« AnteriorContinuar »
It suffices to refer to the following facts, which must be well known to Mr. Moret:
(1) Time and again after November 7, 1870, when the court-martial at Havana condemned Mora to death and confiscated his property-he being at that time undoubtedly an American citizen—this Government insisted that his property should be restored to him.
(2) On July 12, 1873, the Spanish Government issued an order for the restoration of all the embargoed properties in Cuba, which, of course, includes Mora's.
(3) The Cuban authorities failed to obey this order.
(4) On September 9, 1873, this Government having ascertained that the Cuban authorities were acting in disregard of the order of restitution, telegraphed our minister at Madrid, Mr. Sickles, to protest against the action.
(5) Gen. Sickles, in reply to this protest, was assured by the Spanish Government that the claims of American citizens had been favorably decided, and that orders had been again sent to the captain-general of Cuba to restore the property.
(6) Those orders not having been complied with, the Spanish Government in 1876 again promised restoration.
(7) Notwithstanding all this, Mora's property never was restored to him.
(8 and finally) The agreement of 1886 to pay Mora $1,500,000 was a compromise, and a liquidation most favorable to Spain, of the damages to which Mora was entitled, in lieu of his property which had been unlawfully confiscated, and the restoration of which had been several times decreed by the Spanish Government, in acknowledgment of his title to the same.
It is, therefore, impossible for this Government to regard the promise to pay this claim as a mere “friendly concession made by the Spanish Government in its desire to preserve the closest friendship with the United States." Nor is it possible for this Government to agree with Mr. Moret that the question - is not one of those matters of strict justice which require immediate reparation."
The statement that the Spanish Government received the income from the Mora estates, which Mr. Moret now says is erroneous, was based upon his own assertion made in the Cortes during the debate upon this very case in the year 1888. This assertion is still believed to be correct, notwithstanding the trustees under the insolvency proceedings against Mora may have in the first instance collected the income. For, by virtue of article 52 of the code of civil procedure then in force in Cuba, taken in connection with the royal order of October 30, 1862, the trustees were obliged to deposit all money collected by them in the public treasury. In the treasury they did deposit it, and to the treasury they appealed in vain to have allowed them even a portion of it to meet the necessary expenses of the estate under their charge. Whether, however the Spanish Government did or did not receive this income, is immaterial to the rights of this Government or the obligations of Spain.
Mr. Moret promised that the sum to be paid should be charged up to the Cuban budget, and this Government can not concur in the view now advanced by him that its rights thus became conditional upon the action of the Cortes. The promise to pay the liquidated amount ($1,500,000) was based upon an existing right, the justice of which had already been more than once acknowledged by the Spanish Government in its decrees directing a restoration of the property. Surely it will not be said the
consent of the Cortes was necessary to the restoration of the property itself. Mr. Moret will scarcely contend that the executive anthority could arbitrarily seize the property and refuse to restore it on the ground that the legislature would not agree to the restoration.
The inhibitions of the Spanish constitution, which it is claimed do not permit the sovereign to pay money without the consent of the Cortes, can not be urged by Spain as a ground for not paying the money which it was agreed should be received in lieu of the property itself. This Government regrets the parliamentary difficulties which embarrass Spain in providing the funds for the payment of Mora's claim, and desires as far as possible to cooperate with that Government'in removing them. But the mere existence of these obstacles can not in the opinion of this Government exonerate Spain from her obligation. Could such a doctrine be maintained, even an arbitration of claims would be futile, for the money awarded would still have to be appropriated, and Mr. Moret's theory would make the Cortes' refusal to appropriate a conclusive answer to a demand for compliance with the award.
Should the President and the Senate conclude a treaty with Spain or any other power requiring an expenditure of money by this Government, an appropriation of the amount by the House of Representatives would be necessary, but failure by that body to make the appropriation could not be offered and would not be accepted as an excuse for nonfulfillment of the treaty.
This Government, while not admitting that its rights or the obligation of Spain are effected by the failure of the Cortes to make an appropriation, understands and appreciates the difficulty which the nonaction of the Cortes creates, and has sought to remove this difficulty by proposing a convention for the settlement of pending and unadjusted claims between the two countries. The United States confidently entertains the hope that as soon as such a convention is agreed upon Mr. Moret will be able, without further delay, to pass a bill through the Cortes for the payment of the Mora claim, and you are instructed to again bring to the attention of the Spanish Government my No. 95, of February 14, 1894, and the draft which accompanied it, and inform Mr. Moret that the President is willing to conclude a treaty on that basis.
You will read this instruction to the minister of state and leave a copy of it with him. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM,
Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.
