Mr. Sherman to Mr. Pringle.

No. 124.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 148, of the 31st ultimo, reporting that the Government of Guatemala has revoked the exequatur of Mr. Florentin Souza, our consular agent at Champerico, and that you have authorized Mr. Samuel F. Lord to act as agent for the present.

Your selection of Mr. Lord as agent, ad interim, is approved by the Department. The information respecting the acting agent, called for by the Consular Regulations, should be sent by you to the Department in a consular dispatch.

You inclose with your dispatch a copy of a note to the Guatemalan minister for foreign affairs, in which you request a statement of the reason for the withdrawal of the exequatur of Mr. Souza.

You were not strictly in your right in making this request. As a general rule of international intercourse, a Government can withdraw a consular exequatur without assigning any reason. If it voluntarily assigns cause for removal, it invites discussion of the sufficiency thereof, and defensive evidence can be offered with a request for reconsideration. If it offers no reasons, it can not be compelled to give them, Your inquiry, therefore, should be treated as a request for information rather than as a demand for proof of good cause, and it is hoped the Guatemalan Government will so construe it.

Respectfully, yours,

John Sherman.