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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 606

606 FOREIGN -RELATIONS. 1 Not printed. 
stroying it or taking away the material, but to cease chargieg the wharfage
to w luch the expired contract once entitled them but to which they no longei
have any right since the said date of March 24, 1908. 
Tegucigalpa, May 31, 1912. 
File No. 815.77/132a. 
The Acting Secretary of State to Messrs. Stetson, Jennings and Russell, attorneys
for Mr. T7alentine. 
Washington, June 25, 1912. 
 GENTLEMEN: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your Communication
of the 15th instant '  in which you briefly review the* developments in the
matter of the claims of Mr. Washington S. Valentine against the. Government
of Honduras and state that Mr. Valentine is willing to make concessions to
that Government upon condition that the whole matter in dispute shall now
be settled by a board of arbitration. You suggest, on behalf of Mr. Valentine,
that th.e Government of Honduras be advised, through diplomatic channels,
of Mr. Vajentine's proposal and that it be suggested to that Government that
it appoint an arbitrator with full authority to pass upon all the questions
now in dispute between Mr. Valentine and Honduras; that Mr. Valentine shall
appoint an arbitrator to represent him, the third to be named by the first
two or, in the event of their failure to agree thereon, to be appointed by
the Department of State. 
 As this proposal evidently contemplates a private arbitration of this matter,
the propriety and desirability of which are to be determined entirely by
Mr. Valentine and the Government of Honduras, the question would appear to
be one in which the Department- has no official concern other than attaches
by reason of its general duty to do all it properly may to facilitate the
adjustment of difficulties and disputes between American citizens and foreign
governments. Pursuant to this duty, however, it will be glad, in the event
such a method of settlement is proposed to the Government of Honduras and
that Government manifests an unwillingness to accept the proposal, to instruct
the Legation at Tegucigalpa to exercise such informal and unofficial good
offices as it properly may, with a view to securing acceptance of such a
 You will, of course, understand that in view of the fact that these claims
of Mr. Valentine against the Government of Honduras seemingly have their
origin in violations of contract, it is not improbable that as an official
question between this Government and the Government of Honduras, the rules
governing the presentation of coi'tract claims will be applicable and that
before any affirmative official action could be taken by this Government,
it would be necessary to examine the question of exhaustion of local remedies
by Mr. Valentine and the suffering of a denial of justice as a result of
his resort to the courts. 
I am [etc.] 

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