Page images

I can not speak in too high terms to express the good results of Mr. Root's visit to Chile. Everywhere I hear the warmest praise of his speech and of the impression he made on the Chilean people. I am sure that his visit will greatly assist in bringing about a good and kindly feeling between the two countries. Your obedient servant,

John Hicks.

(Inclosure 1.--Telegram.]

Mr. Hicks to Mr. Root.

AUGUST 18. Because of awful earthquake, all arrangements for your reception completely changed. Will be strictly official. So many towns destroyed that Government is in mourning. Valparaiso reported in ruins. Five hundred deaths. Santiago badly shocked, thirty deaths, much property destroyed. Will advise you later.


[Inclosure 2.--Telegram.]
Mr. Root to Mr. Hicks.

BUENOS AIRES, 19. Express to the Government of Chile my deep and heartfelt sympathy with them in their appalling misfortune. It is impossible that they should turn their attention now to the entertainment of a guest, and with their permission I will confine my visit to stopping a few hours at Valparaiso, long enough to make a brief call of respect and condolence at such place and in such manner as may then seem appropriate. We are still quite without particular information of the loss suffered. Advise me fully of conditions, as you learn them, until Monday morning at Bahia Blanca, later at Punta Arenas.


[Inclosure 3.]



[Translation from the Spanish.] Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE:

I greet you and welcome you in the name of the people and of the Government of Chile, who receive your visit with the liveliest satisfaction.

Your attendance at the congress of fraternity which the American Republics have just held; your visit to the neighboring countries, which we have followed with the greatest interest; and your presence amongst us, after the invitation which we had the honor of offering you, are eloquent testimony of the highminded intentions, which will necessarily produce much good for the progress and the development of America.

In these moments we feel a most profound gratitude toward your country, toward your worthy President, and toward you for the friendship and sympathy with which you have joined in the sorrow of Chile because of the disaster which has wounded Valparaiso and other cities of the Republic.

I wish that your stay in this country may be agreeable to you and your distinguished family,

[Inclosure 4.)


I thank you, Mr. President, for your kind welcome and for your kind expressions, and I thank you for the courteous invitation which led to this visit on my

part. After the great calamity which has befallen your country, I should have feared to intrude upon the mourning which is in so many Chilean homes, but I did not feel that I could pass by without calling upon you—upon the representative of the Chilean people to express in person the deep sympathy and sorrow which I, and all my people, whom I represent, feel for your country and for the stricken and bereaved ones, and the earnest hope we have for the prompt and cheerful recovery of spirit and of confidence and of prosperity after the great misfortune. We know that the spirit and the strength of the people of Chile are adequate for the recovery, even from so great a disaster. No one in the world, Mr. President, can feel more deeply the misfortune that you have suffered than the people of the United States, because you know that in our country we have recently experienced just such a calamity. I am sure that nowhere in the world will you find so keen a sense of sympathy as is there and as I now express. It may sometimes happen that in adversity stronger friendships arise than in prosperity, and I hope that although I come to bring to you an expression of friendship of the United States of America for the Republic of Chile now while the cloud rests upon you, the effect of the exchange of kind words and kinder feelings in this time may be greater, more permanent, and more lasting than they could have been when all were prosperous and happy.

[Inclosure 5.)



[Translation from the Spanish.]


I extend to you the welcome of the people and of the Government. Heartily do I say to you, in the name of all Chileans: Be welcome.

We were preparing to entertain you in magnificent style, but it was the will of Providence to visit us with a bitter trial, so we are now receiving you in a modest manner.

Come and see, sir, what we have suffered. Morally, we have suffered much; for several thousands of our brothers perished in the catastrophe of August 16. Materially speaking, we lose the greater part of our principal port and of several cities of minor importance, together with the profits which cease in consequence. Behold, now, sir, what remains to us and how we are rising. Our productivo forces are alive and sound; agriculture, mining, and manufacturing have scarcely suffered, and our saltpeter treasures continue to exist.

Public order remained undisturbed; generally speaking, the reign of the law was maintained; the authorities fulfilled their duty; and the navy, glorious guardian of half our territory, which is the ocean, was saved intact. Therefore, all we sons of Chile are of cheerful heart.

The virility of a country is worth more than the splendor of its monuments. It does not humiliate us, therefore, to have you see houses and towns destroyed, for it was not a civil war or a foreign enemy which razed them to the ground, but a higher hand. It is rather a source of pride to us to have you witness the integrity and unity of the Chileans.

The fortitude of our race and our good sense will cause us to rise again in a short time to a greater prosperity.

You plainly see that Chile is still entire and that our misfortune was more painful than injurious.

We did not, therefore, think for a moment that you might postpone your visit. On the contrary, we telegraphed to you a few hours after the earthquake: “Our home is demolished; but come, sir, for we are safe, calm, and diligent."

