Wednesday, November 9th, 1898

My first greeting this morning was a dispatch . . . announcing Republican victories. Before the Commission met, the Associated Press agent, Mr. Mack [a reporter] had rushed in with a request for a sentence or two from each of the Commissioners indicating their feelings over the result. I was alone at the time, and gave him a single sentence to the effect that I was greatly delighted over it, even more delighted than I could possibly have been if at home. He at once began asking what in my view would be its effect on the work of the Commission. I replied that I did not wish to say anything on that subject, and would be quite unwilling to admit that any party divisions or successes or defeats at home could interfere with the united work of any body of commissioners abroad fairly representing their country in an effort to secure its just rights. A moment later Senator Davis entered the room, and in reply to Mr. Mack’s question was ready to plunge at once into a statement of the great advantages he thought the Commission would derive from the result of the elections. I ventured, however, to check him, and suggest the view I had taken. He at once accepted it and told Mack he would write out something for him. When he returned half an hour later, he amused me by relating that he had taken the very caution I have given him and elaborated it into a statement of his views.

When the Commission met, Senator Davis said that, while he was not wholly convinced, he was disposed to accept the views of his brother Commissioners and withdraw the final pages of his paper to which exceptions had been taken. I thereupon took what I had written about Manila, Merritt, and Dewey and fitted it in at the close of what was left of his paper, and the completed document was immediately sent to the typewriters to be put in shape for the afternoon meeting. Senator Gray arrived about this time, seeming a good deal depressed and abstracted. Very general sympathy was felt for his defeat at yesterday’s elections, but not a word of reference to the subject was uttered by any Commissioner.

Commander Bradford was then introduced. He wished to file with the Commissioners his statement of the relative importance of the Caroline and [the] Ladrone Islands. He left a formal statement about the different harbors in the Ladrones and repeated his declaration that the Carolines had far better harbors and were almost in every way more important to us. The question was raised whether, as the Commander was to sail for home on Saturday, any of us wished to send by him any messages to the President. I took this opportunity to ask him whether, in his judgment, the Carolines together with the Canaries and Ceuta would be a fair equivalent for that portion of the Philippines left outside of the line of division, which he had recommended to us. He hesitated about the reply, saying that it involved political considerations which he did not feel competent to discuss. He was sure, however, the Canaries would be valuable. At his request I made a memorandum of the question. I then asked him whether, if a division of the Philippines had to be made, he would not consider a division which I had proposed [as] more natural and more advantageous to us than his. My proposed line was north of Mindanao through Surigos Strait and thence to the Northeast end of Borneo. It left out solely the Mohammedan portion of the archipelago, ie, Mindanao and the Sulu group. He had once said that he would consider this a more natural line, and a much more advantageous one. I was rather struck by the fact that for the first time Judge Day seemed also impressed by the advantages of this division. . ..

Judge Day was curiously insistent before the Commissioners separated on having Secretary Moore read editorials which had been sent him (Day) from the New York Evangelist and the London Observer, dwelling on the dangerous experiment of taking the Philippines. It occurred to me that if we were going into this business, we might do it a little more thoroughly, and so I embraced the opportunity to read aloud a strong and very friendly article from the London Standard taking a different view.

At two o’clock we drove over to the Foreign Affairs [Ministry] where the Spaniards were just arriving. Their greetings were rather more cordial than usual, and as soon as we were seated at the table, Montero Rios asked the translator to express to the American Commissioners the regret with which they had heard of the explosion in the Capitol, and the sympathy they felt for this misfortune together with their hope that the accident might not prove so serious as the first reports indicated. Judge Day immediately replied thanking them and saying that the American Commissioners would highly appreciate this expression of sympathy. They had not yet received details, but hoped the reports had been exaggerated. The protocols were then read, and the American answer to the last Spanish paper was immediately presented. It made 50 typewritten pages large foolscap size. Montero Rios looked at it doubtfully for a moment, turned over to the end to notice the number of pages, and then said that obviously this document would require great study. They would begin on it at once—this very evening—but would like to have some idea as to the date of the next meeting. They would prefer, in fact, to leave it unsettled till tonight, when they would send us word after a preliminary reading, which might enable them to fix a date for the next meeting. If another course were preferred, they would be willing to name a date now, reserving the privilege of changing it in case of necessity. Judge Day said he thought it would be more convenient if a day should be named at once. Thereupon, after a moment’s consultation Montero Rios said he would name next Saturday, at 2 o’clock, reserving, as before stated, the privilege of changing in case of need.

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