Minister Russell to the Secretary of State.

No. 289.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that in accordance with the instructions contained in your cable of the 19th instant, confirmed in a separate dispatch, I addressed a note to the Venezuelan Government on the 22d instant, with a view to ascertain its attitude in regard to arbitration in the five pending cases presented by the Government of the United States On the 29th instant I received the answer from the minister for foreign affairs, copy and translation of which is inclosed, as also a copy of my note to the foreign office.

I have, etc.,

William W. Russell.
[Inclosure 1.]

Minister Russell to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to inform your excellency that I have been instructed by my Government to ascertain whether the refusal of Venezuela to accept our proposal of arbitration of pending claims is designed to apply to each and every one of the five claims presented by me on the 30th of March, and, if Venezuela is ready to arbitrate any of those claims, which ones she is willing to arbitrate.

I take, etc.,

W. W. Russell.
[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs to Minister Russell.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s courteous communication of the 22d instant, and in reply to the question [Page 820] asked by your excellency, under instructions from your Government, I must say to you that the Government of Venezuela refrains for the present from taking into consideration the suggestion made to it in your courteous note, for the reason that up to now you have not contradicted (“contradicho”) the notes from this ministry of July 9 and September 20 of last year relative to the points which have been the subject of discussion, and in which notes were well set forth the reasons upon which this Government based its refusal.

Consequently, as the cases referred to by your excellency can not be considered as being comprised among those which call for diplomatic action, the Government of Venezuela would view it with satisfaction if the Government of the United States would consider this question as closed, the interested parties always having the right of recourse to the tribunals of justice of the Republic should they deem fit.

I avail myself, etc.,

J. de J. Paul.