Mr. Olney to Mr. Bayard.1.

No. 956.]

Excellency: The Commission appointed by the President of the United States “to investigate and report upon the true divisional line between the Republic of Venezuela and British Guiana” has organized by the election of the Hon. David J. Brewer, justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, as its president, and is entering upon the immediate discharge of its duties.

Since its organization I have received a letter from the president of the Commission, in which, while pointing out that it is in no view an arbitral tribunal, he nevertheless suggests that Great Britain and Venezuela, the parties immediately interested in the subject-matter of the Commission’s inquiry, may both, or either of them, desire or see fit to aid the labors of the Commission and facilitate their reaching a correct conclusion by giving it the benefit of such documentary proof, historical narrative, unpublished archives, or other evidence as either may possess or control.

Justice Brewer adds:

It is scarcely necessary to say that if either should deem it proper to designate an agent or attorney whose duty it would be to see that no such proofs were omitted or overlooked, the Commission would be grateful for such evidence of goodwill, and for the valuable results which would be likely to follow therefrom.

Either party responding affirmatively to the Commissioners’ invitation would do so of course merely as amicus curiœ. As the president of the Commission declares in the concluding sentence of his communication:

The purposes of the pending investigation are certainly hostile to none, nor can it be of advantage to any that the machinery devised by the Government of the United States to secure the desired information should fail of its purpose.

Requesting you to bring the matter to the attention of the British foreign office at your earliest convenience,

I am, etc.,

Richard Olney.
  1. Subsequent to publication of Senate Document No. 31.