Mr. Beaupre to Mr. Hay.
Guatemala and Honduras,
Guatemala , March 22, 1899 .
Sir: I have the honor to confirm my cipher telegram of the 17th instant, on the subject of an invitation extended me to act as arbitrator of a question between Honduras and Great Britain, and to acknowledge receipt of a cipher telegram in reply, dated the 18th instant. I append to this dispatch translations of both telegrams.
Under your authority I have accepted the post and shall conform strictly to the instructions outlined in your telegram.
The parties in interest wish you to know, however, that it was their desire to submit the question to me as the representative of the United States, but as the time during which I should continue to act as chargé d’affaires ad interim was necessarily very limited, and it would be a saving of time to have me conclude the case after I had taken it up, it was asked that I be permitted to continue as arbitrator after I had ceased to be charge. Still, they now accept the conditions prescribed by your telegram, only asking that the submission should contain the words:
“Arthur M. Beaupre, who is now chargé d’affaires ad interim of the United States,” to which I sign my individual name, and render my decision over my personal signature.
I have to inform you that the case involves but a small amount of money and no complications can possibly arise from it. In July, 1892, the British schooner Lottie May put into Ruatan, a port in the island of Ruatan, off the coast of Honduras, unloaded a cargo of provisions and asked for a clearance for Great Caiman, from whence she had come. Clearance was refused, because of revolutionary troubles prevailing on some part of the Honduran coast, and subsequently the captain of the schooner was arrested, because, as alleged and denied, he used insulting and vile language to the authorities. He was kept in jail, to the injury of his health, as alleged, for six days, and the vessel detained during that time, at the end of which time he was permitted to go. The British Government claims damages to the amount of £300 for the captain and £200 for the vessel. The Honduranian Government admits that it should pay the damages for the vessel, but disputes the amount, and claims that it is not liable for damages on account of imprisoning the captain.
I have, etc.,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.