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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902
(1902)

Mexico,   pp. 738-833 PDF (7.5 MB)


Page 738

a For arbitration of this claim see Appendix II to this volume. 
bNot printed. 
738MEXICO. 
CLAIM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF CALIFORNIA (PIOUS FUND) 
v. MEXICO. a 
kir. TV7tarton to JIfr. Ryan. 
 No. 563.] DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 
   Washington, August 3, 1891. 
 SIR: Among the claims presented against the Government of Mexico before
the American and Mexican ~Joint Commission under the convention of July 4,
1868, was one by the archbishop and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church
of California, entitled "The case of Joseph S. Alernany, archbishop, etc.,
and Thaddeus Amat, bishop, etc., v. The Republic of Mexico, No. 493." The
claim was for a share of the ncome of the so-called "Pious Fund of the Californias,"
which it was alleged that the Government of Mexico simply possessed in trust
for the benefit of its intended beneficiaries, of whom the Catholic Church
of California represented a part. 
 Upon a difference of opinion between the American and Mexican commissioners
the case was referred to Sir Edward Thornton, as umpire, who decided that
one-half of the annual income of said fund, or ~43,080.99, should be paid
by the Government of Mexico to the Roman Catholic Church of California for
the period of twenty-one years from the 30th of May, 1848, making a total
award of ~904,700.79. This sum was duly accounted for in the settlement between
the two Governments and has been paid to the claimants. The authority of
the commission to make a specific award of damages did not extend beyond
such claim as was perfected at the time of the exchange of ratifications
of the foregoing convention. The decision authoritatively established, however,
the responsibility of the Government of Mexico to the Roman Catholic Church
of California for its share of the annual income of said fund as above; also
that its bishops and archbishop are the proper parties to demand and receive
it; that the claimant is a corporation of American citizens, and that the
case is a proper one for the diplomatic intervention of this Government.
 A copy of the decision of the umpire is herewith inclosed! 
 The archbishop of San Francisco and the bishop of Monterey, representing
and acting for said church, now represent to the Department that they have
not received any further payments on account of the income of said fund which
has accrued subsequent to the 30th of May, 1869, and they ask the intervention
of this Government to obtain ' from the Gove├žnment of Mexico the payment
thereof, as well as of future installmehts regularly as they shall become
due. The amount so due at this time is ~904,7OO.79 and interest. 


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