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To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The relations of the United States with other countries have continued during the past 12 months upon a basis of the usual good will and friendly intercourse.
The year just passed marks an important general movement on the part of the powers for broader arbitration. In the recognition of the manifold benefits to mankind in the extension of the policy of the settlement of international disputes by arbitration rather than by war, and in response to a widespread demand for an advance in that direction on the part of the people of the United States and of Great Britain and of France, new arbitration treaties were negotiated last spring with Great Britain and France, the terms of which were designed, as expressed in the preamble of these treaties, to extend the scope and obligations of the policy of arbitration adopted in our present treaties with those Governments. To pave the way for this treaty with the United States, Great Britain negotiated an important modification in its alliance with Japan, and the French Government also expedited the negotiations with signal good will. The new treaties have been submitted to the Senate and are awaiting its advice and consent to their ratification. All the essentials of these important treaties have long been known, and it is my earnest hope that they will receive prompt and favorable action.
CLAIM OF ALSOP & CO. SETTLED.
I am glad to report that on July 5 last the American claim of Alsop & Co. against the Government of Chile was finally disposed of by the decision of His Britannic Majesty George V, to whom, as amiable compositeur, the matter had been referred for determination. His Majesty made an award of nearly $1,000,000 to the claimants, which was promptly paid by Chile. The settlement of this controversy has happily eliminated from the relations between the Republic of Chile and the United States the only question which for two decades had given the two foreign offices any serious concern and makes possible the unobstructed development of the relations of friendship which it has been the aim of this Government in every possible way to further and cultivate.
ARBITRATIONS--PANAMA AND COSTA RICA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND
In further illustration of the practical and beneficent application of the principle of arbitration and the underlying broad spirit of conciliation, I am happy to advert to the part of the United States in facilitating amicable settlement of disputes which menaced the peace between Panama and Costa Rica and between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Since the date of their independence, Colombia and Costa Rica had been seeking a solution of a boundary dispute, which came as an heritage from Colombia to the new Republic of Panama, upon its beginning life as an independent nation. Although the disputants had submitted this question for decision to the President of France under the terms of an arbitration treaty, the exact interpretation of the provisions of the award rendered had been a matter of serious disagreement between the two countries, both contending for widely different lines even under the terms of the decision. Subsequently and since 1903 this boundary question had been the subject of fruitless diplomatic negotiations between the parties. In January, 1910, at the request of both Governments the agents representing them met in conference at the Department of State and subsequently concluded a protocol submitting this long-pending controversy to the arbitral judgment of the Chief Justice of the United States, who consented to act in this capacity. A boundary commission, according to the international agreement, has now been appointed, and it is expected that the arguments will shortly proceed and that this long-standing dispute will be honorably and satisfactorily terminated.
Again, a few months ago it appeared that the Dominican Republic and Haiti were about to enter upon hostilities because of complications growing out of an acrimonious boundary dispute which the efforts of many years had failed to solve. The Government of the United States, by a friendly interposition of good offices, succeeded in prevailing upon the parties to place their reliance upon some form of pacific settlement. Accordingly, on the friendly suggestion of this Government, the two Governments empowered commissioners to meet at Washington in conference at the State Department in order to arrange the terms of submission to arbitration of the boundary controversy.
CHAMIZAL ARBITRATION NOT SATISFACTORY.
Our arbitration of the Chamizal boundary .question with Mexico was, unfortunately, abortive, but with the earnest efforts on the part of both Governments which its importance commands, it is felt that an early practical adjustment should prove possible.
During the past year the Republic of Venezuela celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of its independence. The United States sent, in honor of this event, a special embassy to Caracas, where the cordial reception and generous hospitality shown it were most gratifying as a further proof of the good relations and friendship existing between that country and the United States.
The recent political events in Mexico received attention from this Government because of the exceedingly delicate and difficult situation created along our southern border and the necessity for taking measures properly to safeguard American interests. The Government of the United States, in its desire to secure a proper observance and enforcement of the so-called neutrality statutes of the Federal Government, issued directions to the appropriate officers to exercise a diligent and vigilant regard for the requirements of such rules and laws. Although a condition of actual armed conflict existed, there was no official recognition of belligerency involving the technical neutrality obligations of international law.
On the 6th of March last, in the absence of the Secretary of State, I had a personal interview with Mr. Wilson, the ambassador of the United States to Mexico, in which he reported to me that the conditions in Mexico were much more critical than the press dispatches disclosed; that President Diaz was on a volcano of popular uprising; that the small outbreaks which had occurred were only symptomatic of the whole condition; that a very large per cent of the people were in sympathy with the insurrection; that a general explosion was probable at any time, in which case he feared that the 40,000 or more American residents in Mexico might be assailed, and that the very large American investments might be injured or destroyed.
After a conference with the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, I thought it wise to assemble an Army division of full strength at San Antonio, Tex., a brigade of three regiments at Galreston, a brigade of Infantry in the Los Angeles district of southern California, together with a squadron of battleships and cruisers and
transports at Galveston, and a small squadron of ships at San Diego. At the same time, through our representative at the City of Mexico, I expressed to President Diaz the hope that no apprehensions might result from unfounded conjectures as to these military maneuvers, and assured him that they had no significance which should cause concern to his Government.
