File No. 731.51/53.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.

No. 165.]

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith copy and translation of the protocol signed for the renewal of relations between France and Venezuela.

I have [etc.]

Elliott Northcott.

Protocol concerning renewal of relations between France and Venezuela.

The Government of the French Republic and the Government of the United States of Venezuela, desiring to reestablish friendly relations between the two countries and declaring that all motive for rupture has disappeared, have named as their respective plenipotentiaries, to wit:

* * * * * * *

who after the exchange of their respective full powers found in good and true form have agreed to the following articles:


Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and France shall be reestablished from the time of the signing of the present Protocol and the two Governments shall name their respective Ministers at Paris and Caracas.


Within a period of three months from the exchange of ratifications of the present Protocol, the French Government shall submit to the Venezuelan Government the list of French claims against Venezuela originated by acts prior to June 30, 1903.

Such of these claims which [sic], within a period of six months after the receipt of said list, shall not have been settled by direct agreement between the Venezuelan Government on one hand and the French Government or the interested parties on the other hand, shall be taken, within a maximum period of three months, at the suit of the claimants, before the competent jurisdiction of Venezuela.

In order to avoid all subsequent dispute the two High Parties agree that the French Government shall have the right, after previous notice and reasons [Page 538] therefor to the Venezuelan Government, to submit to the Arbitral Tribunal [Commission] indicated by Articles III and IV the claims which may have been the subject of a Venezuelan sentence [sic] against which it considers that it ought to raise objections founded in law and equity.


In case of lack of a direct agreement no definite sentence or decision shall have been rendered within a period of fifteen months after proper judicial proceedings have been taken, and if such delay be not attributable exclusively to the plaintiff, the Arbitral Commission shall take cognizance of the claims which shall not have been adjudged within said period.


Within the three months following the total expiration of the periods indicated in the preceding articles, each of the two Governments shall designate an arbiter, if there be need therefor, and the two arbiters thus named shall by common accord choose an umpire.

In case of disagreement, the designation of the umpire shall be intrusted to a third power designated in common accord by the two Governments. If such accord be not obtainable, each of the two Governments shall designate a different power and the selection of the umpire shall be made in concert by the powers thus designated.

The French arbiter and the Venezuelan arbiter shall meet in Caracas immediately after their designation and shall examine the claims in the cases provided for in Articles II and III.

Such of these claims of which [sic] a friendly settlement can not be made by the two arbiters within a period of twelve months from their first meeting, shall be submitted by them to the umpire, who shall decide without appeal.


The periods for the presentation of documents and supporting proofs shall be fixed by the arbiters, who shall also establish the other formalities of the proceeding [procedure].


Each of the Governments shall pay the salary of its arbiter and the expenses attending his mission; the two Governments shall pay each one half the salary of the umpire and the general and common expenses of the proceeding.


The indemnities which shall be accorded to the claimants shall be delivered to the French Government in French gold or in equivalent money of Venezuela, within a period which shall in no case exceed one year, counting from the last arrangement, sentence or decision.


The Venezuelan Government confirms its preexisting obligations in that which concerns the French Diplomatic Debt. It confirms likewise the declaration annexed to the Protocol of February 19, 1902.


The present Protocol shall be ratified by the competent powers and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Caracas as soon as possible and at latest by June 15, 1913.


The text of the present Protocol shall be drawn up in two copies, one French-Spanish and the other Spanish-French, and in case of dispute the French text shall be authoritative.

In faith whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present Protocol in two copies, one Spanish-French, the other French-Spanish, and have thereto affixed their seals at Caracas February eleventh, nineteen hundred and thirteen.

[No signatures to this inclosure.]