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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States with the address of the president to Congress December 2, 1913

Honduras,   pp. 590-607 PDF (6.2 MB)

Page 603

as it held the collection illegal since the contract expired March 12, 1908.
It is claimed that this is practical seizure of the property. 
 Take this matter up informally with the Foreign Office and call attention
to the decree of August 20, 1907, extending the wharf concession for twelve
years in accordance with the provisions of article 9 of the contract of March
2, 1896. The Department is convinced hi ~Tiew of the 1907 deëree and
the operation thereunder for nearly five years, that the collector of customs
must have misunderstood the orders from his Government, as the threatened
action seems to be arbitrary and without any legal formalities and safeguards
with which govermnents are accustomed to surround the exercise of the high
sovereign powers involved. Urge the Government of Honduras to instruct the
collector of customs not to interfere with the wharf concessiothtires. 
File No. 815.77/132. 
The American C1iarg~ d'Affaires to tke Secretary of State. 
[Extract. 1 
No. 139.] A~rERIcAN LEGATION, 
   Tegucigalpa, June 3, 1912. 
 Sin: With reference to your cablegram of May 25th, I have the honor to inform
you that I immediately presented the matter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
leaving with him at his request a memorandum on the subject; and that I received,
on the 31st ultimo, in. reply, a long memorandum from the Minister for Foreign
Affairs; copies of which accompany this despatch. * * * 
I have [etc.] 
[Inclosure 1.J 
The American Chaigé a'AfJa~res to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
 On March 2, 1896, the Government of Honduras granted to Mr. W. S. Valentine
a concession, which was subsequently ratified by the NatIonal Congress, to
build and to operate for a period of twelve years a wharf at Puerto Cortds,
Department of Cortds. In the contract governing this concession provisions
were made (article 9) for further extension of the concession by the Government
of Honduras. 
 By a decree dated August 20, 1907, the Government of Honduras extended,
under the provisions above referred to of article 9 of the original contract,
Mr. Valentine's concession for a further period of twelve years, that is,
until March 2, 1920. 
 Mr. Valentine now makes a formal complaint to the Government of the United
States of America that he is in receipt of a notification dated March 12th
last from the Collector of- Customs at Puerto Cortds in which the concessionary
is given twenty days, which cannot be extended, in which he may state whether
he is prepared to come to an agreement regarding the sale of tIme wharf and
that at the expiration of that period the Government of lioncluras will not
permit him to collect wharfage 011 tile ground that such collection is illegal,
as the contract of 1896 expired on March 12, 1908. 
 In view~ of the -decree of August -20, 1907; extending Mr. Valentine's right
to this concession and the operation of time concession thereunder for nearly

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