Senator Couzens to the Secretary of State

Dear Secretary Hughes: Your letter of November seventh has been forwarded to me here by my Washington office and I want to thank you for the very prompt response to my letter of inquiry of October twenty-ninth.

Of course I felt quite confident that the United States’ Government had made no treaty in connection with this Law and that it in no way guaranteed the loan. I am interested however in your history of the transaction and the memorandum which you gave the press October eighteenth, 1923.

I do not feel competent with the limited knowledge I have of International affairs to undertake to criticise you Mr. Secretary in this particular matter, however, I do feel that I should inform myself as to whether or not this is a policy of the United States Government and if so, how long it has been the policy of the Government [Page 827] to assign its Courts and other public officers to arbitrate differences between foreign governments and private citizens of the United States. If the policy has been one of some duration and experience has shown that no difficulties are incurred by it then there probably would be no objection to it. If, however, it is a new policy and there is no precedent for it, or experience had by the Government in connection with it then I think the proper question to raise is, whether or not it is a sound policy. I can conceive of great difficulties between the United States’ Government and foreign countries should our public officers be generally engaged in deciding matters of arbitration between foreign countries and United States’ citizens.

I would have no interest in seeing the notes exchanged between your office and the Government of Salvador, because I have every confidence in the Department’s integrity and good faith, but I do ask if you wouldn’t be kind enough to write me in response to this letter.

With best wishes [etc.]

James Couzens