File No. 4832/34.

The Acting Secretary of State to the Brazilian Ambassador.

No. 63.]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 14th instant, by which you advise the department that you have forwarded to Mr. Lorena the department’s communication to Mr. John Brewer as well as the department’s note transmitting it to you, and in which you express regret that the representatives of all the powers which had diplomatic relations with Venezuela when the Government at Caracas curtailed the diplomatic immunities of M. Taigny were not authorized to sign the collective note proposed by the Brazilian minister protesting against Venezuela’s attitude at that time, in view of the fact that the note of the minister for foreign affairs of Venezuela informing Mr. Sleeper that he would continue to enjoy diplomatic immunities until he embarked at Puerto Cabello is in effect a reaffirmation of the doctrine maintained by Venezuela in the former instance.

Concerning the question of diplomatic immunities, the Department of State holds that both international law and international courtesy assure to diplomatic agents, in the countries to which they are accredited, the right to be protected, although their powers to represent and negotiate for their Governments have been suspended or terminated by recall, or otherwise, and that the diplomatic immunity inherent in the persons of diplomatic agents extends for a reasonable time after the cessation of diplomatic functions in order that they may complete their arangements to leave the country.

In regard to the note of Minister Paul to Mr. Sleeper, in which the former assures Mr. Sleeper that he would “continue enjoying the diplomatic immunities until taking the boat at Puerto Cabello,” it may well be, as your excellency suggests, a reaffirmation in another form of the doctrine upheld by the Government of Caracas in connection with the withdrawal of M. Taigny from Venezuela; or, it may be, on the other hand, a mere assurance extended to Mr. Sleeper that his diplomatic immunities do not cease with his recall, but follow him until his departure from Puerto Cabello In this latter case the note might be construed as an abandonment of the extreme claim advanced in the case of M. Taigny.

As, however, diplomatic immunities were in fact extended to and enjoyed by Mr. Sleeper, does it not seem advisable, in view of all the circumstances, to let the matter pass without taking further note of it?

Thanking you for your obliging and prompt compliance with the department’s request, I beg you to accept, etc.

Alvey A. Adee.