Mr. Hall to
Guatemala, April 11, 1887. (Received May 5.)
Sir: With reference to your instructions, No. 409 and No. 429, of the 27th November, 1886, and the 16th February, and to my dispatches numbered 574, 605, and 627, the latter dated the 8th ultimo, I beg leave to invite your attention to the inclosed copies and translation of correspondence with the minister of foreign affairs of Salvador, in relation to the recent law concerning citizenship and the status of foreigners in that Republic.
The minister’s communication dated the 28th ultimo, in answer to mine of the 7th January last, is a general denial that the law in question conflicts with the established rules of international intercourse, or that it leaves to the Salvadorian authorities to decide upon the nationality of a foreigner. The object of the law, he contends, is that the [Page 111] Government may be informed as to number of foreigners in the country and their domiciles, with a view to afford them due protection and to prevent any acts against them that might give rise to diplomatic intervention. He wishes it to be understood that the law is for the benefit of foreigners, and is not intended to restrict their movements and operations, and that Salvador does not ignore the right of foreign Governments to intervene in behalf of their citizens and subjects. In a note, addressed to one of my colleagues, he states that the object of the law referred to is to put a stop to the unjust claims of foreign Governments.
In regard to Articles 39, 40, and 41, which assume to define what is to be understood by a denial of justice and to impose restrictions upon foreigners in their recourse to their own Governments, he also denies that those provisions are in opposition to international rights.
I find his communication neither clear nor consistent, and in parts unintelligible. He concludes, however, with the information that the subject will be brought to the notice of the legislature of Salvador at its next session, with the object, it may be supposed, of proposing some amendments to the law. In the mean time I learn that the Government has taken no steps to carry out the law.
* * * * * * *
I have, etc.,
- That the foreigner may invoke treaties and conventions existing between Salvador and his own nation;
- That he may resort to the protection of his own sovereign through the diplomatic channel; and
- That he shall enjoy the benefit of reciprocity.