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

No. 1429

Sir: Supplementing my despatch No. 1424 of August 21, 1933,86 concerning the law recently passed by the Nicaraguan Congress prolonging the life of the Nicaraguan Claims Commission, I have the honor to report that the British Chargé d’Affaires had a conversation with me yesterday in which he expressed the opinion that his Government might raise objections to Article 6 of the law.

The sense of Article 6 appears to be that no claim embraced in the terms of the law may be heard in any other manner than that prescribed in the law nor by any authority other than the Claims Commission. The British Chargé said he thought his Government might object to this article in general and more specifically with respect to claims he has recently presented to this Government growing out of the killing of British subjects on the East Coast of Nicaragua by Nicaraguan outlaws. The British Chargé manifestly desired to learn the attitude of the Government of the United States in this connection but I evaded giving him any indication of the Department’s attitude as set forth in its instruction No. 618 of July 29. The British Chargé said he probably would present the point informally to this Government pending the receipt of instructions from London.

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I have read the Department’s instruction No. 618 to Judge Stanley, who returned to Managua, yesterday, and he has recalled that the original law creating the Claims Commission contained a provision to the effect that the decisions of the Commission shall be final and without recourse. Judge Stanley appeared to be of the opinion that the original law continues in full force and effect with respect to the new lot of claims covered by the new law, excepting insofar as the new law may modify the previous law.

I asked Judge Stanley for his opinion concerning the adequacy of the time limit of four months fixed in Article 2 of the law. He said he thought it improbable that an extension of this time limit would be necessary, but that it is his intention to ask for such extension if and when it should appear necessary. It is probable that the Nicaraguan Congress will be convened in extra session in the near future and Judge Stanley thinks this point will be cleared up by that time. The extension would have to be made by the Congress.

Judge Stanley told me that it is his intention to urge the enactment of the project for an issue of bonds with which to pay adjudicated claims, which was submitted to the Nicaraguan Congress at its last session, in case the Congress should be called together in extra session.

Respectfully yours,

Matthew E. Hanna
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