Mr. Hay to Mr. Loomis.

No. 343.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge receipt of your Nos. 449 and 451 of May 21 and May 23, 1900, touching the complaint of Mr. Louis Goldschmidt, consul of the United States at La Guaira, that his life had been threatened, and that the local authorities had afforded him inadequate protection. I deem it unnecessary to review; the several statements found in the correspondence accompanying your dispatches, but I can not refrain from saying that they have been read with surprise and regret, because of the apparent indifference of the local authorities at La Guaira, in view of the action of the Federal Government of Venezuela, based upon your representations, to afford Mr. Goldschmidt that measure of personal protection which is his due. It is difficult to comprehend how such acts as those complained of are permitted. The threatening of the life of a peaceable citizen, and that man a consular representative of a friendly power, can not be treated with indifference or lightly pushed aside, and the Government of the United States will hold that of Venezuela to a strict accountability for any harm or insult that maybe wantonly inflicted on Mr. Goldschmidt.

You may say as much to the minister for foreign affairs, adding that the conduct of the local authorities in this case has been most disappointing, and that the treatment of a consular officer in the manner disclosed by Mr. Goldschmidt in his complaint is not calculated to inspire that respect for law and order or that regard for the individual rights or personal liberties of peaceable, law-abiding citizens which they have a right to demand, and which the Government of the United States thinks justly and properly due to one of its citizens who is, at the same time, the official representative accredited to Venezuela.

It may be true that Mr. Goldschmidt was not entirely blameless or sufficiently patient under the circumstances, but even so, this fact can not alter the circumstance that his personal liberties and rights are clearly recognized under international law, and that any complaint that they are abridged or of insult offered should be treated on its merit. This is all that is asked, and is all that the Government of the United States expects or demands.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.