Mr. Clayton to Mr. Hay.

No. 1485.]

Sir: I contemplate, if such course meets with the approval of the Department, addressing communications to all United States consular officers in Mexico, over whom J have, by virtue of my office, supervisory jurisdiction of the scope set forth in paragraph 101, article 7, United States Consular regulations of 1896, requesting them to report to me promptly and directly all cases of denial of justice or invasion of the personal or property rights of any American citizen within their respective jurisdictions, not including, however, such cases as have received prompt remedial action by the local authorities upon the representations of such consular officers, said reports to be accompanied by such information as may, in each case, have been brought to the attention of or ascertained by the officer so reporting.

As I understand it, I have no right to make such requests of consular officers over whom a consul-general has supervisory jurisdiction. Under paragraph 8, article 1, of said Consular Regulations, the consul-general at Mexico is not charged with any supervisory powers, and has no consulates or commercial agencies subordinate to him. Paragraph 12, of the same article, designates the consulates over which the consul-general at Nuevo Laredo (now Monterey) has supervisory jurisdiction. I suppose, although I have no official knowledge of the fact, that after this consulate-general was removed to Monterey, it was given supervisory jurisdiction over the consulate at Nuevo Laredo. In that case the consul-general at Monterey would have supervisory [Page 829] jurisdiction over the following consulates: Chihuahua, Durango, Matainoros, Nogales, Paso del Norte (Ciudad Juarez), Saltillo, Tampico, Piedras Negras (Oiudad Porlirio Diaz), and Nuevo Laredo; and I understand that over all other consulates and commercial agencies in Mexico I have supervisory jurisdiction, and have a right to communicate with them direct, and expect direct replies; and that over the consulates-general at Mexico and Monterey I have supervisory jurisdiction of the scope above referred to.

In my contemplated letter to the consuls, of course, where they have consular agencies under their jurisdictions, I shall request them to ask said agents to report to them the same information as that requested by me of their principal consular officers, said information to be transmitted to me by the superior officers.

My reasons for adopting this contemplated course are, first, a desire to obtain knowledge of cases of denials of justice or invaded rights which otherwise I might not obtain, so that I can take such diplomatic-action in each case as the facts may justify; and, second, because instances have occurred of this character within the districts of consular officers over whom I have supervisory jurisdiction that have not been reported to me.

Whether the Department approves of my proposed course or not, I request that it will inform me whether my understanding as to the consular officers over whom I have supervisory jurisdiction is correct.

I have, etc.,

Powell Clayton.