Besides, the plain dignity of your character, which we knew, and the objects of your visit encouraged us to speak to you.

You have come, most excellent sir, to offer your overproduction to our consumers, and to ask a larger place for the Americans in the Chilean heart.

You are going to obtain all that. But, besides this, Mr. Root, please bear to the sons of the United States, and especially to our brothers in misfortune at San Francisco, Cal., a sacred homage—the intense gratitude of the society

and Government of Chile for the generous aid to our sufferers by which the Americans are proving to us that along with greatness of power they have greatness of heart.

We knew of all this greatness. With a territory covering half a continent and nourished by every kind of riches, with a firm and impulsive character, with broad and far-reaching views along every channel which human activity can pursue, and endowed with a clear instinct of what is possible, the Americans have become useful and wealthy.

They understood two essential things, namely, that government is not merely a pleasant and covetable ideal, but a fundamental necessity, and that the greatest value does not consist in traditions or fortune, but in personal merit. They therefore abolished every unjustified distinction of superiority and organized as a democracy.

The result of the combination of such rare and happy moral and material elements has been the springing up of a nation as powerful as the most powerful, and in freedom equaled by none.

And how well the United States know that there is no greatness without liberty!

Since the consciousness of right has become deeper, principles of respect and faith have become implanted in the commonwealth of nations, whatever be the extent of their territory, their population, or their armed forces. The invet. erate abuses of force are disappearing. The principle which, being embodied into a law of equality among all the nations, always prevails at present in international relations is that of liberty for the weaker side.

The American Union—the free country—years ago established its foreign policy on the plan of equality. Its commercial flag waves throughout the world without arrogance or spirit of intervention.

Your natural wisdom tells you, Mr. Root, that you do not need any other than mercantile expansion, and still more that none other would be suited

to you.

You have of late repeatedly given practical and unmistakable testimonials that this is your policy.

You have stated so yourself at Rio de Janeiro, and your presence among us is a further proof that your purposes are friendly and frank.

Let us enter commercial relations with the United States with friendship and confidence. We shall proceed as far as is mutually beneficial to us, and this will be shown us by the natural laws of mercantile transactions.

The Government desires that American goods shall come to Chile in abundance to facilitate living, and it earnestly desires at the same time that Chilean products may be multiplied and that they may endeavor to offset those importations.

Since the 16th of August we have been pushing more resolutely than before the work of our restoration. We have all the moral factors, namely, order, will, and an apt and energetic people. We also have incalculable and extremely varied natural resources. There is only one material factor on which we may be short, namely, capital, which is a powerful force if well employed.

Chile will be glad to see American capital come and establish itself in our commercial and industrial circulation. It will blend well with Chilean honor and will prosper under the protection of our laws, which are liberal with the foreigner, and under the shelter of our Government, which is unshakable.

We are certain that Chilean interests will meet the same respect from the Government of the Union as we cherish for American interests.

The infinite variety of articles of supply and consumption will certainly enable the interchange of goods between Chile and America to increase without narrowing the horizons of our commerce with friendly markets which today bring us capital, raw materials, workmen, and manufactures.

The American Union has happily solved its internal and foreign problems, has established its political and economic power on a firm basis, and is, finally, in full enjoyment of its natural greatness and freely exercising all its energies at the present time. We have attentively observed that it desires to promote the progress of the world and to see the other nations of Christendom, especially the American Republics, associated in this great work on terms of equality, friendship, and mutual benefit.

We respond, therefore, to its affectionate call by declaring that we are imbued with sincere faith in the friendship of the Government and the people of the United States; we utter fervent wishes that our mutual confidence may become

strengthened and be free of misgivings; and we prophesy that the rapprochement which the eminent Secretary of State now visiting us has initiated will be of beneficent influence on our international cordiality and bring prosperous results for our development.

Most excellent Mr. Root, His Excellency the President of the Republic requests you to say to the illustrious President Roosevelt and to your fellowcitizens that the Chilean people fraternize cordially with the American people ; that our markets are free to them; that we admire your government officials; that your most excellent minister, Mr. Hicks, enjoys our highest esteem and good feeling; and that we have received you and your most worthy family with open hearts.

[Inclosure 6.]



I beg you to believe in the sincere and high appreciation which I have for all the kindness you have shown me and my family since our arrival in Chile. I believe that the delicacy, the sense of propriety and fitness, that have characterized our reception, both official and personal, have produced in our minds, under the sad circumstances of the great misfortune that hangs over the Chilean people like a cloud, a deeper impression than the most splendid and sumptuous display. I believe that to be able to mourn with you in your loss, to sympathize with you in your misfortune, draws us closer to you than to be with you in the greatest prosperity and happiness upon which the brightest sun has ever shone.

