Ambassador Thompson to the Acting Secretary of State .

No. 233.]

Sir: With reference to my dispatch No. 227a, of the 21st instant, I confirm the embassy’s telegram of this elate to the Department of State on the subject of the supposed order of the Mexican Government that its gunboats seized American vessels under any and all conditions of weather if within the 3-mile limit. [Supra]

For the further information of the department, I inclose herewith copies and translations of Mr. Mariscal’s note of the 25th instant and the note from the minister of war and marine therewith transmitted, containing the assertions of the Mexican Government upon which the above telegram was based.

I have, etc.

D. E. Thompson.
[Inclosure.—Translation.]

The Minister of Foreign Affairs to Ambassador Thompson .

Mr. Ambassador: Referring to previous correspondence, I have the honor to transmit to your excellency, herewith, a copy of a note I have just received from the secretary of war and marine, informing me that, as your excellency and I thought, the statement made by the Gulf Fisheries Company to the Department of State, that there was a provision passed by the Mexican [Page 1097] Government to capture American fishing vessels entering into Mexican territorial waters under any conditions of the weather, is unfounded; and that the only order issued refers to vessels, whether national or foreign, which may be caught fishing without the proper license, within the territorial waters of the Republic.

It affords me pleasure to renew to your excellency on this occasion the assurance of my high consideration.

Igno. Mariscal.
[Subinclosure.—Translation.]

The Mexican Secretary of War to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs .

Department of war and marine, Mexico. This department received the communication from that under your worthy charge, issued by the bureau of America, Asia and Oceanica, under No. 557, dated 22d instant, in which you were pleased to include the note addressed to you by the ambassador of the United States, at this capital, stating that Mexican gunboats are said to have been ordered to capture American fishing vessels under any conditions of the weather, when found within the territorial waters of Mexico, and asking for information upon the matter.

In reply, I have the honor to say to you that the order issued by this department upon the subject is, that the above-mentioned gunboats shall visit and arrest any vessels, whether national or foreign, when found fishing within the territorial waters without any license from the Mexican authorities with power to issue the same; and that no order has been issued to capture American fishing vessels under any conditions of the weather within the limit of 3 miles, as stated in said note, nor has any vessel been denied the right to take shelter in any port during a gale. If this assertion should have originated from the capture of American fishing vessels that have been effected, the same has no foundation, because the latter vessel was captured while fishing within territorial waters, and we have no information that the same took shelter into said waters by reason of bad weather as it has been proved that the same did not occur in the Gulf during that time. The above-mentioned gunboats have again been instructed that they must only visit national or foreign vessels which may be found fishing within territorial waters and to capture and place the same under the jurisdiction of the proper authority, if they do not have the proper license.

I renew to you the assurance of my distinguished consideration.


G. Cosis.

To the Secretary for Foreign Affairs,
Mexico.

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