File No. 817.812/117b.


Have just sent to Minister Chamorro here the following letter:

Department of State,
Washington, March 4, 1915.

My dear Mr. Minister: Please express to your Government the deep regret which the President and I feel at the delay which has occurred in the ratification of what is known as the Canal Treaty between this country and Nicaragua.

We have no doubt that considerably more than two-thirds of the Senate favor the ratification of the treaty, but the rules of the Senate are of such a character and the pressure of domestic legislation of the greatest importance has been such that it has really been impossible to secure a vote on the treaty. The European war has created conditions which had to be dealt with at once.

For several days the President has revolved in his mind the advisability of calling a special session of the Senate but, as you know, this Congress has been in session almost continuously since its first assembling, much longer than [Page 1113] any former Congress; and the members of both the Senate and House are greatly fatigued. The situation was not such as to make a special session advisable.

I share the President’s confidence that the treaty will be ratified when Congress again convenes, and we hope that your Government and people will understand the situation here and not become impatient.

Accept, my dear Mr. Minister, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

W. J. Bryan.

Please deliver a copy to the Foreign Office as an explanation of delay in ratification of treaty.