Mr. Merry to Mr. Hay.

No. 343.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith copy and translation of excerpts from a personal letter just received from Mr. Sanson, late Nicaraguan minister of foreign affairs, relating to the trust fund now held by the British consul at San Juan del Norte. You will note that Mr. Sanson “has good reasons to expect” that Judge Romans will absolve the Bluefields merchants from the second payment of duties and will “order” the money in the hands of the British consul returned to them. How he expects to “order” the consul is a question; but I presume he intends me to understand that the Nicaraguan Government will consent to the return of the fund to parties from whom it was received. This practically conceding the question at issue, I presume the Department will not object to repayment through decision of the court, inasmuch as Judge Roman’s court may be considered a part of the Nicaraguan Government, and doubtless acting under its instructions. If the honorable Secretary approves, I will write Mr. Bingham, the [Page 812] British consul at San Juan del Norte, that we request the fund shall be repaid by him in his official capacity to each of the owners thereof and their receipts taken in triplicate, one copy each for the Department, Judge Roman’s court, and the consul. This will tend to avoid future complications and is in accordance with the terms of the trust.

Awaiting your instructions in this particular and with assurances of my highest esteem, I remain, etc.

William Lawrence Merry,
United States Minister.

Translation of excerpts in letter from Señor Don Joaquin Sanson, late minister of foreign affairs, Republic of Nicaragua, to Mr. Merry.

Esteemed Sir:

* * * * * * *

My successor, who will probably be for the present the assistant secretary, Mr. Lugo, as temporarily in charge of the department, will officially reply to all of your latest important communications. I limit myself now to say to you that we have good reasons to expect that the Señor Judge Roman will absolve the merchants of Bluefields from the payment of duties, and that he will order returned to them the money deposited.

This solution puts an end to all discussion between our Governments and saves the legal rights of our legislation.

* * * * * * *

I am happy to have had the honor of personal relations with you and to offer you the assurances of my distinguished consideration, subscribing myself,

Your attentive and obedient servant,

J. Sanson.