Mr. Clayton to Mr. Hay.

No. 1311.]

Sir: Referring to Department’s instructions Nos. 635 and 664, of January 23 and March 13, 1902, respectively, concerning the proposed arbitration between the United States and Mexico of the claim known as the “Pious Fund of the Californias.”

[Page 781]

Immediately upon receipt of the first-named instruction, I addressed a note to Minister Mariscal, under date of January 29 last (copy inclosed), informing his excellency of the desire of my Government to have the case submitted to arbitration under article 32 of The Hague Convention. A day or two afterwards I called upon him, and in our conversation referred to the subject. He replied that the proposition was acceptable, and that he would communicate with me in writing to that effect in a very short time.

Mindful of the desirability of early action, I have, since that time, frequently called the minister’s attention to the matter, receiving a reply each time that it would be attended to in a few days.

Upon receipt of the Department’s last-mentioned instruction, I again called upon the minister, but upon being informed by Under-Secretary Algara that he would not be in his office that day, I returned to the embassy and addressed a communication to Mr. Algara (copy inclosed), requesting that it be handed to the minister, and expressing the views of the Department as to the desirability of the United States and Mexico being the first States to submit a contention to The Hague Tribunal.

The long-looked-for reply of the foreign office came yesterday, under date of the 24th instant (copy and translation inclosed), from which it will be seen that the proposition of the United States Government has been accepted by the Mexican Government and that the proper instruction has been sent to Ambassador Aspiroz in the premises.

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

Powell Clayton.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Clayton to Mr. Mariscal.

Mr. Minister: Referring to the agreement heretofore reached by your excellency and myself for the submission to arbitration of the claims of the Roman Catholic Church of California against Mexico, growing out of the “Pious Fund of the Californias,” I now have the honor to inform your excellency that I am directed by the Department of State to say that the Government of the United States would be pleased to have the case submitted to arbitration under Article XXXII of The Hague Convention. If this proposition is accepted by Mexico, the bases of the arbitration agreement having already been settled, the Department will then proceed to select arbitrators on its part; and Mexico having done the same, it will then be in order to prepare for signature the agreement of arbitration.

Awaiting your excellency’s reply as to whether the foregoing proposition is acceptable to the Mexican Government, I have the honor to renew the assurance of my high consideration.

Powell Clayton.
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Clayton to Mr. Algara.

Dear Mr. Algara: Please hand to Mr. Mariscal for his information the following extract from the instruction from the State Department which I showed you to-day.

“Referring to the claim known as the ‘Pious Fund,’ the President feels that it would especially redound to the credit of the United States and of Mexico if the two [Page 782] North American Republics might be the first States to submit to The Hague Tribunal for determination by it of an international controversy. The Department has no doubt that President Diaz would share in the pleasure which all Americans would feel in the high example thus set by two of the leading republics of this hemisphere.” * * *

If this suggestion is favorably received by the Mexican Government the advantage of the United States and Mexico being the first of the American republics to resort to The Hague Tribunal for the settlement of controversies may be lost by delay.

Very respectfully, yours,

Powell Clayton.
[Inclosure 3.]

Mr. Mariscal to Mr. Clayton.

Mr. Ambassador: I have received the note of January 29 last in which your excellency was pleased to say that the Governments of Mexico and the United States having agreed to submit the claim of the Roman Catholic Church of California against the Government of Mexico to the Permanent Court of Arbitration of The Hague, the Government of the United States desires that the appointments and the formation of the tribunal of arbitration be made under article 32 of The Hague Convention of 1899.

In reply I have the honor to say to your excellency that I fully agree to the proposition of the Government of the United States, but as article 31, chapter 3, title 4, of the resolutions of The Hague Convention, relating to international arbitration, requires that the powers that appeal to it shall sign, before all, an agreement (compromis) in which they shall specify the object of the litigation, the extent of the powers of the arbitrators, and all else necessary for the pronunciation of the arbitral decision, proper instructions have been transmitted on this date to the Mexican ambassador to the United States of America, Mr. Manuel de Azpiroz, in order that he may at once sign the said agreement with the State Department, which having been done, the former may be begun to be carried into effect to the end that at the proper time, the proceedings in the case having been had, the tribunal may pronounce the decision which will put an end to the controversy which is the subject of this note.

I renew, etc.

Igno. Mariscal.