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France.-Convention regarding aliens, commerce and navigation,
The last Congress having approved the convention on commerce and navigation and the status of foreigners, concluded between Colombia and the French Republic on the 30th of May, 1892, the ratifications were exchanged on the 5th of October last, the convention coming into force from the 13th of the same month, in accordance with the last arti cle of said treaty.
The steamer Tartar, of the British navy, requested last year, through the British legation in this city, permission to sound Sabanilla Bay, and to make a sketch of the port.
It was resolved to grant the request made by the British legation, and orders were therefore sent to the coast, which arrived after the departure of the British vessel. As the legal provisions applicable in such cases are not very clear
it would seem desirable to agree upon a fixed rule, which should be in accordance with national rights and international courtesy.
Venezuela.-Free navigation of the River Orinoco.
A large part of Colombian territory being watered by navigable branches of the River Orinoco, has enabled the republic to make use of this river as far as the open sea by any of its outlets, with no other obligations than those of observing the police laws that Venezuela might make for internal security and for the protection of her revenues.
This right of Colombia has been confirmed still more now that the frontier limits have been decided, and it is admitted that the territory of our country extends as far as the left bank of the Orinoco, the river there having become international, its navigation is free to both countries.
Execution of the boundary award.
In your sessions of 1892 you were informed of the period agreed to between the governments of this country and Venezuela for the sending of a mixed commission, composed of representatives of each country, with the object of planning out on the spot the artificial portions of the frontier defined in the sentence of arbitration pronounced by His Majesty the King of Spain on the 16th of March of 1891. This period elapsed during the ordinary sessions of the last Congress in Venezuela
, which were concluded the end of last May, since which time, on account of a recent political transformation, Congress has not met, as the con vention called in 1893 only met to decide certain questions. The commission, however, has not as yet been sent, on account of Venezuela having dispatched to this capital, as I have already said, a legation of the first class to negotiate with Colombia an arrangement as to several points relating to the question of frontiers, after recognizing the absolute rights of the republic, as defined and set forth in the sentence of arbitration. The views and claims of Venezuela and Colombia have been given out in the following declaration or agreement:
The minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Colombia and the envoy extraor: dinary and minister plenipotentiary of Venezuela, together in the department of foreign affairs in the city of Bogota April 4, 1894, hereby agree to certify to, by the present document, dnly certified by our respective signatures, the following declarations which we have made verbally in several conferences which have taken place:
First. The envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Venezuela declares that his Government has accepted and accepts, as natural and indispensable, the arbitration sentence pronounced by His Majesty the King of Spain, the 16th day of March, 1891, in which sentence or decision he tixed upon as judge at law, the line of division which in 1810 divided the viceroyship of Santa Fe from the captainship of Venezuela, to which reference is made in the treaty of arbitration and compromise of September 14, 1886, signed by Colombia and Venezuela, for the purpose of adjusting in a definite manner the controversies which have existed as to the real situation of the frontier line according to the “uti possidetis” of 1810, the recognized basis of their respective territorial rights; and that consequently and in compliance with the provisions contained in the arbitration treaty of 1886 those portions of territory separated by the said divisional line of 1810 tised by the arbitration sentence remain ipse facto the territorial property of the two nations, respectively, giving them thus full rights of jurisdiction and sovereignty as regards possession and occupation of said territories.
Second. The envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Venezuela also declares that as many questions exist between that Republic and Colombia, which are now being settled, and the Government of Venezuela, considering that among these questions of common interest there are many, economic and political, connected with that of frontier boundaries, and that they would be much facilitated if Colombia would on her part nobly concede, in some parts of the line, a slight rectification, he has submitted these desires and views in a friendly and fraternal spirit to the minister of foreign affairs.
