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Mr. Egan to Mr. Blaine.

No. 154.)


Santiago, April 23, 1891. (Received June 4.) SIR: I had the honor to cable you to day that the German minister received a telegram from his Government announcing the departure of four cruisers and an ironclad for Chile, and that they are expected early in June.

The fact of this German squadron coming here, under present circumstances in a semihostile spirit, as also the attitude of Great Britain, will, when the present troubles have disappeared, be severely judged by all Chileans, and must serve to turn the attention of every Chilean patriot to the importance of cultivating closer relations, commercially as well as politically, with the United States. This squadron is coming from China. I have, etc.,


Mr. Egan to Mr. Blaine.



Santiago, April 24, 1891. Mr. Egan asks whether he can act with Brazilian minister and French chargé d'affaires in an endeavor to restore peace, the indication being that mediation would be accepted by the Government and the opposition.

Mr. Blaine to Mr. Egan.



Washington, April 25, 1891. Mr. Blaine informs Mr. Egan that he can act with the Brazilian minister and the French chargé d'affaires as mediator.

Mr. Egan to Mr. Blaine.

No. 157.]


Santiago, April 27, 1891. (Received June 25.) SIR: From careful inquiries which I have been directing for some time back, through both governmental and revolutionary channels, I have reason to believe that mediation may be acceptable to both sides. The Brazilian Government has already tendered its good offices with a view to the reëstablishment of peace, and the French Government has done the same thing. I have accordingly cabled to you on the 24th instant to that effect, asking whether I might act with them.


I am aware, too, that the German and British ministers, together with the admiral of the British squadron, are endeavoring to open up negotiations; but I think I am correct in stating that the Government is not disposed to entertain any propositions unless the United States have a leading part in conducting the negotiations.

To-day I received your cable reply. Already I have had preliminary conferences with the executive council of the revolutionary body, as weil as with the Government, and I have reason to believe that the indicated mediation will be accepted by both parties. I have, etc.,



Mr. Blaine to Mr. Egan.

No. 96.)


Washington, April 28, 1891. Sir: I have read with attention your No. 143, of the 17th ultimo, in regard to the progress of the revolution.

The recent correspondence exchanged by telegraph with your legation relative to the mediation of the representatives of the United States, Brazil, and France toward the restoration of peace indicates a prospect, which it is trusted may be realized, of ending the deplorable state of affairs existing in Chile. I am, etc.,


Mr. Egan to Mr. Blaine.

No. 159.)


Santiago, May 2, 1891. (Received June 25.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose a translation of the address of His Excellency the President of the Republic, delivered at the opening of the national Congress on the 20th of April ultimo, in which will be found a very full statement of the case of the Government in the present un. happy dispute. I have, etc.,



Opening of the National Congress April 20, 1891.-Speech of President Balmaceda.


As you are aware, extraordinary occurrences have profoundly affected the publio welfare.

The traditions of peace, moderation, and sound sense which distinguished home politics have been broken, and the loyalty of the sailors whose duty it was to maintain order in the interior of the Republic and the external security of the State has also been broken.

On the 7th of January last the squadron lying in Valparaiso Bay abandoned its anchorage, disobeying, the commandant-general of marine, Rear-Admiral Williams, and carrying on board the vice-president of the Senate and the president of the

Chamber of Deputies. A few honrs after the consummation of this ocenrrence, without precedent in the naval history of Chile, the squadron returned to Valparaiso in full revolt, in rebellion against its constitutional chiefs, in con mand of men who on tho day previous had not the command of a vessel, and exciting the army and the people to rebel against the constituted authorities.

The army, faithful to the traditions of loyalty and honor which have strengthened the public powers and exalted the nation before the civilized world, has remained at the post of duty.

The people contemplated witli surprise the conduct of the navy, which they considered was consecrated principally to maintain the external prestige of the Republic, and, sympathizing with the cause of order and with the Government which has endeavored to instruct them by actively fomenting primary instruction and to enrich them by increasing their salaries by the execution of works superior to those undertaken by all previons administrations, hastened to enroll themselves in the army and refused to assist the revolutionists wlio requested the people's favors and invoked its name.

After three months of revolution there has been no riot, no tumult, nor a single popular movement in favor of the rising initiated by the navy in possession of the ocean.

The squadron las not been able to penetrate with its hosts into the populated territory of the Republic, where there exist great social interests and true public opinion, In order to operate with efficacy, it has had to blockade northern ports, to bombard and burn untortified towns, and to employ against the cosmopolitan population of Tarapacá greater rigor and more firing than it cost Chile to wrest that territory from a foreign power:

The northern provinces being cut off from the central by the sea, which is in the power of the revolted squadron, and the most extensive and sterile deserts in the world, the squadron after seven sanguinary battles has been able to take possession of the nitrate region of our territory.

