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as we had indicated create an obligation upon the United States. The temporary absence of a minister plenipotentiary of Italy at this capital has retarded the further correspondence, but it is not doubted that a friendly conclusion is attainable.
Some suggestions growing out of this unhappy incident are worthy the attention of Congress. It would, I believe, be entirely competent for Congress to make offenses against the treaty rights of foreigners domiciled in the United States cognizable in the Federal courts. This has not, however, been done, and the Federal officers and courts have no power in such cases to intervene, either for the protection of a foreign citizen or for the punishment of his slayers. It seems to me to follow, in this state of the law, that the officers of the State charged with police and judicial powers in such cases must in the consideration of international questions growing out of such incidents be regarded in such sense as Federal agents as to make this Government answerable for their acts in cases where it would be answerable if the United States had used its constitutional power to define and punish crime against treaty rights.
The civil war in Chile, which began in January last, was continued, but fortunately with infrequent and not important armed collisions, until August 28, when the Congressional forces landed near Valparaiso and after a bloody engagement captured that city. President Balmaceda at once recognized that his cause was lost, and a Provisional Government was speedily established by the victorious party. Our minister was promptly directed to recognize and put himself in communication with this Government so soon as it should have established its de facto character, which was done. During the pendency of this civil contest frequent indirect appeals were made to this Government to extend belligerent rights to the insurgents and to give audience to their representatives. This was declined, and that policy was pursued throughout which this Government when wrenched by civil war so strenuously insisted upon on the part of European nations. The Itata, an armed vessel commanded by a naval officer of the insurgent fleet, manned by its sailors and with soldiers on board, was seized under process of the United States court at San Diego, Cal., for a violation of our neutrality laws. While in the custody of an officer of the court the vessel was forcibly wrested from his control and put to sea. It would have been inconsistent with the dignity and self-respect of this Government not to have insisted that the Itata should be returned to San Diego to abide the judgment of the court. This was so clear to the junta of the Congressional party, established at Iquique, that before the arrival of the Itata at that port the secretary of foreign relations of the Provisional Government addressed to RearAdmiral Brown, commanding the United States naval forces, a communication, from which the following is an extract:
The Provisional Government has learned by the cablegrams of the Associated Press that the transport Itata, detained in San Diego by order of the United States for
taking on board munitions of war, and in possession of the marshal, left the port, carrying on board this official, who was landed at a point near the coast, and then continued her voyage.
* If this news be correct this Government would deplore the conduct of the Itata, and as an evidence that it is not disposed to support or agree to the infraction of the laws of the United States the undersigned takes advantage of the personal relations you have been good enough to maintain with him since your arrival in this port to declare to you that as soon as she is within reach of our orders his Government will put the Itata, with the arms and munitions she took on board in San Diego, at the disposition of the United States.
A trial in the district court of the United States for the southern district of California has recently resulted in a decision holding, among other things, that inasmuch as the Congressional party had not been recognized as a belligerent the acts done in its interest could not be a violation of our neutrality laws. From this judgment the United States has appealed, not that the condemnation of the vessel is a matter of importance, but that we may know what the present state of our law is; for if this construction of the statute is correct there is obvious necessity for revision and amendment.
During the progress of the war in Chile this Government tendered its good offices to bring about a peaceful adjustment, and it was at one time hoped that a good result might be reached; but in this we were disappointed.
The instructions to our naval officers and to our minister at Santiago from the first to the last of this struggle enjoined upon them the most impartial treatment and absolute noninterference. I am satisfied that these instructions were observed and that our representatives were always watchful to use their influence impartially in the interest of humanity, and on more than one occasion did so effectively. We could not forget, however, that this Government was in diplomatic relations with the then established Government of Chile, as it is now in such relations with the successor of that Government. I am quite sure that Pres. ident Montt, who has, under circumstances of promise for the peace of Chile, been installed as President of that Republic, will not desire that in the unfortunate event of any revolt against his authority the policy of this Government should be other than that which we have recently observed. No official complaint of the conduct of our minister or of our naval officers during the struggle has been presented to this Governmeut, and it is a matter of regret that so many of our own people should have given ear to unofficial charges and complaints that manifestly had their origin in rival interests and in a wish to pervert the relations of the United States with Chile.
The collapse of the Government of Balmaceda brought about a condition which is unfortunately too familiar in the history of the Central and South American States. With the overthrow of the Balmaceda Government he and many of his councilors and officers became at once fugitives for their lives, and appealed to the commanding officers of the foreign naval vessels in the harbor of Valparaiso and to the resident foreign ministers at Santiago for asylum. This asylum was freely given, according to my information, by the naval vessels of several foreign powers and by several of the legations at Santiago. The American minister as well as his colleagues, acting upon the impulse of humanity, extended asylum to political refugees whose lives were in peril. I have not been willing to direct the surrender of such of these persons as are still in the American legation without suitable conditions.
It is believed that the Government of Chile is not in a position, in view of the precedents with which it has been connected, to broadly deny the right of asylum, and the correspondence has not thus far presented any such denial. The treatment of our minister for a time was such as to call for a decided protest, and it was very gratifying to observe that unfriendly measures, which were undoubtedly the result of the prevailing excitement, were at once rescinded or suitably relaxed.
