The Minister in Panama (Price) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 2302

Sir: I have the honor to report compliance with the Department’s cable instruction of March 24th, 2 p.m. to lend good offices to secure an extension of a year in which the Sinclair Panama Oil Corporation might make selection of areas in this Republic which they would not care to exploit.

[Page 695]

After taking the matter up informally with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs I addressed him an informal note, a copy of which I enclose (enclosure No. 1).22 He did not express himself upon the matter but agreed to consider it.

The Secretary of Finance and Treasury has cabled the corporation in response to their direct request of the Panaman Government in the matter, that he considers that their request should be made in a formal manner by a legal representative, and that time would be given until the 15th of May for that purpose. The Secretary also stated to them that he felt that they should comply with Article 3 of the Contract, which is an enclosure with my despatch No. 1348 of April 21, 1917,22 and which article provides that at the option of the Panaman Government the contractor or concessionaire should deliver to the public Treasury either five hundred thousand dollars in shares of stock of the corporation exercising rights of exploration and exploitation of oil fields under the Contract for the purpose of guaranteeing the obligations of the Contract, or should deliver a guaranty bond of one hundred thousand dollars.

I have [etc.]

Wm. Jennings Price
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  2. Not printed.