The squadron bas not been able to pverthrow the constituted Government. It has proved in exchange that it has resources sufficient to disturb the public order, which was the fundamental base of our institutions, and valor sufficient to shed the blood of Chileans and to bring upon society and numberless homes misfortunes and afflictions.

The navy could not deliberate, because the constitution prohibits it from doing so, and it ought ever to obey the President of the Republic, because the constitution orders it to do so; nevertheless it declared itself firstly in favor of the pretended delegation of Congress, to constitute afterwards the military dictatorship which has subjected the supposed delegation of Congress.

This pretended delegation has not existed with any kiud of title to proceed in the name of Congress.

Since October last Congress has not been able to meet constitutionally, because it has not been convoked to session, and because, in the orbit of our legal framework, the President of the Republic alone has power to convoke it.

Nor did it meet by its own act and in fact, because since October, when it was closed, until January. 7, when the revolution broke out, it held no public nor secret sitting, nor did its presidents invite it to assemble in session, nor lid senators and deputies receive the customary citations; because there was no debate, no agreement, no voting; because no act has been executed which unites the conditions without which there can not be a session of Congress, whether it be according to right or simply by force.

It is said that there is an act signed by some revolutionists who were members of Congress; but a large portion of the members of this very corporation are not acquainted with it, nor have they seen it, and up to this moment it is also unknown to all Chileans, because, as the said act is the fruit of a hidden resolution, the authors of it have not bad the courage to publish it and exhibit it as a document which might be judged by the upright criterion of Chilean patriotism.

The truth of the matter is that a considerable portion of the members of both chambers revolted on January 7 against the constitution and the laws, and that it can not invoke the authority due to the representatives of the people, because by revolutionizing the country and converting itself de facto into an executive power, dictatorial and in arms, it has produced a revolution which demolishes its own existence and the peace, wealth, and welfare of Chile.

The revolution has not been engendered by the people, but by political circles with a seat in Congress, animated by different ideas, with numerous and distinct leaders, and with no closer relation to each other than the sole ambition to the di. rection and supreme command of the State.

We are suffering from an antidemocratic revolution, initiated by a centralized anıl small social class, which believes it is called by its personal relations and wealth to be the chosen and directing group in the Government of Chile. Hence arises the want

H. Ex. 1, pt. 1-8

of uniformity of ideas and sentiments with the people; and above all in the provinces and departments away from the capital of the Republic, in which every Chilean has a clearer notion of political equality, of civil duties, and of virtues which elevato citizens by their intelligence and services.

In order to appreciate with exactitude the painful contest in which we are involved, it is necessary to characterize it according to its true antecedents.


The conflict has been engendered by the ambition of leaders and of circles, by the incessant splitting up of the Liberal party, by cumulative voting—the generator of parties represented by simple political individualities, and by the excessive number of senators and deputies in 3,000,000 of inhabitants.

The Liberal party has lacked unity of ideas, of direction, and of procedure, which per se could render it apt for the governing of Chile. For this reason it has always reqnired auxiliary forces, either of the Conservatives or of other nearly allied political groups, notwithstanding the different disposition and the direction of the leaders, who have represented, by their traditions and spirit of absorption, essentially personal tendencies.

The excessive number of senators and of deputies and the cumulative voto have fomented the disintegration of the Liberal party, disorganized traditional and his. torical parties, and produced deplorable anarchy in Congress.

Under the shadow of the political uncertainty created by the diversity and incon. sistency of personal circles, ambitions sterilizing to parliamentary labor and fatally calculated to produce general disorder have been developed.

The Errázuriz administration, so energetic and vigorous during nearly the whole of its term, found itself, toward its conclusion, through the action of the cumulative system of voting, with a Congress in which there militated six different groups and individualities without any fixed political affiliation.

The Pinto administration suffered the consequences of that dislocation of men and parties.

The parliamentary oscillations and ministerial changes were frequent, so that, if the war of 1879 had not occurred, that administration would have terininated in the midst of the disasters which were being prepared for it by events.

Presidential elections have cut up the Liberal party and have carried the Republic to situations of extreme danger.

At the conclusion of President Pinto's term, notwithstanding that the country was at war, the cutting up and the anarchy of the Liberals with respect to the choice of a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic would have created revolt, if Gen. Baquedano had not eliminated his person from the electoral contest.

Five years later, and at the expiration of the Santa Maria administration, there occurred in Congress, owing to the designation of the Liberal candidate, events of a singularly grave character.

Sundry Liberal circles allied with the Conservatives obstructed the budget in January, 1886, and only by an act of courage on the part of the parliamentary majority was the constitutional régime saved, the obstruction being overcome by breaking through the meshes of the rules of that branch of the legislature.

Elected President of Chile, it became my duty as an act of foresight as the chief magistrate of state to trace a policy and a line of conduct that would avert at the conclusion of my term of offico the dangers that threatened previous administrations.

