The Secretary of State to Minister Bowen.

No. 234.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 378, of the 6th instant, in regard to the arbitration of pending questions with Venezuela.

In reply I have to say that the matters mentioned in your dispatch and inclosures appear to have been covered by instructions by cable already sent you, with the following exception:

In Mr. Sanabria’s note to you of January 6 reference is made to an arbitration treaty in general. The Department is not disposed to enter into a general arbitration treaty covering all future controversies with Venezuela. Some of those controversies in the past have grown out of claims for comparatively small sums of money, not large enough to justify the expense of an arbitration proceeding. Such claims will have to be settled diplomatically in the future, as in the past. After the settlement of questions pending between the United States and Venezuela either diplomatically or by arbitration, the Department will be ready to take into consideration the subject of the negotiation of a general treaty of arbitration covering all claims of sufficient magnitude to warrant the expenses of arbitration.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.