Minister Russell to the Secretary of State.


(Mr. Russell states that in compliance with the department’s cable instructions he has communicated officially with the Government of Venezuela in regard to the entry of French vessels sailing direct from French ports into Venezuelan ports, and that he received a reply last night. Mr. Russell informs the department that after a long preamble as to the breaking of relations by France and the unjust expulsion of the Venezuelan chargé d’affaires from France, the note reads as follows:

The Government of Venezuela found itself obliged to withdraw its consuls from France, for which reason a difficulty is met with at present in regard to the consular clearance for merchandise that leaves French ports; and, lastly, your excellency knows that our consular law does not allow of clearance by other consuls, who, although they may be of a friendly nation, have not the authorization of the respective governments, being as, unfortunately, there is to-day a break of relations with France, according to a statement from your excellency on the above-mentioned date.

Mr. Russell states that the note further says that the French steamers have been delivering correspondence in all the Venezuelan ports where they have touched, and that they can continue to take on board all the correspondence and merchandise in Venezuelan ports which Venezuela may ship to foreign parts. The note says in regard to passengers that these will always be received, provided that they comply with the requisites prescribed by law.)