Thursday, November 3rd, 1898

Secretary Day read this morning a long letter he had sent to the President arguing against the right to hold the Philippines by conquest. In this he took distinctly the ground I had suggested to him weeks ago as to the tendency of the text writers on international law, as to our conquest of Manila. But [he] went much farther in objecting to our acquiring any territory now by that title. I told him it would not do to argue against the validity of such a title, since we had no other to the United States; and that, in fact, hardly any civilized nation had any other. He was strenuous, however, in the belief that we never ought to consent to receive such a title now. I maintained that title by conquest was absolutely recognized by all international law, and that there was nothing
approaching a formal utterance against it that could be called binding unless it was Secretary Blaine’s resolution in the Pan-American [Congress]…

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