Mr. Arriaga to Mr. Gresham.


Washington, September 24, 1894. MR. SECRETARY: I have the honor to receive your communication of the 20th instant, concerning the suspension of the reciprocity arrangement between Guatemala and the United States, and I have hastened to transmit it to my Government. I have the honor, etc.,



Mr. Gresham to Mr. Young.

No. 114.)


Washington, June 7, 1894. SIR: In its No. 11 of June 8, 1893, bringing to your attention the memorial of Mrs. Luella A. Oteri, by which she desired this Government to prefer a claim against Honduras for the alleged seizure of her ves. sel, the Joseph Oteri, Jr., by Honduranian insurgents in the port of Ceiba, the Department instructed you to investigate the circumstances of the seizure and also those attending the subsequent exclusion of the vessel from Honduranian ports and to report the facts to the Department. With the Department's No. 41 of October 25. last was inclosed a letter from Mr. J. Oteri setting forth further acts of exclusion on the part of the authorities of Honduras, which you were instructed to bear in mind in making your investigation.

In reply to these instructions nothing has been received from you further than the information contained in your No. 11 of July 13 last, that you would proceed to Honduras as soon as the condition of the roads would admit. Meanwhile the parties interested, thinking a suffcient time has elapsed to hear from you, are pressing the Department for information regarding the result of your investigation.

It is assumed that the Department's instructions have been receiving your attention and that your report on the subject will not be long delayed. I am, sir, etc.,


Mr. Young to Mr. Gresham.

No. 107.)


Guatemala, June 28, 1894. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of No. 114, calling for a report in the case of steamship Oteri.

The investigation has not been made for the reason that it was practically impossible to do it under the circumstances up to this time. There has not been ten days of peace and tranquillity in the Republic of Honduras for fifteen months. On the 3d of June, 1893, when I arrived in Guatemala, I found Honduras under the government of General Vasquez, as provisional President. The country had just

emerged from a revolution. In the election held in September Vasquez was elected President, and almost immediately war was declared against Nicaragua. Then followed the Bonilla revolution and an invasion by the Nicaraguan army. Vasquez's government was overthrown and Bonilla proclaimed himself provisional President. He is now provisional President and Dictator. It is supposed that an election for President will be had about the last of August. But there prevails in Honduras at this moment great dissatisfaction and discord among the leaders of the party in power, and trouble may be expected at any moment.

I respectfully call your attention to the Department's No.32, in which my postponement of my visit to Honduras was approved, and also to No. 33 of the Department, in which the last sentence reads as follows: “And deferring your personal visit to Honduras until you shall be instructed to proceed thither.”

I regret exceedingly that it has been impossible to make a satisfactory investigation of this case up to this moment. It will involve a considerable expense to the Government of the United States when made, and therefore it should be done thoroughly, and not until a gorernment that is responsible is in power in this unhappy country. I am ready to make the visit to Honduras at a moment's notice and to proceed with the investigation; but I advise against it until peace

is entirely restored and a permanent government shall be established. It is hardly necessary for me to say that not one of the foreign min. isters to Central America has visited Honduras at any time during the last fifteen months.

With the hope that my course has met with approval in the Department of State, I have, etc.,




Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 10.)

Port au Prince, Haiti, November 29, 1893.

(Received December 13.) SIR: I desire to submit to your Department the suggestions and recommendations in this dispatch in the hope that they may induce the Executive to recall the proclamation of his predecessor suspending the operation of the McKinley bill as it relates to Haiti. I presume, of course, inasmuch as the Republics of Venezuela and the States of Colombia were affected in the same way, and as all the reasons that can be urged in one case are equally applicable to the others (so far as I can determine), that the President may not see fit to make what might be considered an invidious distinction in favor of one of the powers.

Aside from the patent fact that the proclamation referred to was in contravention with treaty agreements, I have become convinced after a patient and laborious investigation that such action would materially increase the volume of trade between the United States and Haiti, and be productive of a state of feeling that would tend to promote any interest that your Department may desire to advance. The Executive of the United States is already regarded as a friend to Haiti because of certain decisions of your Department during his former administration (relating to the claims of Pelletier and others), and any action on his part now in advance of legislation on the tariff' would be construed as an act of grace and good will, and would not only promote every American interest in Haiti but would place this legation in a position to effectually combat the influence of the powers heretofore predomipant in the foreign office.

In support of my recommendation I submit the following in relation to the coffee trade. The crop amounts to about 100,000,000 pounds, and is thought by many to be the finest in the world. Three years ago much of it was finding a profitable market in the United States, but now the duty of 3 cents is simply prohibitive, and all the crop is sent to Europe and all the goods imported from European countries are brought back in return. This year the crop is late and it will not ail be gathered before June, hence immediate action in the line indicated would divert all not already shipped to the United States. Here at Port au Prince, which is not the center of the industry, the trade is a most important one, requiring many millions of dollars to move it, employing many people for whom there is at this season no other means of support, and affording immense tonnage to vessels.

