File No. 815.77/101.
The Acting Secretary of State to the American Minister.
Washington, March 6, 1912.
Sir: The Department has received your No. 94 of the 8th ultimo, transmitting a decree of the Honduran Congress and a note of February 7 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in relation to the complaint of W. S. Valentine.
You will advise the Minister for Foreign Affairs that this Government will await with confidence the result of the judicial inventory and liquidation of accounts which he states have been ordered in connection with the Government’s seizure of the Valentine railway properties.
You will also say that the Department does not find it easy to understand the statement that the Government of Honduras has no knowledge of any claim on the part of Mr. Valentine connected with the railway. The note of the Minister for Foreign Affairs acknowledges throughout its discussion that the Government delivered the railway to Mr. Valentine in 1908, and that from that time until the present it has permitted him to retain possession of and operate the same. It seems quite evident that, totally irrespective of whether or not the formal concession or lease granted to Mr. Valentine was valid and constitutional, the Honduran Government could not now expect successfully to maintain that by this governmental action the Government had not assumed such a special relation to Mr. Valentine in connection with his possession and operation of the railroad as would entail reciprocal rights, duties and obligations, which would have to be adjusted.
The Government of the United States must therefore be understood as reserving the right to make further representations regarding this matter, in the unlooked-for event that the judicial inquiry instituted by the Honduran authorities should appear not to accomplish substantial justice.
I am [etc.]