Third. The envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Venezuela also declares that in accordance with the" uti possidetis” and in virtue of the arbitration sentence, all disputes as to frontiers between the two countries having been settled, nothing prevents the two governments, leaving to the arbitration sentence all its validity and its final and unchangeable character, from adopting the modifications heretofore mentioned, taking into account their mutual convenience and common interests, compensating each other reciprocally in the manner best adapted to their mutual advantage.
Fourth. The minister of foreign affairs of the Repul of Colombia also declares that having heard, in the several conferences held with the minister of Venezuela, the explanations offered by said minister in regard to the above-mentioned modifications, and having also received from his Government special instructions, he has stated to the representative of Venezuela that, finding in the just considerations and proposals of said nation a full recognition of the arbitration sentence and of the rights acquired by both countries from said arbitration, and from the treaty of 1886, and consulting at the same time with equity, broadness of ideas, and international cordiality the common interests of both nations, the Government of Columbia accepts in principle the proposal of the Government of Venezuela for certain modifications of the frontier line, which modifications shall be determined after conclusion of the treaties which are on the point of being settled referring to commerce and navigation between Colombia and Venezuela, so that the interests of both parties sball be equally taken into account.
In witness whereof we sign the same, and bave affixed hereto our respective seals [L. S.
MARCO F. SUÁREZ. (L. S.]
J. A. UNDA.
I am, etc.,
JACOB SLEEPER, Chargé d'affaires ad interim.
VISITORS TO GREENLAND,
Mr. Risley to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Copenhagen, June 23, 1894. (Received July 7.) SIR: Referring to that part of my dispatch No. 48, of June 2, which relates to the request of Prof. T. C. Chamberlin, of Chicago, and Dr. Frederick A. Cook, of Brooklyn, for instructions of the Danish Gov. ernment to its officials in Greenland, I have to inform you that I have just received from the minister of foreign affairs a note, of which I inclose a translation.
There being substantially no commerce between Denmark and Greenland, the communication consists only of casual vessels being dispatched from here to the settlements on that coast two or three times a year, at irregular intervals. It will be perceived from the minister's note that the last vessel for this season had left here before the request in behalf of Professor Chamberlin and Dr. Cook was received.
Should they have already taken their departure for Greenland, I have little doubt that they will be courteously and kindly received, for the hospitable disposition of the Danish Government in such matters must be well known to the officials of Greenland. I have, etc.,
JOHN E. RISLEY.
Inclosure in No. 52.- Translation.
Mr. Vedel to Mr. Risley.
COPENHAGEN, June 23, 1894. MR. MINISTER: In informing me that Professor Chamberlin, of Chicago, proposes to visit Greenland this summer with the desire of study. ing the glacial formations, and that Dr. Cook, of Brooklyn, has also the intention of undertaking a series of scientific researches along the coasts of Greenland, you have, by your note of the 2d instant, expressed the desire that the necessary assistance should be accorded, by the authorities, to these two savants.
Not having failed to communicate this desire to the minister of the interior, I have the honor to inform you that the last vessel destined, this year, for the Greenland colonies, is already gone, and it is not possible for my colleague to conform to the desire expressed in your note. I avail, etc.,
Mr. Risley to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Copenhagen, November 6, 1894. (Received November 21.) Sir: Referring to my No. 52, of June 23, 1894, relating to an application for an order from the Danish Government to its officials in Greenland to receive hospitably an Arctic expedition under command of Dr. Cook, of Brooklyn, you will perceive that the application was not successful for the reason that, as was stated, the last Danish ship for the season had departed before it was received.
It appears now that the expedition, not waiting for an answer to the application, or disregarding the fact that no orders had been issued for their reception in Greenland, took their departure on the steamer Miranda, and that the steamer met with disaster just off the Greenland coast.
I received a letter on the subject from the ministry of foreign affairs, dated October 22, of which I inclose a translation.
You will perceive that the minister substantially characterizes the expedition as a pleasure excursion consisting of about fifty members, that serious consequences were narrowly escaped by them, and politely calls attention to the existence of a royal ordinance of March 18, 1776, which prohibits all persons, whether Danes or foreigners, from landing at any of the ports of Greenland or the adjacent islands, without first obtaining permission of the Danish Government, except in case of disaster.