Exclusive government with the fractions of the Liberal party that had olovatod me to power might have carried me involuntarily to a régime of personal goverument, and it would certainly have brought about a Liberal-Conservative coalition in the opposition. I, therefore, adopted a policy of patriotic reconciliation, in which, upon the basis of the party which elected me, all the Liberals might have a place. I also hoped that my respect for the members and the autonomy of the Conservativo party would render possible a government of peace, of labor, and of real national aggrandizement.

The organization of the Lillo ministry was the outcome of this desire; but two months had barely passed when a boisterous disagreement occurred among the Liborals in the Chamber of Deputies, and the party that elected me was reduced to a minority, a good number of its members proceeding to act in accord with the Liberal. Conservative coalition.

The Lillo ministry disappeared, and the Antúnez ministry was orgavized. This ministry purposed uniting the Liberal party by the profession of the same ideas and by the same procedure.

There and then the Nationals declared from the cabinet itself to the country at large that their party had ceased to exist in order that its nuembers might becomie

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incorporated, as mere individuals, in the Liberal party. With the object of rendorivg this policy foré practical and of inspiring all Liberals with the same degree ot confidence, the Antúnez ministry ceded the reins of government to the cabinet organized by Mr. Zañartu, in which all the Liberals were represented.

Shortly afterwards a cousiderable portion of the Liberals who were represented in the ministry by the late lamented Messrs. Miguel Luis Amunátogui and Manuel Garcia de la Huerta mutiniecl in the Chamber of Deputies against their own leaders, aud they agreed to a vote of censure moved by the Conservative party against the Zañartu ministry.

All the Liberals were hardly reunited when they commenced anew to split and break up:

After the elections of 1888 the segregation of the Liberals, who had remained wited in order to secure electoral peace, took place in a most unusital manner. The Nationals again raised a party banner, after having secured in Congress a representation thoy had not had since they left power in 1861. Owing to this circumstance the dispersed Liberals, the Radicals, and the Government Liberal party returned to their former shape and to their inevitable pretensions.

The ministry desigued for the unification of the Liberal party disappeared before tie Congress elected under its direction met.

Experience and my natural adhesion to the party which elected me counseled me to return to the political center with which I initiated my administration, with the object of organizing out of it a ministry of Liberals in which the Nationals might be si presented in such a manner as not to awaken the mistrust and the resistance of its niimerous adversarics. The Nationals refused to form part of the ministry, although their coöperation might be considered as imposed upon them by the most obvious political signification.

Since that date all my efforts for the unification of the Liberal party have been fruitless.

From June, 1888, till October, 1889, the different fractions of the Liberal party and the porsonal circles of Congress havo been in a state of permanent quarrel, attacking and breaking up each other in a most irreconcilable manner. They who were divided by ambition were at length united by ambition in order definitely to secure to themselves a majority in Congress and with it absolute predominance in Govornment councils.

Being desirous of amending a state of affairs so opposed to public tranquillity, a ministry, with the consent of all the Liberals in Congress, was organized in Octobor, 1889. In fifteen days there was another crisis. The cabinet having been reconstructed, serious disagreements occurred among parliamentary circles with ruspect to the bases of a convention to nominato a candidate for the Presidency and of votes in the Chamber of Deputies which brought about the rupture of the coalition ministry. From that date there arose between the congressional majority and the executive power a struggle having for its object the subordination of the liberty aud actiou of the President of the Republic to the will and designs of a coalition composed of divided political groups, with opposing leaders and teniloncies, but all united to lower the dignity and authority of the chief of the nation.

The motive assigned for these strange demands was a pretended official candidatare for the Presidency.

The distinguished citizen to whom the favors of the Government were gratuitously imputed renounced in May last all support from his fellow-citizens to exalt him to the supreme magistracy, and be organized a ministry, presideil over by himsolf, in order to give practical testimony of the public compromise he had contractod.

That ministry was censured before being heard in Congress, all the considerations of honor and respect which up to that moment had been observed toward the ropresentatives of the executive power iu Parliament being thus violated.

This attitude, without precedent in the history of the world, was followed by the postponement of the discussion of the law which authorizes the recovery of taxes for as long as the President did not sacrifice his constitutional prerogatives or did not consent to appoint ministers selected by and in the confidence of Congress.

This conflict was terminated by the resignation of the May ininistry and the organization of another composed of persons foreign to the political contest.

This patriotic solution was on the point of being frustrated by the incredible demand that I should give my assent to the loss of the revenue during the forty-three days that the budget was postponed. But administrative bonesty and the public revenue were saved, and the Prats ministry was organized, and the electoral law. prepared by the allied groups was promulgated. In the said law they adopted every measure calculated to protect their interests from any possible intervention from the agents of the Executive.

The law having been promulgated, the inscription of the electors was made in persect order.

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