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ELECTION AND INAUGURATION OF PEDRO MONTT AS PRESIDENT.
Minister Hicks to the Secretary of State.
SANTIAGO, June 27, 1906. (Announces that the election of Pedro Montt as President by a large majority is conceded by all parties.)
Minister Ilicks to the Secretary of State.
Santiago, September 20, 1906. SIR: In accordance with the provisions of the constitution of Chile, the new President, Don Pedro Montt, elected in June last, was duly installed in office on Tuesday, September 10, and is now the chief magistrate of the Republic.
The 18th of September is the anniversary of the national independence and is the day fixed by law for the inauguration of the President for a term of five years. It is made a holiday throughout the Republic, and the succeeding two days are also given up to festivities among the people. It is a sort of combination of the 4th of July and the 4th of March, although, on account of the natural differences of temperament, it is celebrated here quite differently from the manner in which the day is observed in the United States.
At 1.30 the two houses of congress assembled in the large hall known as the Salon de Honor, in the congressional building, with Mr. Sanfuentes, president of the Senate, in the chair, and the secretary of the Chamber of Deputies acting as clerk. President Riesco, accompanied by his cabinet, entered and took seats behind the desk, the President wearing his badge of office, a broad sash of red, white, and blue ribbon, bearing the shield of the Republic. The new President, Don Pedro Montt, was seated near the door.
On one side of the hall were the members of the two houses and distinguished citizens. On the other side were the members of the diplomatic corps in full uniform, naval and military representatives, and citizens. A guard of military surrounded the building and filled the anteroom of the hall, while the galleries were filled with citizens.
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As soon as the President and his cabinet were seated, the clerk began reading the result of the election in the electoral college, showing that Don Pedro Montt had been duly elected President. A committee of senators and deputies then waited on the Presidentelect and escorted him to the desk, where he took the oath of office. Immediately President Riesco took' from his shoulders the tricolored sash, emblem of his high office, and placed it on his successor, and then arose from the spectators in the galleries and from many in the body of the hall a mighty chorus of cheers. Viva Don Pedro Montt! was heard in one great acclaim.
The President then announced the appointment of his new cabinet, as follows:
Minister of interior and president of the cabinet, Don Javier A.
Foreign relations, Don Santiago Aldunate Bascuñañ.
The gentlemen named appeared and signed the oath of office, and the public ceremonial connected with the inauguration closed the first part.
At once the President and his cabinet, accompanied by the senators and deputies, public officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and distinguished citizens, formed in procession and marched to the Cathedral, two blocks distant.
At the entrance of the Cathedral the new President was met by the venerable Archbishop of Santiago and escorted to a seat, while the others were seated in prominent places in the body of the church. A “Te Deum” service was sung with the assistance of a choir of men's voices and about fifty priests and bishops. At the conclusion of the religious service, which lasted less than an hour, the procession was formed again, the President and cabinet going last, and marched. on foot to the Moneda, or government building, distant some six or seven blocks. The entire way was lined with troops, and the houses were filled, as to the balconies and windows, with citizens.
Every square had its band, which discoursed military music, and the new President received the cheers of the crowd, which came almost unanimously from the lips of the people in the whole course of his journey.
At the Moneda the new President, diplomatic corps, cabinet ministers, and distinguished guests reviewed the procession from the balconies. All the troops which had guarded the streets during the procession defiled in front of the Moneda, and the square in front and adjoining streets were thronged with people. At the end of two hours the guests present accompanied the new President to the dining hall, where a glass of champagne was drunk in honor of the new administration, and then the company dispersed.
At 7 o'clock in the evening, President Montt gave a dinner in the Moneda to the cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps, and heads of departments. Don Santiago Aldunate Bascuñañ, minister of foreign relations, made a brief speech, welcoming the visitors and stating briefly the objects of the new administration. He was answered in a
short speech by the dean of the diplomatic corps, Monsignor Monto, papal delegate. Both speeches were read in manuscript.
At 9 o'clock the ladies of the diplomatic corps arrived and the entire party went to the theater, where an Italian opera company gave Il Trovatore. On the arrival of the President the national hymn of Chile was sung, and a new hymn, written for the occasion, in honor of Don Pedro Montt, was sung amid great cheering. The opera concluded the exercises of a busy day.
The new President takes office while enjoying great personal popularity. He is the son of Don Manuel Montt, who was President of Chile from 1851. to 1862. His reputation is that of a calm, wellbalanced man, of unimpeachable integrity, strong and self-reliant, but conciliatory and far-seeing. He begins his career with many difficulties on his hands. One question left over from the last administration—that of the rectorship of the university—is already causing considerable trouble. Under the law the President appoints the rector from three persons named by the doctors of the university itself. Señor Letelier has been so named, but as he is said to be a liberal and even a freethinker, the church party and the conservatives generally are fighting him. The new President selected a cabinet last week entirely different from the one now in office, but owing to the rectorship question and some other things it failed and a new one had to be appointed hurriedly.
Among other difficulties to be met by the new President is the opposition of the Senate. It is understood that there is a majority in that body against him, and it is liable to operate unfavorably to him. Still his friends have full confidence that he will succeed in quieting opposition and will retain the unlimited confidence of the people.
Under the Chilean constitution much of the power delegated to the President under the American Constitution is retained by Congress. That body really dictates to the President the appointment or removal of his cabinet, and thus his functions are quite different from those of the President of the United States.