On receipt of this letter I wrote to his excellency the minister, asking him to kindly send me a copy of the ordinance to which he referred, to the end that care might be taken to prevent future violations of its provisions. I inclose a copy
my note. I have now received a copy of the royal ordinance, printed in both Danish and English, which I inclose. I have also had a conversation with Mr. Vedel, director-general of the ministry of foreign affairs, in which he stated in substance that the inhabitants of Greenland (Eskimos) were not sufficiently advanced in civilization to make it safe for them to be brought into contact with people or excursions from other lands; that they had no commerce and no knowledge of commerce; that the ordinance was issued and maintained for the purpose of protecting them generally, and particularly to prevent the introduction of intoxicating liquors.
The colonies of Greenland are not a source of commercial advantage or gain to Denmark. On the contrary, it costs the Danish Government a considerable sum of money each year to support them. A certain number of young Eskimos-boys and girls—are brought here each year and placed in schools specially provided for them, where they are educated as teachers and missionaries, and when qualified are sent back to their own country to do what they can in civilizing their kin. dred and countrymen. I am convinced that the policy of Denmark toward those remote northern provinces is dictated wholly by motives of humanity.
I also beg to respectfully call attention to the treaty of 1826, Article VI of which expressly excepts Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland from the operation of the convention. This exception was in furtherance of the policy established by the ordinance of 1776.
The Danish Government is exceedingly liberal and zealous in aiding scientific inquiry, and I have no doubt will willingly grant the privilege of landing on the shores of any of its possessions, and aiding in all
proper ways any expedition of moderate numbers really intended for scientific research, but I am equally confident it earnestly hopes that no applications will be made to it without due regard to its above mentioned policy, and to the purely scientific character of the expedition. I have, etc.,
JOHN E. RISLEY.
COPENHAGEN, October 22, 1894. MR. MINISTER: Doubtless you remember having, in a letter of June 2, last, asked my intervention to obtain the necessary assistance, by the local authorities, to Dr. Frederick A. Cook, of Brooklyn, who proposed to undertake a series of scientific investigations along the coasts of Greenland. By my note of the 23d of the same month I informed you that the last vessel destined this year for the Greenland colonies having already departed it was impossible to conform to the request in your letter,
Now, my colleague, the minister of the interior, is informed by a report received from the colony of “Sukkertoppen ” that the steamer Miranda, of Liverpool, leaving from New York, and having on board an Arctic expedition, composed of about fifty persons, under the direction of Dr. Cook, arrived at the said colony on the 6th of August, last, and left there on the 9th of the same month. On departing the vessel touched a rock and sprang a leak, and the captain was obliged to return to the colony. Dr. Cook then went 10 versts north to procure an American fishing schooner to accompany the Miranda during the return to St. Johns, the damage sustained by the latter vessel being so severe that the captain, Mr. Farrell, was unwilling to risk the lives of the passengers in making the return trip to St. Johns in that same ship unaccompanied.
On the 20th of August Mr. Cook returned to the colony with a schooner, and the two vessels were ready to start the day following: All the passengers had gone on board the schooner, and the captain of the Miranda with his equipment alone remained on board of that vessel.
Thus it appears that a pleasure excursion has been made with the design of visiting Greenland, and that it is by a mere chance that the numerous travelers escaped being obliged to pass the winter in Greenland, from which, without doubt, troublesome consequences would have followed both to themselves and to the colony.
In having the honor of bringing to your notice the preceding, I venture, Mr. Minister, to beg you to observe that by the royal ordinance of the 18th of March, 1776, it is forbidden to all, whether Davish subjects or strangers, to touch except in case of necessity at any of these ports or places of Greenland or of the adjacent islands without having been authorized beforehand by the Government of the King. I avail, etc., For the minister,