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In the present paper I shall confine myself to so much of these despatches

as relates to the question of the maritime boundary of Spain in the waters

*which surround the island of Cuba. Mr. Perry's proceedings on that question

are approved, so far as their spirit and general effect are concerned, but
he has 
unfortunately erred in regard to the form of proceeding he chose for referring

the question to the arbitrament of his Majesty the King of the Belgians.
Perry has assumed, and has left the Marquis of Miraflores to infer, that
President can properly make the reference without first obtaining the consent

of the Senate of the United States. On the contrary, the United States can-

not contract any binding engagement whatever with a foreign power except
a solemn treaty, which in every case must be submitted before ratification
the Senate for its approval. This point was explicitly reserved in my note
Mr. Tassara, of the 10th of August, and it ought to have been distinctly
by Mr. Perry to the notice of the Marquis of Miraflores. You will please
the necessary explanation at the earliest convenient moment to the Marquis.

With a view to carry the agreement into effect without any loss of time,
herewith send you the project of a treaty, a copy whereof I have also furnished

to Mr. Tassara. You will submit this project to the. Marquis of Mirafiores,
will be expected to suggest any modifications of it which he may think neces-

sary, and to give full powers to Mr. Tassara to close the negotiation. When
shall have agreed with him, the treaty can then be signed here, and having
duly executed, the President will promptly submit it to the Senate, and ask
approval thereof. If, as the President expects, that approval shall be given,

the treaty will be formally ratified and exchanged. When thus exchanged,
will be the authority upon which his Majesty the King of the Belgians can

proceed to examine and determine the question, and his award will be final
conclusive upon both parties. 
I am not to be understood as raising any objections to the proposition of
the mar- 
quis that her Catholic Majesty shall address a letter to the King, requesting
him to 
assume the office of arbitration; though the request must, of course, admit
reservation of the approval of the measure by the Senate of the United States.

A letter of that form would be a proper demonstration of respect to his Majesty,

and the President will concur in it by addressing a similar letter to the
It will require due consideration on your part so to conduct this affair
as, in 
the first place, to satisfy the cabinet of Spain that the departure from
the course 
agreed upon between Mr. Perry and the Marquis of Miraflores is rendered 
necessary by the form of our organic law; and secondly, to relieve Mr. Perry

of a misapprehension of our course on the subject; to which end you are au-

thorized to say to him that his error is set down to the account of mere
vertence, and does not at all derogate from the highest appreciation of his
and diligence in conducting the important negotiation with which he has been

I am, sir, your obedient servant, 
GUSTAVUS KOERNER, Esq., 4-c., 3c., 4c., Madrid. 
Convention between the United States of America and her Catholic MIajesty.

The United States of America and her Catholic Majesty, being equally de-

sirous of preserving and strengthening the amicable relations which have
long existed between them, and, with that view, of disposing satisfactorily
of the 
disputed question concerning the maritime jurisdiction of Spain in the waters


which surround the island of Cuba, have agreed to conclude a convention for

that purpose, and have named as their plenipotentiaries the following persons:

The President of the United States, William H. Seward, Secretary of State
the United States, and her Catholic Majesty, Sefior Don Gabriel Garcia y

Tassara, who, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due 
form, have signed the following articles: 
The contracting parties agree that a copy of the correspondence between Wil-

liam H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States, and Seiior Don Gabriel

Garcia y Tassara, accredited to the United States as her Catholic Majesty's
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, touching the maritime jurisdiction

claimed by Spain beyond the shores of the island of Cuba, and also the cor-

respondence, on the same question which has taken place between Mr. Horatio

J. Perry, &c., &c., &c., and the Marquis of Miraflores, &c.,
&c., &c., shall be 
submitted to the consideration of his Majesty the King of the Belgians, in
that his said Majesty, as arbiter, may determine the single question involved

therein, namely, whether the maritime jurisdiction of her Catholic Majesty
the waters which surround the island of Cuba extends only three miles, or

whether it extends six miles from the coast of said island. 
The contracting parties further agree to abide by the decision of his said

Majesty from and after the time when the same shall have been made knnow

to them. 
This convention shall be ratified, and the respective ratifications shall
exchanged at Washington, within         months from the signature hereof,

or sooner if possible. 
In faith whereof, we, the plenipotentiaries of the United States of America

and her Catholic Majesty, have signed and sealed these presents. 
Done at Washington, on the      day of             in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence
the United States the eighty-eighth. 
Mr. Seward to Mr. Koerner. 
No. 55.]                        DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 
Washington, October 23, 1863. 
SIR': Your despatch of September 26, No. 56, has been received, and is 
The note of the Marquis of Miraflores to Mr. Perry, which bears date on the

18th September, was designed to define the question which is to be submitted

to the arbitrament of the King of Belgium, and to deprive it of all uncer-

tainty. The note is very properly conceived, yet it contains one expression

that may possibly tend to confuse the question. This expression is found
the first paragraph, and is in these words: "Seeing that she (meaning
has been in peaceful possession of it," meaning the six miles of maritime
diction around the island of Cuba. 
Now it is proposed that for the purpose of elucidating the subject, the cor-

respondence of the two governments upon the question of the maritime bound.-

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