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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 601

File No. 815.77/101. 
least were actually enjoyed under the previous Government of Honduras, was
very precipitate, and arbitrary. For these reasons, you not having conceded
the time necessary to enable me to communicate with my Government, upon my
own responsibility I disembarked the force mentioned in your letter. And
I have the honor to assure you that it will not be possible for me to comply
with your request to retire said forces without first receiving instructions
from my Government. 
I have [etc.] 
Yours [etc.] 
"E. D. Disuuaas." 
 In the foregoing message the Captain of the war-vessel Petrel, Mr. E. D.
Dismukes, personally assumes the responsibility for the act in violation
of our national territory committed at Puerto CortOs; therefore your excellency
will find no difficulty in intervening to terminate the unauthorized acts
of the Captain of the Petrel, giving to my Government the reply which it
awaits fioni your high justification to the notes w-hich I have bad the honor
to address to you. 
With sentiments [etc.] 
No. 56.] *DEPAwri~IENT OF STATE, 
    TVashington, March 6, 1912. 
 Sin: The Department has received your No. 94 of the 8th ultimo, transmitting
a decree of the Honduran Congress and a note of February 7 from the Minister
for Foreign Affairs, in relation to the complaint of W. S. Valentine. 
 You will advise the Minister for Foreign Affairs that this Government will
await with confidence the result of the judicial inventory and liquidation
of accounts which he states have been ordered in connection with the Government's
seizure of the Valentine railway 
properties. - 
 You will also say that the Department does not find it easy to understand
the statement that the Government of Honduras has no knowledge of any claim
on the part of Mr. Valentine connected with the railway. The note of the
Minister for Foreign Affairs acknowledges throughout its discussion that
the Government delivered the railway to Mr. Valentine in 1908, and that from
that time until the present it has permitted him to retain possession of
and operate the same. It seems quite evident that, totally irrespective of
whether or not the formal concession or lease granted to Mr. Valentine was
valid and constitutional, the Honduran Government could not flOW expect successfully
to maintain that by this governn'iental action the Governn'ient had not assumed
such a special relation to Mr. ValentiDe in connection with his possession
and operation of the railroad as would entail reciprocal rights, duties and
obligations, which would have to be adjusted. 
 The Government of the United States must therefore be understood as reserving
the right to make further representations regarding this matter, in the unlooked-for
event that the judicial inquiry instituted by the Honduran authorities should
appear not to accomplish substantial justice. 
 I am [etc.] 
The Acting Secretary of State to the American Minister. 

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