File No. 713.001/58

Minister Jefferson to the Secretary of State

No. 360

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith for the information of the Department Spanish copy and translation of notes3 exchanged between the Government of Nicaragua and that of El Salvador relative to the withdrawal of Nicaragua from the Central American Court of Justice, and also Spanish copy4 of the opinion of the Judge of Nicaragua, Dr. Daniel Gutiérrez Navas, in the case of El Salvador versus Nicaragua.

I have [etc.]

Benjamin L. Jefferson

The Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Relations to the Salvadorean Minister of Foreign Relations

I have the honor to again address your excellency referring to your courteous telegram of 16th instant, in which after being pleased to acknowledge the receipt of my despatch of 9th instant you express the pain with which the most excellent Government of El Salvador has read the sentiments of my above despatch, which has occasioned the considerations expressed in your excellency’s telegraphic communication which I have noted and which ends with assurances of amity and fraternity for that most excellent Government, which it is my high honor to represent.

It is not my purpose, Mr. Minister, to enter into any controversy on this point, but simply to bring to the attention of that most excellent Government, through the worthy medium of your excellency, the opinion of my Government with respect to the questions raised by your excellency.

Nicaragua considers that the General Treaty of Peace and Amity of 1907 which establishes grounds for the general relations of the Central American countries and stipulates by way of recommendation certain essential points which were the object of special Conventions, constitutes an instrument entirely independent of the other Conventions signed on that same date, which are in their way separate and complete treaties, as each one of them appears in the correct form for that kind of documents, and as each one of them also contains its respective clause of a different period of time for its sole and own caducity, without having other bond or legal dependency than the high and generous spirit which dominated at its celebration.

Confirming by comparison that which precedes, I cite the case of the withdrawal from another of the treaties of the series on future Central American Conventions made by my predecessor, Don Diego M. Chameorro, on December 16, 1913, without there being made at that time observations of any kind regarding the consequences of the withdrawal.

In reality there truly was no necessity in the present case for the formal procedure of the withdrawal, so long as Article 27 of the respective convention conclusively declares, without other provision similar to that of the other treaties of the series, that “it shall always be considered in force for the period of ten [Page 34]years”, the fatal provision to which my Government has submitted for the purpose of its notification of the 9th of this month, as much to comply with a provision of the Convention itself, as to avoid possible objections relative to the period of enforcement of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity. In other words, it is an act which is fulfilled by itself alone, without Nicaragua’s contracting special responsibilities, and which if it leaves unstable the first clause of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity in nothing does it disagree with the entirety of the others, as neither has it been affected by the unstability which existed in fact in Articles IV, V, XII and XIII of the General Treaty itself, except by this circumstance that it forms a separate matter, notwithstanding its importance, in the series of the Conventions of Washington, this country ceases to take part in the international concert created by such conventions signed and observed by Nicaragua, which not only has not been exempt from contributing to the maintenance of the Central American Court of Justice, but also rendering all homage to that High Tribunal it always maintained its representative, and recently sent as its attorney to treat of one phase of the question on account of its high importance no one less than the President of the Judicial Power and of the Supreme Court of Justice of this Republic.

My Government pleased to return in full the friendly and fraternal sentiments of your excellency expressed in your message of reply, sentiments which have always united both Republics from the days of the Independence, as the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of that country, Dr. Manuel Castro R., expressed them in a telegram of reply to this Department of February 6, 1911, hopes that they will continue bound by an indestructible union between our peoples and Governments, and that both nourished and inspired with such sentiments of true Central-Americanism they shall prevail above every other consideration for the maintenance of mutual respect and reciprocal confidence, the base and support of a strong, close and well understood friendship, as that which happily unites our Sister States.

Omitting referring for want of space to the other points, which I consider of secondary character, in your courteous telegraphic communication, I have the honor of renewing to your excellency the assurances of my very high esteem and most distinguished consideration with which I am pleased to sign myself.

J. A. Urtecho
  1. Note of Mar. 16, printed supra.
  2. Not printed.