The mobilization was effected with great promptness, and on the 15th of March, through the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, in a letter addressed to the Chief of Staff, I issued the following instructions:
It seems my duty as Commander in Chief to place troops in sufficient number where, if Congress shall direct that they enter Mexico to save American lives and property, an effective movement may be made. Meantime the movement of the troops to Texas and elsewhere near the boundary, accompanied with sincere assurances of the utmost good-will toward the present Mexican Government and with larger and more frequent patrols along the border to prevent insurrectionary expeditions from American soil, will hold up the hands of the existing Government and will have a healthy moral effect to prevent attacks upon Americans and their property in any subsequent general internecine strife. Again, the sudden mobilization of a division of troops has been a great test of our Army and full of useful instruction, while the maneuvers that are thus made possible can o'cupy the troops and their officers to great advantage.
The assumption by the press that I contemplate intervention on Mexican soil to protect American lives or property is, of course, gratuitous, because I seri. ously doubt whether I have such authority under any circumstances; and if I had, I would not exercise it without express congressional approval. Indeed, as you know, I have already declined, without Mexican consent, to order a troop of Cavalry to protect the breakwater we are constructing just across the border in Mexico at the mouth of the Colorado River to save the Imperial Valley, although the insurrectos bad scattered the Mexican troops and were taking our horses and supplies and frightening our workmen away. My determined purpose, however, is to be in a position so that when danger to American lives and property in Mexico threatens and the existing Government is rendered helpless by the insurrection I can promptly execute congressional orders to protect them, with effect.
Meantime I send you this letter, through the Secretary, to call your attention to some things in connection with the presence of the division in the Southwest which have doubtless occurred to you. but which I wish to emphasize.
In the first place, I want to make the mobilization a first-class training for the Army, and I wish you would give your time anıl that of the War College to advising and carrying out maneuvers of a useful character and plan to continue to do this during the next three months. By that time we may expect that either Ambassador Wilson's fears will have been realized and chaos and its consequence have ensued or that the present Government of Mexico will have so readjusted matters as to secure tranquillity-a result devoutly to be wished. The troops can then be returned, to their posts. I understood from you in Washington that Gen. Aleshire said that you could probably meet all the additional expense of this whole movement out of the present appropriations if the troops continue in Texas for three months. I sincerely hope this is so. I observe from the newspapers that you have no blouk cartridges, but I presume that this is an error or that it will be easy to procure those for use as soon as your maneuvers begin.
Second. Texas is a State ordinarily peaceful; but you can not put 20,000 troops into it without running some risk of a collision between the people of that State, and especially the Mexicans who live in Texas near the border and who sympathize with the insurrectos, and the Federal soldiers. For that reason I beg you to be as careful as you can to prevent friction of any kind. We were able in Cuba, with the army of pacification there of something more than 5,000 troops, to maintain them for a year without any trouble, and I hope you can do the same thing in Texas. Please give your attention to this, and advise all the officers in command of the necessity for very great circumspection in this regard.
Third. One of the great troubles in the concentration of troops is the danger of disease; and I suppose that you have adopted the most modern methods for the preventing and, if necessary, for stamping out epidemics. That is so much a part of a campaign that it hardly seems necessary for me to call attention to it.
Finally, I wish you to examine the question of the patrol of the border and put as many troops on that work as is practicable, and more than are now engaged in it, in order to prevent the use of our borderland for the carrying on of the insurrection. I have given assurances to the Mexican ambassador on this point.
I sincerely hope that this experience will always be remembered by the Army and Navy as a useful means of education, and I should be greatly disappointed if it resulted in any injury or disaster to our forces from any cause. I have taken a good deal of responsibility in ordering this mobilization, but I am ready to answer for it if only you and those under you use the utmost care to avoid the difficulties which I have pointed out. .
You may have a copy of this letter made and left with Gen. Carter and such other generals in command as you may think wise and necessary to guide them in their course, but to be regarded as confidential.
I am more than happy to here record the fact that all apprehensions as to the effect of the presence of so large a military force in Texas proved groundless; no disturbances occurred; the conduct of the troops was exemplary, and the public reception and treatment of them was all that could have been desired, and this notwithstanding the presence of a large number of Mexican refugees in the border territory.
From time to time communications were received from Ambassador Wilson, who had returned to Mexico, confirming the view that the massing of American troops in the neighborhood had had good effect. By dispatch of April 3, 1911, the ambassador said:
The continuing gravity of the situation here and the chaos that would ensue should the constitutional authorities be eventually overthrown, thus greatly increasing the danger to which American lives and property are already subject, confirm the wisdom of the President in taking those military precautions which, making every allowance for the dignity and the sovereignty of a friendly state, are due to our nationals abroad.
Charged as I am with the responsibility of safeguarding these lives and property, I am bound to say to the department that our military dispositions