On the 16th of October an event occurred in Valparaiso so serious and tragic in its circumstances and results as to very justly excite the indignation of our people and to call for prompt and decided action on the part of this Government. A considerable number of the sailors of the United States steamship Baltimore, then in the harbor at Valparaiso, being upon shore leave and unarmed, were assaulted by armed men nearly simultaneously in different localities in the city. One petty officer was killed outright and seven or eight seamen were seriously wounded, one of whom has since died. So sayage and brutal was the assault that several of our sailors received more than two and one as many as eighteen stab wounds. An investigation of the affair was promptly made by a board of officers of the Baltimore, and their report shows that these assaults were unprovoked, that our men were conducting themselves in a peaceable and orderly manner, and that some of the police of the city took part in the assault and used their weapons with fatal effect, while a few others, with some well-disposed citizens, endeavored to protect our men. Thirtysix of our sailors were arrested, and some of them while being taken to prison were cruelly beaten and maltreated. The fact that they were all discharged, no criminal charge being lodged against any one of them, shows very clearly that they were innocent of any breach of the peace.
So far as I have yet been able to learn no other explanation of this bloody work has been suggested than that it had its origin in hostility to those men as sailors of the United States, wearing the uniform of their Government, and not in any individual act or personal animosity. The attention of the Chilean Government was at once called to this affair, and a statement of the facts obtained by the investigation we had conducted was submitted, accompanied by a request to be advised of any other or qualifying facts in the possession of the Chilean Government that might tend to relieve this affair of the appearance of an insult to this Government The Chilean Government was also advised that if such qualifying facts did not exist this Government would confidently expect full and prompt reparation.
It is to be regretted that the reply of the secretary for foreign affairs of the Provisional Government was couched in an offensive tone. To this no response has been made. This Government is now awaiting the result of an investigation which has been conducted by the criminal court at Valparaiso. It is reported unofficially that the investigation is about completed, and it is expected that the result will soon be communicated to this Government, together with some adequate and satisfactory response to the note by which the attention of Chile was called to this incident. If these just expectations should be disappointed or further needless delay intervene, I will by a special message bring this matter again to the attention of Congress for such action as may be necessary. The entire correspondence with the Government of Chile will at an early day be submitted to Congress.
I renew the recommendation of my special message dated January 16, 1890,* for the adoption of the necessary legislation to enable this Government to apply in the case of Sweden and Norway the same rule in respect to the levying of tonnage dues as was claimed and secured to the shipping of the United States in 1828 under Article VIII of the treaty of 1827.
The adjournment of the Senate without action on the pending acts for the suppression of the slave traffic in Africa and for the reform of the revenue tariff of the Independent State of the Kongo left this Government unable to exchange those acts on the date fixed, July 2, 1891. A modus vivendi has been concluded by which the power of the Kongo State to levy duties on imports is left unimpaired, and by agreement of all the signatories to the general slave-trade act the time for the exchange of ratifications on the part of the United States has been extended to February 2, 1892.
The late outbreak against foreigners in various parts of the Chinese Empire has been a cause of deep concern in view of the numerous establishments of our citizens in the interior of that country. This Government can do no less than insist upon a continuance of the protective and punitory measures which the Chinese Government has heretofore applied. No effort will be omitted to protect our citizens peaceably sojourning in China, but recent unofficial information indicates that what was at first regarded as an outbreak of mob violence against foreigners has assumed the larger form of an insurrection against public order.
The Chinese Government has declined to receive Mr. Blair as the mir. ister of the United States on the ground that as a participant while a Senator in the enactment of the existing legislation against the introduction of Chinese laborers he has become unfriendly and objectionable to China. I have felt constrained to point out to the Chinese Government
See pp. 5494-5495.
the untenableness of this position, which seems to rest as much on the unacceptability of our legislation as on that of the person chosen, and which if admitted would practically debar the selection of any representative so long as the existing laws remain in force.
You will be called upon to consider the expediency of making special provision by law for the temporary admission of some Chinese artisans and laborers in connection with the exhibit of Chinese industries at the approaching Columbian Exposition. I regard it as desirable that the Chinese exhibit be facilitated in every proper way.
A question has arisen with the Government of Spain touching the rights of American citizens in the Caroline Islands. Our citizens there long prior to the confirmation of Spain's claim to the islands had secured by settlement and purchase certain rights to the recognition and maintenance of which the faith of Spain was pledged. I have had reason within the past year very strongly to protest against the failure to carry out this pledge on the part of His Majesty's ministers, which has resulted in great injustice and injury to the American residents.
The Government and people of Spain propose to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by holding an exposition at Madrid, which will open on the 12th of September and continue until the zist of December, 1892. A cordial invitation has been extended to the United States to take part in this commemoration, and as Spain was one of the first nations to express the intention to participate in the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, it would be very appropriate for this Government to give this invitation its friendly promotion.
Surveys for the connecting links of the projected intercontinental railway are in progress, not only in Mexico, but at various points along the course mapped out. Three surveying parties are now in the field under the direction of the commission. Nearly 1,000 miles of the proposed road have been surveyed, including the most difficult part, that through Ecuador and the southern part of Colombia. The reports of the engineers are very satisfactory, and show that no insurmountable obstacles have been met with.
On November 12, 1884, a treaty was concluded with Mexico reaffirming the boundary between the two countries as described in the treaties of February 2, 1848, and December 30, 1853. March 1, 1889, a further treaty was negotiated to facilitate the carrying out of the principles of the treaty of 1884 and to avoid the difficulties occasioned by reason of the changes and alterations that take place from natural causes in the Rio Grande and Colorado rivers in the portions thereof constituting the boundary line between the two Republics. The International Boundary Commission provided for by the treaty of 1889 to have exclusive jurisdiction of any question that may arise has been named by the Mexican Government. An appropriation is necessary to enable the United States to fulfill its treaty obligations in this respect.