File No. 815.77/117.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.

No. 117.]

Sir: Acknowledging the Department’s instruction No. 56 of the 6th ultimo, in regard to the complaint of Mr. W. S. Valentine, I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a note addressed by me on the 12th instant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in accordance therewith, and to be, Sir, [etc.]

Charles D. White.

The American Minister to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Minister: Referring to your excellency’s note of February 7 last in regard to the complaint of Mr. Washington S. Valentine concerning the railroad and wharf at Puerto Cortes, I have the honor in fulfillment of instructions to advise you that my Government will await with confidence the result of the judicial inventory and liquidation of accounts which you state have been ordered in connection with this Government’s seizure of the Valentine railway properties.

I am also instructed to say that the Department of State of my Government 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. Your excellency’s note above referred to acknowledges throughout; its discussion that this 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 Mr. Valentine was valid and constitutional, your excellency’s 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 authorities of Honduras should appear not to accomplish substantial justice.

Accept [etc.]

Charles D. White.