Minister Bowen to the Secretary of State.
Caracas, January 22, 1905.
Sir: In answer to your instructions No. 232, of the 13th instant, received to-day, I have the honor to refer you to the following documents I have sent you during the last year: Memorandum, dated April 15, 1904, with dispatch No. 274;a dispatch No. 315, dated August 20, 1904. [Printed in Foreign Relations, 1904, p. 871.] * * *
They, together with more recent data I have obtained, justify me, I think, in stating—
- That Venezuela is not paying 30 per cent of the total income of the customs revenues of La Guaira and Puerto Cabello. If she had [Page 1019]done so during the year ended February 29, 1904, she would have delivered to the allied powers about 10,000,000 bolivars, instead of only about 5,000,000 bolivars. She claims to believe that she is compelled to pay only 30 per cent of the duties that existed when the Washington protocols were signed, and not of the new duties also.
- That by creating the custom-house at Tucacas she reduced the customs revenues of Puerto Cabello. The reduction now amounts to over 40 per cent according to the statistics prepared by my very clever and intelligent French colleague and also by my very conscientious German colleague.
- That the amount paid this second year will be about 4,500,000 bolivars, or about a half a millon less than was paid last year.
- That the allied powers will be paid in about two years and the peace powers in about seven years from date at the present rate.
- That President Castro’s policy, if it is not interfered with, will continue to reduce the amounts paid yearly, and will therefore lengthen the aforesaid period of seven years to perhaps ten years or more.
- That no arrangements have yet been made to pay; the British and German bondholders, in conformity with the requirements of the protocols.
- That President Castro has notified Belgium he will not pay the award to Belgium. * * *
I am, etc.,
- Not printed.↩