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In 1880 the Colombian minister in the United States brought to the
attention of the Department of State, with a view to Question of
explanations, certain newspaper reports as to the coaling
proceedings of the United States men-of-war Adams tions.
and Kearsarge in examining certain harbors in Colombia, apparently with a view to occupy them as naval stations. The Colombian minister was informed that the subject of the acquisition by the United States of “coaling stations" in the ports of the Isthmus “ would be brought to the friendly attention of his Government” whenever the United States "considered such an acquisition useful to its commercial and naval interests.' The minister of the United States at Bogotá was subsequently instructed to intimate to the Colombian Government the desire of the United States to acquire the right to establish coaling stations at certain points; and he was instructed to say that, as “this convenience had been accorded to the United States at various times in the Atlantic and Pacific waters by all friendly powers, upon the mere suggestion by this Government that it was desired," it was anticipated not only that no obstacle would be interposed, but that the acquiescence of the Colombian Government would be promptly and cordially afforded. “It is not deemed probable that any unwillingness to supply this accommodation will be manifested, but should there be any reluctanceor hesitation you will remind the Government of Colombia that the treaty obligation of guarantee which the United States has assumed and the large and valuable traffic of the Panama railroad make the establishment at these points [Shepherd's IIarbor on the Atlantic coast, and Golfito on the Pacific coast,] of naval and commercial facilities a matter of more than ordinary importance to both countries.”
Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Dichman, min. to Colombia, April 19,
1880, MS. Inst. Colombia, XVII. 147, enclosing copies of correspondence with the Colombian minister concerning the proceedings of the Adams
and the Kearsarge. See, also, Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Logan, June 25, 1880, MS. Inst.
Central America, XVIII. 104, referring to the action of the authorities
Rica and Colombia.
July 31, 1880, MS. Inst. Colombia, XVII. 181.
Washington, and especially Mr. Evarts' notes of April 17 and June 5,
The Republics of Colombia and Costa Rica entered into a conven
tion to refer certain differences as to their boundaColombian - Costa
ries to the King of the Belgians, and, in case of his Rican Arbitration.
declination, successively to the King of Spain and the President of the Argentine Republic. When advised of the terms of this convention, which had been concluded without notice to the l'nited States, Mr. Blaine, who was then Secretary of State, referring to the report that the King of the Belgians would decline, and that the matter would then be submitted to the King of Spain, declared that the United States, while it had no dissatisfaction to express at the election of his Catholic Majesty, was of opinion that any question affecting the territorial limits of the State of Panama was of direct practical concern to the United States; that under the guarantee of the treaty of 1846 the United States was entitled to an active interposition in the solution of any such question, should it deem its interests to require such intervention; and that the convention providing for the arbitration should have been the subject of frank communication to and friendly consultation with the United States on the part of the signatory powers. The United States would not, said Mr. Blaine, interfere to prevent the accomplishment of the arbitration, nor would it undertake to express any opinion as to the acceptance by the King of Spain of the invitation which was understood to have been tendered him. The United States, however, deemed it due to itself and respectful to his Catholic Majesty, to inform him in advance that the Government of the United States, where either its rights or interests were concerned, would not hold itself bound by any arbitration, where it had not been consulted on the subject or method and had had no voice in the selection of the arbitrator. This communication was to be made in case the invitation to his Catholic Majesty had actually been presented, but in making it anything in the nature of a protest was to be avoided, and it was to be declared that the communication was induced by the anxiety of the United States to avoid any misunderstanding or seeming disrespect to the decision which his Majesty might reach, should he accept the arbitration.
Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Fairchild, min. to Spain, June 25, 1881,
For. Rel. 1881, 1057.
31, 1881, For. Rel. 1881, 70, to the same effect. The Belgian foreign
74, 75.) A copy of the instruction to Mr. Fairchild was given to the Spanish foreign
offce, but the invitation to the King of Spain had not then been
extended. (For. Rel. 1881, 1062, 1063, 1067.) See, further, as to the boundary question, For. Rel 880, 310, 325; For. Rel.
1881, 99, 105, 111, 354.
“In the case of the proposed arbitration between Costa Rica and Colombia, the attitude of the United States was determined by two circumstances, the fact that certain American interests lay in the disputed strip of Isthmusian territory, and the existence of our treaty guarantee of the sovereignty of Colombia over the State of Panama. In view of these circumstances, this Government felt bound to intimate its determination not to be bound by any arbitration concerning the territory of Panama, when the rights or interests of the United States are concerned, when we had not been consulted on the subject or method of arbitration or the selection of the arbitrator.
“In the present instance the subject-matter of arbitration does not appear to affect these two considerations. This Government is not aware that American citizens have any rights in the disputed territory, nor does it see that the settlement of the question will affect or impair our guarantee of Colombia's sovereignty over the Isthmus. Moreover, the considerations which have led to the selection of the King of Spain as arbitrator seem to have been so far founded in convenience as to entitle them to friendly recognition, particularly as the question to be determined is one of facts as to which the Colonial archives of the Kingdom will furnish conclusive evidence, and is not in any sense one of politics.
