argentine etatesmen. It is not only now, on the occasion of the original and very deplorable note to the North American Government, that the Argentine Republic has shown itself to be impatient to give proofs that it was not satisfied with any rôle but that of being among the first in the international relations of the continent. When a short time ago England and Germany did not hesitate to use force against the Caracas Government, the Argentine Republie even then, judy. ing from the lispatches from Buenos lires in the press of the whole world, showed certain veiled desires to intervene in the alarming contlict; upon seeing that the Unitei States crossed their arms before the insulent ageression, the Irgentine Gore ernment did not hesitate to direct itself to Venezuela, oliering it generously resources that would rehabilitate it and cure pronipily the evils an. atlictions of that terrible emergency. There is evident in that leanriiul stroke the insinuation of indirect
See also page 1.
censure of the attitule of the United States, in other respects very correct and perhaps more than ingenious, because they greatly served the liovernment of ('aracas. Xot satisfierl with the insigniticant result obtainerl, the Argentine Republic now has stirred itself up to provoke the North American (iovernment to a more positive and formal declaration of the Monroe doctrine.
In the first place, the Buenos Aires chancellery commits an infraction of international etiquette in taking the responsibility of such an important initiative without the knowledge of any of the other South American Republics. Nor can the right of the Argentine Republic be recognized to thus present itself to the lashington Government, speaking in the name of collective interests, when it is certain that those interests are not understoodi ly us all as they are being interpreted by the Argentines.
But what really surprises us, because it exceeils everything which might have been expected of the high pretensions which the Plata Republic is revealing is the informality, the audacity with which it did not hesitate to make one more play in the open road oi Monroeism. The note directed to the Washington Government suggests or proposes that the colossus of the north shall take the responsibility of atfirining definitely the Monroe doctrine and (what is unbelievable as an expression of boldness in the diplomatic field ) proceede to the extent of indicating one of the points wbich the Argentines would like to see clearly stated and settled-namely, that foreign intervention in South America as a means, or as a coercive measure, for collecting debts should be declared illegitimate and not allowable. It is really astonishing, this courage of the Argentine Government. And what is even more astonishing is that for that very fall from grace it finds applause in two or three capitals of the continent. How is it that one of the noblest of Ameriran nations coulil thus suddenly put aside the traditions of inanliness with which its history is full? How can that eclipse of the conscience be explained in a people which has always had a clean record and which has always known how to be dignitied and tu deiend heroically its independence as a sovereign nation? How can we believe, without sharp disillusioninent, that the Argentines, like all Americans, so sensitive always on points of national honor; that the Argentines, one of the people who are found to be in the vanguard of Americar civilization, how are we to believe it was that people who bestirred themselves thus to making a request which was troublesome to the Government addressed and humilitating for all Latin Americans?
We do not believe we are exaggerating the gravitv of this thoughtless act. But we . admit the Argentine Republic obeyed impulses which are justitiable in view of the not very tranquil disposition that some European governments are revealing. Yes, because it is undeniable that in the minds of Americans, principally those of the South, there is working almost an alarm against the way some of the great powers of the Old World have of interpreting international law. 'And above all the aların has grown since the recent events in Venezuela. The Argentine Government should, however, have taken a different road. Its noble action would then, perhaps, have been more effective.
We are not of the number of those who leceive themselves with regard to the great advantages of the often planned alliance of South American nations as a means of resistance to the invasions which would be owed to imperialism. It is easy to understand how, in other respects, such an alliance would give us the means of strengthening the ties of sympathy and moral solidity which already exist between us. As a means, however, of guaranteeing our integrity and common defense that alliance would accomplish nothing, and it is probable would never pass beyond siinple utopia. Only those could believe in such a dream (already destroyed at Tecubaya, and in an hour very different from the present) who misunderstand the situation of the nations of the continent. That which simple good sense counsels us is to hope nothing from artificial and illusory agreements. Peoples, like individuals, are judged and do justice to other peoples according to the discreetness with which they conduct themselves; according to the prudence, firmness, and wisdom of the men who lead them; in proportion to the economic progress which gives the strength and independence, and above all as they possess that great virtue born of the sentiment of duty and the consciousness oi destiny, worth mure perhaps than riches--that heroic moral courage of being dignified on all occasions. There is nothing like being right and being honest. Because, as a matter of fact, whenever we speak of European pretentions we tend to exaggerate and see everything through a false prism. What Europe wants is to open markets. The great problem for her is the economic question, the source of all the pains which afflict that ancient, dving society. Except in Africa, conquests to-day are ditficuit; and how many European nations are there who Would not congratulate themselves on the fortunate day on which they could relieve themselves of some of their possessions, retaining only their commerciai advantages. That is to say, what we shoulai do above all is study the most natural means of exchanging interests with Europe. As long as we limit this to obtaining loans in
London and to buving in Hamburg we will not cease to occupy that relationship to her which always exists between debtors and creditors.
