711.1828/a

The Secretary of State to President Harding

My Dear Mr. President: I have the honor to transmit herewith the English draft of the proposed protocol between the United States and Costa Rica, by which the two Governments engage to enter into negotiations concerning the construction of an interoceanic canal when the President of the United States is authorized by law to acquire control of the rights which Costa Rica possesses in the San Juan River or in Salinas Bay and such portion of the territory of Costa Rica as may be desirable and necessary on which to construct and protect the canal. I am transmitting, likewise, the full power for your signature.1

While the protocol, by reason of its nature, does not, in my judgment, require the consent of the Senate to its ratification, you will note that the provisions of the protocol stipulate that it is to be ratified with the advice and consent of the Senate and of the Costa Rican Congress. I have consented to the inclusion of this provision because of the belief of the Government of Costa Rica, expressed to me by the Costa Rican Minister, that the protocol requires the consent of the Costa Rican Congress to its ratification, and also because of the statement made by that Government that the negotiation of this protocol would cause far greater satisfaction in Costa Rica should the consent of the United States Senate be obtained to its ratification.

Faithfully yours,

Charles E. Hughes
[Enclosure]

Draft Protocol of an Agreement between the United States and Costa Rica in regard to Future Negotiations for the Construction of an Interoceanic Canal by Way of Lake Nicaragua2

It is agreed between the two Governments that when the President of the United States is authorized by law to acquire control of the [Page 835]rights which Costa Rica possesses in the San Juan River, or in Salinas Bay, and such portion of the territory now belonging to Costa Rica as may be desirable and necessary on which to construct and protect a canal of depth and capacity sufficient for the passage of vessels of the greatest tonnage and draft now in use, from a point near San Juan del Norte on the Caribbean Sea via Lake Nicaragua to Brito on the Pacific Ocean, they mutually engage to enter into negotiations with each other to settle the plan and the agreements, in detail, found necessary to accomplish the construction and to provide for the ownership and control of the proposed canal.

This Agreement shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by the President of Costa Rica, in accordance with the Constitution and laws of that Republic, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.

In witness whereof, the undersigned have signed this protocol and have hereunto affixed their seals.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The protocol was signed by Charles E. Hughes, for the United States, and J. Rafael Oreamuno, for Costa Rica, on Feb. 1, 1923; and was transmitted to the Senate on Feb. 3, 1923.