UNITED STATES LEGATION,
Madrid, June 23, 1894. SIR: I have the honor to report that in an interview which I had with the minister of state yesterday, I read to him your instruction No. 134, of the 5th instant, concerning the Mora claim. I then presented him with a copy of the same without any comment whatever, according to the directions contained in your unofficial note of the 6th instant. I am, etc.,
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Taylor.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 17, 1894. SIR: You are instructed to remind the Spanish Government that no reply has been made to the last communication from the Department on the subject of the Mora claim, a copy of which, you reported in your No. 194 of June 23 last, you presented on the day previous to the min. ister of state.
This Government earnestly hopes for a favorable response at an early day. The correspondence in the case was called for and submitted to the Senate at its last session. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESIIAM.
Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Madrid, September 29, 1894. SIR: I have the honor to report, in reply to your No. 193, of the 17th instant, that I have reminded the minister of state of his failure to answer your last communication touching the Mora claim, which I read to him on the 22d of June last, and a copy of which I, at the same time, delivered to him. I repeated your earnest hope for a favorable response at an early day, informing him at the same time that the correspond. ence in the case had been called for and submitted to the Senate at its last session. I am, etc.,
Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Madrid, October 3, 1894. SIR: I have the honor to inclose herein, with translation, a copy of the minister of state's reply to my note of the 29th ultimo, touching his failure to answer your note of the 22d of June last in reference to the Mera claim. I am, etc.,
(Inclosure in No. 242.- Translation.]
Mr. Moret to Mr. Taylor.
MINISTRY OF STATE,
Palace, October 1, 1894. EXCELLENCY.
MY DEAR Sır: While acknowledging the receipt of your note of the 29th, I hasten to inform you that the delay in answering the communication which you had the kindness to address to me on the 22d of June last resulted from the fact that I have been heretofore unable, for well-known reasons, to communicate its contents to the council of ministers.
I have already had occasion to inform your excellency that the nature of this affair, on account of the parlimentary state in which it now is, makes it impossible for the ministry of state alone to adopt any decision in the inatter without the concurrence of the council of ministers.
As soon as the ministers meet again in Madrid, and the president is present at the sessions, I will consult with him on the subject. I seize, etc.,
IMPORT DUTIES LEVIED ON CERTAIN PRODUCTS OF COLOMBIA, HAITI, AND VENEZUELA UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 1, 1890.2
Mr. Blaine to Señor Hurtado.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 7, 1892. SIR: I am directed by the President to again bring to your attention the provisions of the tariff law of the Congress of the United States, approved October 1, 1890, in which provision was made for the admission into the United States, free of all duty, of the following articles, to wit: All sugars not above No. 16 Dutch standard in color, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides. In section 3 of this law it is declared that these remissions of duty were made with a view to secure reciplocal trade with countries producing” those articles, and it is provided that
On and after the first day of January, 1892, whenever and so often as the President shall be satisfied that the Government of any country producing and exporting sugars, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, raw and uncured, or any of such articles, imposes duties or other exactions upon the agricultural or other products of the United States which, in view of the free introduction of such sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides into the United States he may deem to be reciprocally unequal and unreasonable, he shall have the power and it shall be his duty to suspend, by proclamation to that effect, the provisions of this act relating to the free introduction of such sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the production of such country, for such time as he shall deem just, and in such case and during such suspension duties shall be levied, collected, and paid upon sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the product of or exported from such designated country, at the rates set forth in said section 3.
I am further directed by the President to inform you that, in view of the free introduction into the United States of the articles named, the product of Colombia, he deems the duties imposed upon the agricultural and other products of the United States, on their introduction into Colombia, to be reciprocally unequal and unreasonable; and that, unless on or before the 15th day of March next some satisfactory commercial arrangement is entered upon between the Government of the United States and the Government of Colombia, or unless some action is taken by the latter Government whereby the unequal and unreason. able state of the trade relations between the two countries is removed, the President will, on the date last named, issue his proclamation suspending the provisions of the tariff law cited, relating to the free introduction of such sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the production of Colombia, and during such suspension the duties set forth in section 3 of said law shall be levied, collected, and paid upon sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the product of or exported from Colombia.
In asking you to transmit to your Government the foregoing information, 1 beg to repeat to you the assurance, given in my note to you of January 3, 1891, and repeated to you and to your Government at various times since that date, of the earnest desire of the Government of the United States to maintain with the Republic of Colombia such trade relations as shall be reciprocally equal and mutually advantaReprinted from Senate Ex. Doc. No. 56, Fifty-third Congress, second session.