File No. 417.00/88.

The American Ambassador to Great Britain to the Secretary of State.


Sir Edward Grey writes me that when the foreign office first heard of the proposed establishment of the Nicaraguan commission, they told Mr. Garden that British claimants might avail themselves of it if they desired, but in that case the foreign office must hold aloof and reserve the right to intervene diplomatically if occasion arose. Sir Edward says he will have to consider inviting British claimants to refer claims to arbitration if settlement can not be made by direct negotiations with Nicaragua.

His position therefore is that while he places no obstacle in the way of British claimants who may decide to present their claims before the commission, he can not accept the commission as a bar to diplomatic intervention looking to arbitration. Sir Edward does not attach exaggerated importance to the questions that have arisen in Central America from time to time in which our interests have seemed to be divergent, for he believes that by the exercise of a little patience and good will these difficulties will easily be smoothed over.