Other articles upon which our duties are prohibitive are hides, wax, and honey, and I have just learned from Mr. Richard Allen, the largest dealer in these articles on the island, that he has had to break off his large trade with our ports, and that in sending his goods elsewhere he gets in return goods from Europe whicli ordinarily would come from our country. He has a list of twenty other articles which he belioves under favorable conditions could be profitably shipped to our ports.

It is pertinent to say that the Haitian Government depends entirely for the means of its budget on duties on imports and exports, and I learn that, notwithstanding the duties collected nearly all the food products, especially flour, lard, bacon, and salt fish are imported from the United States. Many of the light cotton fabrics of the country are also of American manufacture.

Under former conditions many mills for the preparation of coffee and other products were started up. One by Mr. Wakeman, an American, began three years ago under favorable auspices, because he had an American market for fine grades, but having lost this he contem- . plates giving up his business, in which he has invested many thousands of dollars.

In the sincere hope that the Secretary will submit this to the President as an earnest argument for immediate action, I have, etc.,


Mr. Uhl to Mr. Smythe. No. 16.)


Washington, December 30, 1893. SIR: I have received your dispatch No. 10, diplomatic series, of the 29th of November last, presenting certain considerations which suggest themselves to you touching the advisability of withdrawing the existing proclamation imposing certain discriminating duties on Haitian sugars, molasses, coffee, and hides under the third section of the customs act of October 1, 1890.

The subject has been under consideration in view of the claim of Colombia that, under its treaty with the United States, that country is entitled to receive the treatment of the most favored nation, without equivalent, inasmuch as the favor of free entry of such productions continues gratuitously to the benefit of Mexico, Argentina, and some other countries in the absence of the specifically invited agreements for commercial reciprocity.

Besides Haiti and Colombia, Venezuela comes under a similar discriminating proclamation, but the latter country, having abrogated by due notice its commercial treaty with the United States, has no conventional stipulation of favored nation treatment to which to appeal.

The question of amendatory legislation touching the customs tariff act is under urgent consideration by the Congress, with a prospect of speedy action involving extensive changes in the existing law, and under the circumstances the President has not hitherto thought it well to take executive action calculated to forestall the expected enactments.

Wax, honey, and the other important articles of Haitian export to this country, alluded to in your dispatch, do not fall within the purview of section 3 of the customs act of 1890, and the Executive has no power to exceptionally favor the trade in articles embraced in the fixed taritt.

A copy of your dispatch will be sent to the appropriate committees of Congress, for their information. I am, etc.,


Acting Secretary.


Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.

No. 23.]

Port au Prince, Haiti, January 10, 1894.

(Received January 24.) SIR: In the same interview with the Secretary of State alluded to in my preceding dispatch' my attention was called to the fact that an American schooner (the Water Witch, of Boston, owned by Messrs. Green Kenable & Co.) had on board 2 cannon and 60 pounds of powder, and these not on the vessel's manifest.

Of course in a country where revolutions are of somewhat frequent occurrence the Government looks anxiously into the importation of munitions of war, and I promised the Secretary to immediately ask my Government for instructions in this behalf. Are sailing vessels allowed to carry an armament, either limited or unlimited? Are they permitted to carry them as ship’s stores ? This vessel evidently had no use for the guns, and if for sale they were not scheduled. Be kind enough to give me an early reply to this and my preceding dispatch, and I trust that I may be able to render to the Government a satisfactory reply. Accept, etc.,


Mr. Gresham to Mr. Smythe.

No. 21.]


Washington, January 31, 1894. SIR: A copy of your No. 23, of the 10th instant, in regard to the case of the American schooner Water Witch, which arrived in Haytian waters with 2 cannon and 60 pounds of powder on board, having been transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, that ofticial has replied to your inquiry whether sailing vessels of the United States are allowed to carry an armament as ship's stores, or otherwise, that the laws do not forbid the carrying of articles of the character mentioned, provided there shall be no violation of Chapter LXVII of the Revised Statutes. I am, etc.,


Mr. Haentjens to Mr. Gresham.


24 State Street, New York, February 27, 1894.

(Received February 28.) Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: I have the honor to state in this dis. patch the following facts, which, in conformity with instructions received by cable from my Government, I set forth in my interview yesterday with the honorable Assistant Secretary of State in your absence.

In the beginning of the month of January last a steam yacht called Natalie left the coast of Long Island (New York State) and proceeded

Not printed.
FR 94


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