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MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT. DON CARLOS E. RESTREPO, TO THE
COLOMBIAN CONGRESS, JULY 20, 1911.
File No. 821.032.
[The following is the only passage making reference to the United States:)
(Translation.) The relations of the Republic with friendly nations have remained undisturbed. Only with Peru have incidents arisen, during the last few days, which might destroy the harmony so earnestly desired by the Government of Colombia. These incidents concern the litigation involving the sovereignty of this Government over the territory tributary to the Amazon. In the conduct of this litigation the maintenance of international peace is the criterion that guides Colombia, while safeguarding our rights to territories which to-day, as always, we consider ours by virtue of titles faithfully defended on many occasions. The Government has been occupied in preparing, with scrupulous care and fully aware of its supreme responsibilities, the stipulations that will permit it to terminate worthily and equitably the differences existing for some time between it and other nations.
The disagreement between Colombia and the United States caused by the separation of Panama has not yet reached the satisfactory solution so much to be desired for the disappearance of national solicitude concerning a problem in which are bound up great and valuable interests of the country. The Government of Colombia considers that arbitration is the most efficacious means of putting an end to this question, and will confide its claims to the judgment of an arbitral tribunal granting justice. Incidents auspicious to the rights of peoples strengthen the influence of arbitration in internatioal relations for the solution of controversies not adjustable through diplomatic channels.
In the middle of the past year there arose a conflict between an American company owning the tramway property and the public of Bogotá. As happens everywhere under such circumstances, several encounters took place. The foreign office intervened officially, with a view to terminating the disagreements, and, intelligently aided by the minister of the United States, the incident was closed by the sale of the tramway property to the municipality of Bogotá, which, apart froin its income, has permitted them to initiate advantageously the negotiations for a loan, destined to complete and improve the public service of the capital.
TREATIES BETWEEN COLOMBIA, THE UNITED STATES AND
PANAMA RELATING TO THE CANAL.1 File No. 721.000. Report of the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Colombian Con
gress, August 22, 1911.
[Extract—Translation.) The special circumstances attending our relations with the great Republic of the North, due to acts which it is useless to recall, are known; as my honorable predecessor had occasion to state in his report to the National Assembly of the past year, the Root-Cortés treaties were unfavorably received by the public opinion. But the results of said negotiations in no wise signify that all hope of reaching an honorable solution, such as has been the wish of the Colombian people, must be abandoned. For in the midst of transitory interests justice opens the way and compels the adhesion of the understanding and the will, and much may be hoped of peoples who have become great by observing the lofty traditions of the law.
Echoes of this sentiment and currents of sympathy spontaneously developed in the great Republic in favor of the rights of Colombia reach us and are unexceptionable testimony in favor of our just claims.
Since the separation of the Isthmus and the ensuing treaty between the de facto Government of Panama and that of the United States regarding cession of the Canal Zone Colombia asked that the principal point in dispute be submitted to arbitration, that is to say whether the United States had faithfully complied with the treaty of 1848. The points of view of the two countries being diametrically opposed and Colombia considering the new interpretation given by the North American Government to said treaty, famous in diplomatic annals, to be contrary to the treaty and especially to the express stipulation contained in article 35, the solution of the difference by arbitration seemed to be indicated, a system which Colombia has always proclaimed as the most civilized and equitable for the solution of international difficulties not susceptible of direct adjustment. Arbitration exercised by an entity or by a person worthy of acting as a representative of justice equalizes the forces of the powerful and the weak and insures the security of all rights. It is noteworthy that the present illustrious President of the United States has publicly expressed his opinion regarding the projected treaty of arbitration with England, that in such a manner all questions, even those affecting the national honor, should be decided. This breadth of judgment, which doubtless responds to a high conception of justice, permits the hope of arriving finally at a satisfactory solution of an incident which has engendered profound uneasiness in the national life.
The rest of the report refers to the difficulty between the public of Bogotá and the North American Tramway Co., Mr. Johnson Martin, manager, and the settlement thereof by the sale of the tramway to the city of Bogotá.]
PARTICIPATION OF COLOMBIA IN THE CORRESPONDENCE CON
CERNING THE BOUNDARY DISPUTE BETWEEN ECUADOR AND PERU. (See Ecuador. Boundary dispute between Ecuador and Peru.)
1 See Foreign Relations, 1910, p. 361 et seq.
BEBUILDING OF THE CENTRAL AMERICAN COURT OF JUSTICE
DESTBOYED BY EARTHQUAKE, MAY, 1910.:
File No. 713.001/4
r. Andrew Carnegie to the Acting Secretary of State.
Dornoch, Southerland, October 7, 1910. DEAR SIR: In reply to yours of September 20,3 inclosing Mr. Merry's letter regarding the proposed temporary structure, I beg to say that I have already been approached through Jir. Barrett and replied that on no account would I be a party to the erection of any temporary structure. The money appropriated for a permanent structure must be applied to that object and none other. The balance on hand should be remitted to me at New York and form part of the sum which I am to spend for the new courthouse.
