File No. 7945/6–7.

Minister Merry to the Secretary of State.

No. 5, Nicaragua.]

Sir: I have the honor to advise receipt yesterday of a dispatch from Consul Olivares, Managua, dated August 7, stating that the Pacific [Page 923] Mail steamship San Juan, en route from Panama to San Francisco and calling at Corinto en route, was searched by the Nicaraguan authorities at that port under orders from the Managua Government, notwithstanding the protest of the master, copy of which I inclose herewith. As Consul Olivares informs me that he cabled the information to you, I confine my action to communication by mail. The consul also states that it is the intention of the Government to search other northbound steamers from Panama for contraband of war, although Nicaragua claims to be at peace with her northern neighbors.

With assurances, etc.,

William Lawrence Merry.

Marine note of protest.

On the 5th day of August, in the year of our Lord 1907, before me, H. H. Leonard, American consular agent for Corinto and the dependencies thereof, personally appeared H. L. Jones, master of the vessel called the San Juan, of New York, of the burden of 1,496 tons or thereabout, and declared that on the 1st day of August last past he sailed in and with the said ship from the port of Ancon, Canal Zone, laden with general merchandise, and arrived in the ship at Corinto, August 5, 7.30 a.m., and having been advised by the comandante of the port that he had orders from the President of Nicaragua to search the ship for contraband of war, I asked the comandante whether war had been declared, and his answer was “no.”

Then I informed the comandante that in my judgment it was against all international law to search ship without declaration of war. His reply was that he did not wish to have any trouble over this matter, and said he would go ashore and interview the President again.

At 9.30 he returned on board ship with orders from the President to search ship. I complied with his request, informing him it would be done under protest to the United States Government; search began at 9.30 a.m. and ended at 10.30 a.m. without having found anything, and hereby enters this note of protest accordingly, to serve and avail him hereafter, if found necessary.

[seal.] (Signed)
H. L. Jones, Master.

H. H. Leonard,
American Consular Agent.

Correct copy:
William Lawrence Merry,
American Minister.