Mr. Clayton to Mr. Hay.
Mexico, December 16, 1901.
Sir: I have the honor to report that on the 2d instant in an interview with Minister Mariscal, I adverted to the controversy between the two Governments growing out of the claim of the Roman Catholic Church of California, known as the “Pious Fund,” and the manner of settling said controversy. After some discussion it was agreed that the matter should be submitted to arbitration. Mr. Mariscal suggested that the question could be submitted either to The Hague Tribunal or to a tribunal created by the International Conference of American States now in session at this capital, should one be created, and I suggested that in case neither should be acceptable to both parties, the two Governments might agree upon a special board or tribunal for the purpose, to which he assented. In view of the nonexistence of the second tribunal referred to, we finally agreed to leave the selection of the tribunal open to future consideration.
On the following day, in order that there might be no misunderstanding between us as to the questions and evidence to be submitted to such tribunal when selected or created, I addressed a note to Mr. Mariscal, copy inclosed, stating my understanding of the results of our conversation of the previous day and embodying in it the exact language of your instruction No. 543, of July 18, 1901. I have the honor to inclose a copy and translation of the minister’s reply, dated the 6th instant, from which it will be observed that my understanding of said conversation, as expressed in my note, is accepted by him as “exact.”
I await the further instruction of the Department regarding the question of the arbitral tribunal, and after receiving the same I shall endeavor to come to a definite understanding with the minister upon that subject, as well as to the form of the agreement, which, when agreed upon, I will promptly submit to the Department for approval.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,