The country is recovering from the effects of the earthquake, and the new administration gives great hopes and expectations of prosperity to the people. A few months will probably see a marked improvement in the business and financial affairs of the Republic. Your obedient servant,
VISIT OF SECRETARY ROOT.
The Chilean Foreign Office to the Chilean Jlinister.
[Copy handed to Secretary Root by Chilean minister.)
March 1445.40 P. M. On behalf of the Government, you will please invite very cordially the Secretary of State, Mr. Root, to come and visit our country. You will assure him that his visit will be a great satisfaction for us. This invitation had not been tendered before because we thought that Mr. Root would not come farther than Rio Janeiro.
The Secretary of State to the Chilean minister.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 31, 1906. DEAR MR. MINISTER: I accept with pleasure the courteous invitation to visit Chile, extended through you, and I beg you to convey to the minister for foreign affairs my grateful thanks therefor.
I shall be most happy to meet the distinguished statesmen of Chile; and it is my hope that there will result there from a strengthening and cementing of the friendship and good will which have so long characterized the relations between our two countries, and a nearer approach to complete understanding and sympathy in their intercourse. Faithfully, yours,
The Chilean minister to the Secretary of State.
LEGATION OF CHILE,
Washington, April 4, 1906. ESTEEMED MR. SECRETARY: I had the honor to receive on day before yesterday your communication of Saturday, by which you gave me the pleasure of hearing that you accept the invitation to visit Chile, extended to you by me in the name of my
Government. I have submitted this very agreeable information to my Government, by which I am instructed to say to the Secretary of State that it takes his decision as a signal token of cordiality, and that it feels sure that the necessary consequence of your visit will be a complete and frank understanding between our Governments, while it will at the same time draw even closer the bonds of friendship that unite our countries. The most respectful servant of the Secretary of State,
J. WALKER MARTINEZ.
Minister Hicks to the Secretary of State. No. 82.]
Santiago, Chile, September 12, 1906. SIR: As the department is an impersonal entity that exists and does business notwithstanding the absence of its head, I have the honor to make a brief report of the visit of Mr. Elihu Root and family to Chile and also to transmit copies of telegrams sent and received on the subject of his visit.
As I have already notified department Mr. Root was invited to visit Chile and he accepted the invitation. It was at first the intention of the Chilean officials to send a war ship to Punta Arenas where the minister of foreign affairs and myself were to meet the Charleston and welcome him to Chilean territory. On account of the earthquake, however, the programme was changed to this extent, that a Chilean war ship, the Zenteno, met him at Punta Arenas and escorted him to
Lota, where he was met by the minister of foreign affairs and myself, with a committee of Chilean gentlemen.
The date fixed for his arrival at Lota was August 29 and we were there on the morning of the 28th. The two ships did not arrive on the 29th or 30th, and it was not until the afternoon of the 31st that they appeared in sight. Naturally, the delay gave rise to some apprehension, and the Chilean Government was on the point of sending the cruiser Admiral Sampson in search of the two ships when they made their appearance.
Nr. Root, with his wife, daughter, son, and other members of his party, left the Charleston at Lota, and taking a special train came directly to Santiago, a distance of about 200 miles, arriving here at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of Saturday, September 1. The Government had arranged to have him occupy the residence of Mrs. Edwards, a Chilean lady of great wealth, and the Root party were soon domiciled in the beautiful palace, the finest residence in Santiago.
At 5 o'clock the President received Mr. Root in the Moneda or government building, where brief addresses were exchanged, the President welcoming the Secretary of State in generous and hospitable words. Mr. Root's reply was equally felicitous and made an excellent impression. At 6 o'clock the party went to the residence of Mr. Huneeus, the minister of foreign affairs, where a reception was given and more than a thousand ladies and gentlemen of Santiago society greeted the visitors.
The next day was Sunday, and Mrs. Root received a formal visit from President Riesco and his wife. The Secretary and Miss Root assisted at a review of the “ Bomberos” or fire department of Santiago, in honor of the foreign contributors to the relief of the earthquake sufferers, and afterwards they had a drive around the city.
In the evening the Root party were guests of honor at a banquet given by President Riesco and wife. Upward of 40 guests were present and the affair was brilliant and impressive.
The minister of foreign affairs delivered an address of welcome, which was responded to in most appropriate words by Secretary Root. Accompanying this I am sending a copy and a translation of the minister's speech and also a copy of the speech of Mr. Root.
On Monday, at 1 o'clock, the Secretary and party lunched at the Austrian legation and in the evening dined with me in this legation.
Before the earthquake I had planned a dinner at the Union Club for 70 people-ladies and gentlemen-intended as a return of some of the courtesies which would be extended to Mr. Root, but owing to the great affliction which came upon the country, I was compelled to omit it.
My dinner therefore was confined to President Riesco and wife; Monseigneur Monti, papal envoy and dean of the diplomatic corps; Madame Kilpatrick, the widow of Gen. Judson Kilpatrick, formerly American minister to Chile; Madame Desprez, wife of the French minister and daughter of Gen. George B. McClellan; and myself.
On Tuesday, accompanied by the minister of foreign affairs and myself, with members of the committee, the Root party took a special train for Valparaiso, and after a short ride through the region that suffered most from the earthquake, went on board the Charleston, and at 5 o'clock in the afternoon the ship sailed for the north.