File No. 817.812/154b

The Secretary of State to the Minister of Nicaragua

No. 17

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the Senate of the United States in Executive Session on February 18, 1916, having under consideration the Treaty signed on August 8, 1914, by yourself and Mr. William J. Bryan, then Secretary of State, adopted, by a vote of fifty-five to eighteen, the following resolution:

Resolved (Two-thirds of the Senators present concurring therein), That the Senate advise and consent to the ratification of the Convention between the United States and Nicaragua, signed at Washington August fifth, nineteen hundred and fourteen, granting to the United States, in return for a money payment, the exclusive proprietary rights for the construction and operation of an interoceanic canal by a Nicaraguan route, the lease of certain islands, and the right to establish a naval base on the Gulf of Fonseca, with the following amendments, to wit:

In Article I, line two, after the words “United States”, insert a comma (,) and the following words: “forever free from all taxation or other public charge,” followed by a comma (,).

At the end of Article III strike out the period (.), and add the following: “or other public purposes for the advancement of the welfare of Nicaragua in a manner to be determined by the two High Contracting Parties, all such disbursements to be made by orders drawn by the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Nicaragua and approved by the Secretary of State of the United States or by such person as he may designate.”

Provided, That, whereas, Costa Rica, Salvador and Honduras have protested against the ratification of said convention in the fear or belief that said convention might in some respect impair existing rights of said States: therefore, it is declared by the Senate that in advising and consenting to the ratification of the said convention as amended such advice and consent are given with the understanding, to be expressed as a part of the instrument of ratification, that nothing in said convention is intended to affect any existing right of any of the said named States.

Article I, as amended by the Senate, will thus read:

The Government of Nicaragua grants in perpetuity to the Government of the United States, forever free from all taxation or other public charge, the exclusive proprietary rights necessary and convenient, etc., etc.

In the hope that the amendments to the Convention as made by the Senate of the United States may prove acceptable to the Government of Nicaragua, I avail myself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of my highest consideration.

Robert Lansing