Ambassador Thompson to the Secretary of State .


Your telegram of yesterday. Article 5, paragraph 2, reads “The inspection and jurisdiction of the federal authorities may extend into the sea for fiscal purposes up to a distance of 20 kilometers, measured from the line marked by low tide on the coasts of the Republic.”

D. E. Thompson.
[Inclosure 1, with Ambassador Thompson’s No. 268, Oct. 22, 1906 [not printed]. Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to Ambassador Thompson .

Mr. Ambassador: Referring to your excellency’s note, dated September 21 last, I have the honor to inclose herewith copy of a communication addressed to me by the secretary of war and marine, relative to the lack of foundation of the report that orders had been issued for the capture of fishing vessels found within Mexican territorial waters, regardless of the conditions of the weather. At the same time, the inclosed communication shows the state of the weather, to which reference is made in the above-mentioned note.

I renew, etc.,

Igno. Mariscal.

The Department of War and Marine to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs .

On the 29th of last month the general military commander of Veracruz informed this department as follows:

“I have the honor to refer to your communication No. 18588, issued by the bureau of maritime service, section of merchant vessels of that department, and as supplement to my note No. 934, of the day before yesterday, I beg to say that this office has never ordered the war vessels of this region to capture American fishing vessels, under any conditions of the weather, when found within our territorial waters; but only those which carry on the traffic of poaching within such area, that is, those which are found fishing without a legal permit from the proper national authorities. Besides, any vessel which on account of some accident seeks shelter in our ports on coasts or islands of refuge, has never been denied that right, of which they have availed themselves freely in accordance with the provisions of our laws; and on the contrary, whenever they have needed any assistance the same has been extended to them in accordance with Naval Regulations.

As it may have happened that some rumors may have reached the American ambassador similar to those which you have been pleased to mention, perhaps because some of the employees of the fishing vessels captured recently may have spread the same, I have requested the commanders of our war vessels, in order to clear the matter, to send me a detailed statement of the state of weather and meteorological conditions on the dates of the capture, and they have informed me that the weather has been generally favorable during the whole month of April last, the Silas Stearns having been captured on the 19th of said month, with good weather, eastern wind, force 1, smooth sea. That the D. L. Trafton was captured on the 21st, good weather, northwestern wind, force 2, sea wind. The Lizzie B. Adams was captured on the 23d, good weather, northwestern wind, force 2, sea wind.

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As you will see from the above data, the weather could not be better and said vessels were found within our waters at a time when they were not exercising the right to seek shelter in our coast on account of a gale or accident, but in a deliberate manner. I beg to transmit to you a statement of the general run of the weather from the 1st to the 27th of April last, which was sent to me by the commander of the gunboat Veracruz, for such action as may be expedient.

Which I have the honor to transmit to you in reference to our communication No. 18588, transmitted to your department on September 25 last, inclosing copy of the state of weather mentioned in said note.

I renew, etc.,

G. Gosio.

[Inclosure 2.]

Ambassador Thompson to the Minister for Foreign Affairs .

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s courteous note, dated the 10th instant, transmitting copy of a communication from the department of war and marine disproving the rumors that Mexican war vessels had been ordered to capture foreign fishing craft found within the territorial waters of this Republic, regardless of the conditions of the weather, and to thank you for this information.

David E. Thompson.