It will be in your recollection that reports were made of the improper construction of the former building, these stating that the probability was that if it had been properly constructed it would have withstood the earthquake. I think it would be advisable when the next structure is determined upon for us to see the plans and mode of construction. I do not wish to erect a structure which is not what it should be and I am sure you will understand how reluctant I should be to have anything to do with a mere temporary structure costing a few thousand dollars. Very truly, yours,
ANDREW CARNEGIE. File No. 713.001/8.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
San José, Costa Rica, November 19, 1910. Sir: I have the honor to further acknowledge receipt of the following despatches: relating to the building for the Central American Court of Justice: No. 863, file No. 713.001/4, of the 24th ultimo: No. 864, file No. 713.001/5, of the 27th ultimo; and file No. 713.001/6 of 31st ultimo.
Since their receipt I have had a confidential interview with His Excellency José Astúa Aguilar, Costa Rica magistrate in said court, and have sent a note to the secretary of the court, Mr. Ernesto Martin, informing him that Mr. Carnegie was not disposed to have his funds used for the construction of a temporary building as suggested. Judge Aguilar freely admitted the disgraceful result of poor construction and partly poor material at the Cartago court building and is of the opinion that the arrangement for the location and construction of the next building should be made at Washington, where all the Central American Republics are represented, and where Mr. Carnegie is accessible. He thinks that the location can be changed to San José; but inasmuch as article 5 of the Washington Convention of December 27, 1907, specifies Cartago as the location of the court, the permission to change the location would have to receive the assent of the signatory Republics through their Washington representatives. I also suggested to him that instead of spending onetenth of the fund for realty the Government has vacant land in suitable location here which can be utilized for the purpose, permitting the entire fund to be used for construction. There is an excellent location for the building in the eastern part of the National Park to which the building would be an attractive crnament.
1 See Panama, p. 674. * See Foreign Relations, 1910, pp. 409-414. & Not printed.
As I have no instruction to take further action in the matter, I shall not communicate with the Costa Rica Government in relation to it. What funds remain were in possession of ex-President Gonsales Víquez and have no doubt been by him transferred to President Jiménez. With assurances (etc.),
WILLIAM LAWRENCE MERRY.
File No. 713.001/13.
San José, December 21, 1910. MY DEAR MR. MERRY: Mr. Astúa Aguilar referred to me the interview that he had had with you with respect to the edifice of the Central American Court of Justice. I learnt from him that although you do not treat this affair as one of those of the legation which is in your worthy charge, you desired to bring to the knowledge of the Government of Costa Rica the attitude of Mr. Carnegie with respect to this affair. My Government can do no less than acknowledge once more the generous undertaking of Mr. Carnegie and it has not the least objection to make to Mr. Carnegie's intention not to construct the building once more in the city of Cartago. We desire that the Central American Court of Justice shall fulfill the mission assigned to it by its creators, but we are entirely indifferent as to the place where it exercises its functions. Otherwise, my firm intention is not to interfere a': all in the execution of the work; but as Mr. Astúa spoke to me of the suggestion that I understand you were pleased to make respecting the necessity of modifying the Washington treaty in order to change the regular seat of the court, I am agreeable that the Government of Costa Rica should propose the necessary modifications of the treaty in the next Central American conference which will meet in Guatemala City at the beginning of next January. With this purpose and to justify the proposal of Costa Rica, I beg you, if you approve, to so authorize me, in order that the representative of Costa Rica may affirm in the conference that Mr. Carnegie is disposed to reconstruct the edifice, always providing that the building be constructed not in Cartago, but in another place in Costa Rica to be decided by the court with the acquiescence of Mr. Carnegie, although this last circumstance is not considered in the amendment which will be made to the Washington treaty, and in order that said representative of Costa Rica may declare that our Government has knowledge of the decision of Mr. Carnegie through the channel of the American legation that you so ably conduct. I remain [etc.],
The American Minister to the President of Costa Rica.
San Jose, Costa Rica, December 22, 1910. MY ESTEEMED FRIEND: I have the honor to acknowledge your favor of the 21st alluding to another edifice for the Central American Court of Justice. Although strictly speaking I have no direct connection with the matter, under dates of October 24, 27, and 31 I am informed by my Government of the desire of Mr. Carnegie to rebuild under somewhat different conditions. First, he desires a location elsewhere, preferably I presume at San José; second, he proposes to have his own architect and superintendent of construction, who will be instructed to produce a building as near earthquake proof as is possible. I presume that the funds will be available whenever the arrangement can be made for change of location and I agree with your excellency that your Government shall propose the necessary modification of the treaty in the proximate Central American Conference which is to meet in January at. Guatemala. You are at liberty to make use of the information contained in Mr. Carnegie's letters to my Government. Permit me to suggest also that it seems to me the building at the east end of the National Park, where it would be an ornament to the city and add to the attraction of the park itself. By so doing, the total amount contributed by Mr. Carnegie can be devoted to construction. The property now at Cartago might also be sold and added to the amount. However, these are informal views. of my own.
Having observed recently on the part of the San José local press a disposition to depreciate the value of this court and to discredit its action, I may be permitted to state that my Government values he court as a necessity to the security of Central American international peace. I shall send a copy of your excellency's letter and my reply thereto to my Government by next mail.
Will your excellency kindly inform me of the exact amount remaining from this fund in the hands of your Government at this date, a matter upon which Mr. Carnegie will desire to be accurately informed. With assurances [etc.].
WILLIAM LAWRENCE MERRY.