I thank you for your kindly expressions regarding my President, regarding myself, and regarding my country. In the “United States of America,” as our Constitution called us many years ago—the “United States of North America," as perhaps we should call ourselves south of the equator-we have been for a long time, and are now, trying to reconcile individual liberty with public order, local self-government with a strong central and national control; trying to develop the capacity of the individuals of our people to control themselves and also the capacity of the people collectively for self-government; trying to adopt sound financial methods, to promote justice—a justice compatible with mercy, and to make progress in all that makes a people happier, more prosperous, better educated, better able to perform their duties as citizens and to do their part in the world to help humanity out of the hard conditions of poverty and ignorance and along the pathway of civilization. We have done what we could. We have committed errors and we acknowledge them and are deeply conscious of them; but we are justly proud of our country for the progress it has made, and we look on every country that is engaged in that same struggle for liberty and justice with profound sympathy and warm friendship.

I am here to say to the Chilean people that although there have been misunderstandings in the past, they were misunderstandings such as arise between two vigorous, proud peoples that know each other too little. Let us know each. other better and we shall have put an end to misunderstandings. The present moment is especially propitious for saying this, because we are upon the threshold of great events in this Western World of ours. In my own country the progress of development has reached a point of transition. In the fifty years, from 1850 to 1900, we received on our shores nearly twenty million immigrants from the Old World. We borrowed from the Old World thousands of millions of dollars, and with the strong arm of the immigrants and with the capital from the Old World we have threaded the country with railroads, we have constructed great public works, we have created the phenomenal prosperity that you all know; and now we have paid our debts to Europe, we have returned the capital with which our country was built up, and in the last half dozen years we have been accumulating an excess of capital that is beginning to seek an outlet in foreign enterprises.

At the same time, there is seen in South America the dawn of a new life which moves its people, as they have never been moved before, with the spirit of industrial and commercial progress.

At a banquet that was given last winter to a great and distinguished man, Lord Grey, Governor-General of Canada, he said: “The nineteenth century was the century of the United States; the twentieth century will be the century of

Canada.” I should feel surer as a prophet if I were to say: "The twentieth century will be the century of South America." I believe, with him, in the great development of Canada; but just as the nineteenth century was the century of phenomenal development in North America, I believe that no student can help seeing that the twentieth century will be the century of phenomenal development in South America.

And so our countries will be face to face in a new attitude. We can not longer remain strangers to each other; our relations must be those of intimacy, and this is the time to say that our relations will be those of friendship.

On the other hand, before long the construction of the canal across the Isthmus of Panama, which will fulfill the dreams of the early navigators, which will accomplish the work projected for centuries, will at last be completed, while the men who are to-day active in the business of both countries are still on the field of action.

This, therefore, is the moment to safeguard harmony in the relations between the two nations.

I do not believe that anyone can say what changes the opening of the Panama Canal will bring in the affairs of the world, but we do know that the great changes in the commercial routes of the world have changed the course of history, and no one can doubt that the creation of a waterway that will put the Pacific coast of South America in close touch with the Atlantic coast of North America must be a factor of incalculable importance in determining the affairs of the Western Hemisphere and promoting our relations of intimacy and friendship.

Now, at this moment, at the beginning of this great commercial and industrial awakening-I say at the beginning, notwithstanding all that you have already done, because I believe you have only begun to realize the great work you have before you—at this moment there falls on you this terrible misfortune, one of those warnings that at times God sends to his people to show them how weak they are in his hands-a misfortune on account of which the entire world mourns with you. But I believe-I know—that the air of these mountains and of these shores, which in another time gave its spirit to the proud and indomitable Arucanian race, has given to the people of Chile the vigor with which to rise up from the ashes of Valparaiso and with which to make out of the misfortune of to-day the incentive for great deeds to-morrow. And in this era of friendship, when peaceful immigration has replaced armed invasions, when the free exchange of capital and the international ownership of industrial and commercial enterprises, of manufactures, of mines, have replaced rapine and plunder—in this era of commercial conquest and industrial acquisition, of more frequent intercourse among men, of more intimate knowledge and better understanding, there has come to you in this your great misfortune the friendship and the sympathy of the world.

In truth, our friends who sleep the last sleep there in Valparaiso have brought to their country a possession of greater value than was ever won by the soldier on the battlefield.

As I said to you yesterday, Mr. President, I feared that under the present sad circumstances I might be intruding upon you; should I not rather feel that the words of friendship of which I am the bearer are in perfect harmony with the sentiment that your affliction has created in all countries, the universal recognition of the brotherhood of man?

The President of Chile to the President of the United States.


SANTIAGO, September 5, 1906. Mr. Elihu Root, Secretary of State, and his family have remained among us for three days and taken away with them the cordial sympathy and gratitude of the Chilean people and Government. We shall never forget this visit that I trust will be fruitful for the cordial relations of our countries and advantageous for their reciprocal interests.


« PreviousContinue »