“On the other hand, this Government can not but feel that the decision of American questions pertains to America itself, and it would hesitate, even when consulted (sic) by the most friendly motives (such as naturally join it to that of Spain) to set on record an approval of a resort to European arbitration. As presented to Mr. Hamlin by the Colombian Minister, however, the inquiry seems to be not so much whether we will approve and support the proposed arbitration as whether we have any intention of signifying our opposition thereto.
“If the subject should again be brought to the attention of the Legation by the Minister of Colombia, you may say to him that this Government sees no reason to interfere to prevent the arbitration of the Colombian and Venezuelan boundary dispute by the King of Spain, and, in the absence of specific knowledge of the points to be submitted to arbitration, does not undertake to express an opinion thereon or as to whether our interests are or are not involved. We have every confidence in the impartiality of His Majesty in the premises, and as an abstract principle are glad to see any friendly and just settlement of disputes concerning interests so nearly allied to our own."
Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Reed, chargé at Madrid, No. 123
(confid.), Jan. 4, 1883, MS. Inst. Spain, XIX. 254.
The question as to the interests of the United States, especially in consequence of the stipulations of Article XXXV. of the treaty of 1846, in the boundary arbitration between Colombia and Costa Rica, was adjusted in 1886. November 14, 1885, Mr. Bayard, who was then Secretary of State, addressed a note to the Colombian legation in Washington, in relation to the rights of guarantee or tenure which the Government of the United States or its citizens might be found to have with respect to the territory in dispute. By a supplementary convention between Colombia and Costa Rica, concluded January 20, 1886, it was expressly provided (Art. III.) that the judgment of arbitration should be confined to the territory within certain extreme limits, which were laid down in the supplementary convention, and it was also declared that the judgment could not in any way affect the rights which any third party, not having taken part in the arbitration, might allege to the “ownership” of the territory comprised within those limits. These stipulations were brought to the attention of the United States, with the assurance that they were intended to meet the points presented in Mr. Bayard's note of November 14, 1885. The United States accepted this formal assurance as sufficient, with the express understanding that the term “ownership (propriedad)” was employed in no restrictive sense, but included all possessory or usufructuary rights and all easements and privileges which the United States or their citizens may possess in the disputed territory, not only as respects the relation of the United States to each or either of the contracting parties to the arbitration, but also with regard to the relation of the United States or their citizens toward any third government not actually a party to the submission.” This declaration was deemed by the United States to be proper in view of the fact that the region in dispute, as defined in the supplementary convention, not only embraced territory to which the concessions of Colombia and Costa Rica and the mutual guarantees of the United States with Colombia might be found to be applicable, but also included territory coming within the scope of the existing arrangements of Nicaragua with the United States and the latter's citizens. In conclusion, Mr. Bayard said:
“So, accepting the declarations of the supplementary articles of 20th January, 1886, as fully responding to the views and propositions set forth in my note to Señor Gonzalez Viquez of the 14th November, 1885, I will have pleasure forth with in carrying out the promise I then made, to announce to the Government of Spain, as the arbitrator accepted by Costa Rica and Colombia, that, in view of the forma! understanding reached by the contracting parties to the arbitration, whereby the scope and effect thereof are defined without impairment of any rights of the third parties not sharing in the arbitration, the Government of the United States withdraws from the notification, made June 25, 1881, that it would not hold itself bound by the results of such arbitration.
“In so doing the Government of the United States feels that it is consistently lending its countenance to the general promotion of the consistent advocates of international arbitration in settlement of differences and as friends of both parties to the present dispute, we are sincerely glad of a mode of settlement which will not excite the serious concern the United States could not but feel were a European power to resort to force against a sister republic of this hemisphere as to the sovereign and uninterrupted use of a part of whose territory we are guarantors, under the solemn faith of a treaty."
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. McLai e, min. to France, tel., Jan. 29,
1886, MS. Inst. France, XXI. 278; Mr. Adee, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr.
to Colombia, VII. 64.
Spain, and afterwards, in consequence of the failure to carry out the
United States. (Moore, Int. Arbitrations, II. 2117-2123; V. 4699.)
reason of difficulties relating to the execution of the mediatorial award
3. GUARANTEE OF FREE AND OPEN TRANSIT.
(1) DOMESTIC DISTURBANCES,
On the evening of April 15, 1856, a serious riot occurred at Panama.
Early in the day the steamer Illinois arrived at AspinPanama riot, 1856.
wall (Colon) having on board 950 passengers, including many women and children, on their way to California. Most of the passengers had been transported on the Panama railway to Panama, in order to take the steamer for California, when an altercation occurred between a drunken passenger and a Panama negro, who