No. 737.
Mr. Noyes to Mr. Blaine.

No. 467.]

Sir: As I had the honor of informing you by my cipher dispatch of the 6th instant, immediately after receiving your telegram of the same day in relation to the Venezuelan matter, I repaired to the foreign office, and explained your desire to M. Barthelemy St. Hilaire.

He said he was grateful to you for the kind intervention, and that he would take it into consideration with every disposition to accept your proposition, but that the circumstances of the case were such that some deliberation was necessary. He then stated, with all due caption of language, that the Venezuelan Government had not acted fairly with France; that after agreeing to certain payments, it had, under different pretexts, abstained from keeping its engagements, and that now, contrary to a plain understanding and a written pledge, it wanted to give preference over the claims of France, or to place on the same footing, other claims which were not entitled to such treatment.

* * * * * * *

He promised, however, that he would act promptly, and in order to facilitate his answer I left with him a note embodying the substance of your dispatch. My telegram of the 14th instant gave you a resumé of this answer, which I now send in full with a translation. Mr. de Rojas, the minister of Venezuela here, whose official relations with the French Government are now suspended, has called on me to-day and has expressed the hope that the Government of the United States will continue to intervene, in order in some equitable manner to settle the pending difficulty, and that as prompt action as is convenient will be had.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 467.—Translation.]

Note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the United States Minister at Paris.

By a verbal note of the 6th instant General Noyes made known that, upon applica tion of the cabinet of Caracas, the United States might consent, without guaranteeing any portion of the Venezuelan debt, to take charge of receiving and distributing the increased monthly installments designed by that state for the payment of the foreign claims diplomatically admitted.

The American Government asks, that while this proposition is under consideration, [Page 1213] France will suspend its action on account of her debt, and it tenders its best offices to adjust the difference existing between her and Venezuela.

The Government of the French Republic is assuredly appreciative of this mark of good will, and it cannot but acquiesce in the desire expressed to it that all action on its part be temporarily suspended.

As to the combination submitted by Venezuela to the Government of the United States for the receiving and distribution of dividends, the French Government would have no objection if all the debts, diplomatically admitted, were placed on the same equal footing. But it must remark that the treaties of 1864 have created to the advantage of a certain class of French creditors a privileged situation, which it cannot at this time renounce.

On the other hand the Venezuelan Government has openly expressed the intention of no more acknowledging the convention in force, of discontinuing the liquidation of the French pending claims, and even of not increasing the monthly installments appropriated to the redeeming of its diplomatie debt. It seems therefore difficult for the good offices of the Washington cabinet to be made useful, unless the Venezuelan Government be brought back to a just appreciation of its treaty obligations, to be made the point of departure for acceptable propositions.