Another truth which we also forget is the spirit of patience, at times amounting to forbearance, of the European creclitor. This is the natural spirit of all sensibile creditors. They understand that their interests are lund up with those of their debtors. We might cite many examples of the good will with which European capitalists accede to all the reasonabile demands of our governments. Why should we then be alwars so suspicious toward these men of afiairs? Is it not true that they would have the right to say to us, “Why did you then ask of us our money?"
There is nothing like having right on our side. Instead of hatred toward the capitalist aiter we have got possession of the borrowed money we should have the good judginent either not to borrow at all or scrupulously fulfill our obligations and not give the slighest pretext for disputes and coercive measures by stronger governments. This would be worth much more to us than all the fictitious coalitions we may have . planned. If we had only taken home to ourselves the thought that to be in the right is the best thing-better even than possessing annons-Brazil, for example, would not be to-day in the very complicated position in which she finds herself, due in great measure to the irregularities which exhauster the country, principally, after the Republic. Besides being already burdened with tremendous debts, the twenty former provinces, converted into independent governments with the name of states, were handed over to incapable and selfish men who are devoting themselves to the only certainly profitable business that survived the deluge-borrowing. The instant they hear the European banker jingling the sovereigns they shut their eyes and accept any conditions. When the obligations have to be met, they either make new loans, which each time become more burdensome to the poor country, or they appeal to the federal coffers. And the federal coffers, when once they are opened how are ther to be closed? And on the day when they have to be closed, after they are drained to the last cent, what is to be done with the European creditor? And, finally, to complete all this, we will have a “Sorocabana" case, another “(este de Minas" case, and yet other cases, each one a more eloquent witness than the last to our sins. But we ask, Would continental alliances perchance possess the miraculous power of remerlying the evils that naturally flow from such aberrations and vices?
On the whole, although it is true that false conclusions do not advance the solution of the problem of our defense, nevertheless we can not doubt that some profit would be derived from measures of another kind, founded upon a general understanding among Americans. For example, instead of invoking the Monroe doctrine (clearly a mere fiction in international law), we might establish, bu a collective note to the powers of Europe that no case arising out oi the rights of subjects of foreign nations shall be discussed diplomatically beiore being submitted to the courts of the country where it arose. This is possible, as the legal principle involved is a perfectly acceptable one, although Europe has almost forgotien it, partly because she abuses her strength, but also because she has been encourageri by our own negligence. Such an agreement would be of much greater value to us than alliances full of expressions of platonic friendship but devoid of positive significance, or at least without the positive advantages which such an agreement would tend to assure to us.
To appeal, however, to the North American Government, as the Argentine has just done, in the hope that the former will reiterate and accentuate in the form of a definite promise and reduce to a formula of international law a fragment of a note given out eighty years ago by the Washington Government, and up to the present time regarded as a pure eccentricity of the kinel for which Imerica has become the classic source, really proves that the (iovernment so doing has no notion of the juridical rules obtaining among mollern peoples, that it is not acquainted with the actual conditions surrounding the nations of the world, and, finally, that it has a very superficial view of the nature of the relations that can be maintaineil between nations without peril to their sovereignty and without injury to their honor or even to their simple national dignity.
The llonroe doctrine as much has no value whatever. At best it is simply another document for the benefit of those who would determine the characteristic psychology of the North American. Such a doctrine passes not only for a work very original and very Yankee, but also as being without substance as a whole. The Government of the United States can invoke it and put it into force when it is to its advantage to do so and whenever it is able to give to the formula the unanswerable validity and strength of cannons. And even for this purpose it might well be dispensed with. Without the support of Monroeism the great powers of Europe exercise the same “rights" (those of force) whenever they can and on all the seas of the world.
Further, it can not help being detrimental to the peoples of South America to invoke that iloctrine, even outside the cases which the Argentine chancellery wished to see specified-those with regarıl to the collection of debts. Such a principle