File No. 731.51/36.

The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador.

Excellency: With reference to Count de Peretti de la Rocca’s note of August 29, 1912, regarding the relations of France and Venezuela, and to the Department’s reply of September 3, 1912,1 have the honor to inform you that Mr. Elliott Northcott, the American Minister to Venezuela, has just arrived in Washington. Mr. Northcott brought with him the reply of the Venezuelan Government to the note in which he communicated the substance of Count de Peretti de la Rocca’s letter to the Department of August 29th. It was at the special request of the President of Venezuela that Mr. Northcott brought this despatch in person to the Department in order that he might at the same time orally state that the President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela have expressed the hope that diplomatic relations between France and Venezuela will soon be reestablished.

The Department will be happy if its friendly offices should result in the renewal of those relations.

A copy of the note of the Venezuelan Minister for Foreign Affairs of September 23d to Minister Northcott is enclosed.

Accept [etc.]

For
Mr. Knox
:
Alva A. Adee.
[Inclosure—Translation.]

The Venezuelan Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Minister

Mr. Minister: I have had the honor of receiving your excellency’s courteous note No. 59, dated the 4th instant,1 in which, at the request of the French Embassy in Washington, you transcribe the statement of the attitude of the French Government. I informed the President of the Republic, who instructed me to reply in the following terms:

The Government of Venezuela is greatly pleased that the French Government, taking into account the good will and the reasons expressed by this Chancellery, [Page 533] decides upon a conciliatory course preserving the decorum and the interests of both countries.

The Government of Venezuela has no objection to the claims of French citizens, decided by the Federal Court of Cassation, being submitted to an arbitral tribunal whenever there is in such decisions a violation of the principles recognized by international law. The attitude of the French Government can not be otherwise in this respect, in view of the enlightenment and the spirit of justice of the men who direct it. Consequently the Venezuelan Government considers it advisable, with a view to prevent any erroneous interpretation, that such an expression be included in the protocol of the resumption of relations.

As worded in the statement contained in your excellency’s note, the right of recourse to an arbitral tribunal might occasion doubts and confusions, and the Government of Venezuela is persuaded that the French Government is also desirous of preventing such; and therefore that it is incumbent to state that the French Government will possess the right of having submitted to an arbitral tribunal those claims which have been decided by Venezuelan courts, when it adduces that in such decision some principles of international law have been violated.

With this modification, which is merely the making clear of the thought contained in the statement above referred to, the Venezuelan Government infers that there will be no objection to proceeding to the definite consideration of the matter, inasmuch, as is gathered from conversations with your excellency, both Governments are animated by the sincerest desire of reaching a satisfactory solution.

I take [etc.]

J. L. Andara.
  1. Not printed.