Minister Bowen to the Secretary of State.
Caracas, January 7, 1905.
(Mr. Bowen states that the Venezuelan President is now disposed to yield, and Mr. Bowen is duly authorized by the minister of foreign affairs to inform Mr. Hay that in order to settle pending questions the [Page 1013]President will fix at 5,000,000 bolivars the annual sum to be paid to the allied and peace powers from the customs revenues, and that when they are fully paid he will continue to pay that sum to the German and British bondholders. Furthermore, he will agree to make an arbitration treaty with the United States for the settlement of all questions which, having a diplomatic character, can not be settled by mutual consent—that is to say, he is willing to submit the Bermudez (asphalt) case and our other cases to arbitration and to make provision for future arbitration. Mr. Bowen requested to have added that he will submit to arbitration the unsettled claims of all the other powers. He thinks he will do that when he sees that the United States insists. If the sister American Republics would make treaties to submit to arbitration disputed claims Mr. Bowen thinks the Monroe doctrine would not be likely to be attacked. He advises acceptance of the 5,000,000 offer; that the Department insist that a protocol be signed at once submitting the pending American questions and the disputed claims of other nations to arbitration without delay; and that then a permanent treaty of arbitration of claims be made that will be satisfactory to all the creditors of Venezuela.)