Mr. Hay to Mr. Merry.
Washington , March 3, 1899 .
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 215, of the 16th ultimo, reporting your refusal to request the commander of the United States naval forces in Central American waters to seize the Nicaraguan steamer San Jacinto, an intimation from the Nicaraguan Government that you make such request having been communicated to you through our consul at Managua.
In reply I have to say that there is not enough shown by your dispatch to justify the intervention of our naval forces. It does not appear that the San Jacinto is American property, unlawfully seized by the insurgents. If it were, it could be recaptured for the beneht of its lawful owners on the high seas by our naval force. See Mr. Bayard’s instructions to Mr. Scruggs, May 19, 1885, Foreign Relations, 1885, page 211.
I am, etc.,