File No. 817.812/110.

Minister Hale to the Secretary of State .

No. 63.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Department’s telegram of January 28, which reached me the next day. * * * Before I could take the steps necessary to enable me to answer Department’s inquiry—namely, if I found the Government here to be in the same state of mind regarding the proposed canal treaty as the Costa Rican Minister at Washington—La Información of February 2 published a page of comment on the subject, which I enclose, with translation. It would seem from the President’s reply to La Información’s [Page 1106] interviewer that he is now of the same mind as when I made known to him the contents of Mr. Bryan’s letter to me of July 24. Please see my letter to Mr. Bryan of August 13, in which I made a report of my conversation with the President. * * *

In view of the article from La Información (enclosure 1), I thought it best to address an informal note to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs as in the copy enclosed (enclosure 2). Upon receipt of a reply from the Secretary, I will telegraph its substance to the Department.

I have [etc.]

E. J. Hale.
[Inclosure 1—Translation—Extract.]


In order to obtain accurate information upon this topic we paid a visit yesterday to the President of the Republic, who replied to our questions in a conclusive manner that there are no negotiations pending either to sell or to lease the section of the canal route which belongs to Costa Rica, and that the only thing there has been in regard to this subject is the hint of the American Government, given through its diplomatic representative here and directed toward opening negotiations for the purchase of Costa Rica’s rights. To this hint the Government replied that the Costa Rican’s attitude is at present that which it has always been; namely, that of being disposed to negotiate, not for money, but on condition that Costa Rica’s rights should be appraised by a friendly nation, and that, once appraised, our country should acquire in the canal works rights in proportion to its cost; that is to say, that the country should be a shareholder in the canal route.

That is what the President informed us on the subject, and his words confirm in every respect the information which we had gathered from private sources.

[Inclosure 2.]

Minister Hale to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs .

My dear Mr. Secretary: Information from Washington, in the public prints and otherwise, concerns itself with the rights and desires of Costa Rica in relation to the Nicaragua canal route, and I have the honor, most respectfully, to ask that your excellency will state to me informally, but frankly, the views of your excellency’s Government on this subject.

I have [etc.]

E. J. Hale.