831.24/647: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Venezuela ( Corrigan )

A–603. Your despatch 4069, February 24 and airgram A–235, May 12.9 Although the second paragraph of Article X of the agreement10 does not provide for any further action after the act of ratification by the Public Powers of Venezuela in order to bring the agreement into full force, and does not provide for any further exchange of instruments of any kind, the Department is willing to have an exchange of notes at Caracas if the Venezuelan authorities are convinced that such action is essential in conformity with Venezuelan constitutional procedures. So far as this Government is concerned a simple notification that the agreement has been ratified by the Public Powers of Venezuela would be regarded as sufficient.

The Department will forward promptly certain changes which it considers necessary in the wording of the note, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has drafted for presentation by the Embassy.

With reference to numbered paragraphs 1 and 2 in note no. 494 of February 18 from Dr. Parra Pérez,11 it is the policy of this Government to maintain the strictly confidential character of this type of agreement. It was, accordingly, understood by the negotiators that this agreement would be treated as strictly confidential. It appears that Article 77 of the Constitution provides that the right to approve or disapprove international agreements rests with the Venezuelan Legislature and that such instruments shall not be published officially before having been ratified and exchanged, but there does not appear to be any express requirement that such instruments shall be published in all cases, irrespective of the confidential character of the agreement. Inquiry may be made whether the eighth paragraph of Article 100 of the Constitution gives the President any discretion in regard to a question concerning publication in such a case. The Department would appreciate being informed as to the possibility of arriving at a satisfactory solution of this matter.

Hull
  1. Neither printed; but see telegram No. 108, January 26, 2 p.m., p. 793.
  2. The Lend-Lease Agreement.
  3. Not printed; it was addressed to Ambassador Corrigan and cited the 77th article of the Venezuelan Constitution requiring the sanction of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate to all treaties and agreements as the reason for an exchange of notes (831.24/497). See Articles 77 and 100 of the Constitución de los Estados Unidos de Venezuela Sancionada por el Congreso Nacional en 1936, (Caracas, 1936).