The Minister in Nicaragua (Hanna) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 1346

Sir: Referring to the Department’s instruction No. 579 of June 9, 1933, File No. 417.00/468 [469], concerning the possible prolongation of the life of the Nicaraguan Claims Commission until all claims against the Nicaraguan Government have been settled, I have the honor to enclose a copy and translation of a bill presented to the Congress by the Minister of Finance, together with a copy and translation81 of his transmitting letters, providing for the continuation of the Claims Commission until not later than June 30, 1934, and extending its jurisdiction to include claims against the Nicaraguan Government over which the Commission has no jurisdiction at the present time. This bill was published in La Gaceta of June 27, 1933, and came to the attention of the Legation on the same day that the Department’s instruction was received.

It will be observed that according to Article 1 of the enclosed bill, the Claims Commission will have jurisdiction over every claim against the Government with the exception of salary claims and budgetary services which have arisen since the creation of the Claims Commission, and excepting also claims for indemnification for exactions, requisitions and war damages suffered prior to June 30, 1927. A time limit of four months from the publication of the law is fixed within which claims must be presented.

Article 3 of the bill apparently provides that the representative of the Government may propose to the Commission that it render a decision on any such claim whatsoever, whether or not the interested person presents a petition. I have had as yet no opportunity to discuss this clause with any member of the Claims Commission or the Government, but at first glance both the wording and the purpose of this article seem somewhat obscure.

As the Department is aware, Judge Stanley, President of the Claims Commission is now in the United States, and Dr, Guerrero Montalván, the Minister of Finance, is expected to arrive there about July 2 on a [Page 567] financial mission for the Nicaraguan Government.82 It is believed that both these gentlemen will call at the Department, and an opportunity may be presented to discuss the subject with them. In the meantime I shall take up the matter with President Sacasa on the first suitable occasion, informing him of the Department’s views in the premises.

Present indications are that the Nicaraguan Congress will adjourn in the near future without having acted on this bill. In that event the commission might be given provisional and temporary authority by Executive decree as suggested in my despatch No. 1253 of April 29, 1933.83

Respectfully yours,

Matthew E. Hanna
  1. Not printed.
  2. See pp. 575 ff.
  3. Not printed.