Mr. Russell to Mr. Hay.

No. 610.]

Sir: I have the honor to herewith inclose a copy, with translation, of the law passed by the Venezuelan Congress of 1882 in regard to the entrance of foreign men-of-war into Venezuelan ports.

This law was published in the Official Gazette of April 30 last, as the law in force at present.

The Belgian legation here had sent to the foreign office a copy of the late Belgian regulations on this same subject, and the foreign minister in acknowledging the communication of the Belgian chargé d’affaires sent a copy of the inclosed decree as the law in force on the subject in Venezuela at present.

I have, etc.,

William W. Russell.

The Congress of the United States of Venezuela decrees:

  • Article 1. The ports where foreign men-of-war can enter are only those open to foreign commerce.
  • Art. 2. Foreign men-of-war can not enter the above-mentioned ports except to the number of three or four, at most, nor can they remain longer than thirty days.
  • Art. 3. When for any good reason foreign men-of-war are obliged to enter a port in a greater number than above mentioned, or prolong their stay for more than thirty days, or visit for scientific purposes ports that are not open, they must ask special permission from the President of the Republic, who may grant it or not, in his judgment.
  • Art. 4. Foreign men-of-war are subject to all police regulations of the ports, such as health laws, anchorage regulations, etc.
  • Art. 5. In case of any infraction of the foregoing articles the local authorities shall not take any measures against the men-of-war, out of regard for their extraterritoriality, but the Chief of the National Executive shall be immediately informed and he will proceed in accordance with international usages.

President of the Senate,
J. P. Rojas Paul

President of the House,
A. Cova.

Secretary of the Senate,
M. Caballero.