Mr. Clayton to Mr. Hay.

No. 1176.]

Sir: On the 17th ultimo, at an interview with Minister Mariscal upon other business, before departing I casually called his attention to the claim against Mexico growing out of the Pious fund of the Californias and asked him if he had read the documents transmitted to him with my note of August 21 last (inclosure in dispatch 1052 of the same date). In reply he said: “To tell the truth, I have not, but will do so within the next two weeks.” I remarked that I hoped after he had studied the arguments contained in said documents his Government would change its views in relation to this claim, but that in case it should still adhere to the position already taken, then in my judgment the matter would have reached a stage which would require our best efforts for a solution of the question fair and honorable to both Governments. He replied that the international congress of American States which was about to convene in Mexico would perhaps create a tribunal to which this question might be submitted. I did not deem it wise to pursue that branch of the subject further at that time nor to say anything about the question of compromise. I expressed the desire that he would read the documents at his earliest convenience and inform me of the conclusions of his Government, which he promised to do. It is ray purpose at our next interview to again refer to the matter, as I am inclined to believe that on account of the meeting of the Pan-American conference, which doubtless has [Page 777] absorbed much of his time, he has not yet read said documents. As soon as he has done so and I have knowledge of that fact I shall take up the negotiation on the line of my instruction.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

Powell Clayton.