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before which the injured parties could bring their claims for compensation. I have [etc.]
A. C. GEDDES
439.41 St 3/10
The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Geddes)
WASHINGTON, March 18, 1922. EXCELLENCY: In further reply to your note No. 939 of December 21, 1921, in relation to the injuries alleged to have been sustained by two British subjects, Messrs. T. J. Steele and Douglas [Dugal] McPhail, at the hands of Dominican bandits in September 1921, I have the honor to enclose a copy and translation of a note 89 from the Dominican Foreign Office to the American Legation at Santo Domingo, in which the Foreign Office expresses the opinion that these British subjects are without good grounds in preferring a claim against the Dominican Government, and points out that such a claim is cognizable by the courts of the Dominican Republic. Accept [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
ROBERT Woods Bliss
439.41 St 3/12
The British Ambassador (Geddes) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, May 3, 1922. SIR: In the note which you were so good as to address to me on March 18th, in regard to the claim of Mr. Thomas Steel, you enclosed a copy and translation of a note from the Dominican Foreign Office to the American Legation at Santo Domingo. In this note the opinion was expressed that Messrs. Steel and McPhail were without good grounds in preferring a claim against the Dominican Government and it was pointed out that such a claim is cognizable by the Courts of the Dominican Republic.
I did not fail to submit a copy of your note to my Government, who desire me to draw attention to certain of the principles laid down in this note from the Dominican Foreign Office and in particular to the assertion that “it is a principle of international law universally admitted that every person who establishes himself in any foreign country, respects, by that simple act, not only the laws, regulations and practices there existing, but also accepts all of the abnormal conditions to which life in that country may be exposed ”.
Dated Feb. 7, 1922; not printed.
My Government are anxious to learn whether, in forwarding this note to His Majesty's Embassy, the United States Government may be held to approve of and to subscribe to the principles laid down in the Dominican note and to consider that such principles are susceptible of universal application.
I should be grateful if you would be so good as to place me in a position to inform my Government of your view in regard to the point raised above. I have [etc.]
A. C. GEDDES
439.41 St 3/14
The Secretary of State to the British Chargé (Chilton)
WASHINGTON, July 5, 1922. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Ambassador's note No. 467 of June 17, 1922,10 in relation to the injuries alleged to have been sustained by two British subjects, Messrs. Thomas J. Steele and Dougald [Dugal] McPhail, at the hands of Dominican bandits in September 1921, and to inform you that the American Legation at Santo Domingo further reports that the Dominican Foreign Office, in response to the Legation's note requesting it to designate the tribunals of Santo Domingo to which Messrs. Steele and McPhail may find redress, states that they should submit their claims to the Procurador Fiscal of the Judicial District of San Pedro de Macoris.
Replying to the Ambassador's inquiry as to whether in forwarding to the Embassy a copy of a note and translation thereof, dated February 7, 1922, from the Dominican Foreign Office to the American Legation, the United States Government may be held to approve of and to subscribe to the principles laid down in the Dominican note, and to consider that such principles are susceptible of universal application, it would seem pertinent to observe that this Government considers that the claims of Messrs. Steele and McPhail are against the Government of the Dominican Republic, and, as stated, cognizable by the courts of that country, and that the Department acted merely as a medium of transmission and at the express request of the British Embassy in acquainting the Embassy with the views of the Dominican Foreign Office as expressed in its note to the American Legation. Accept [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
** Not printed; it referred to the Ambassador's note of May 3, supra, and requested a reply.
439.41 St 3/16
The British Ambassador (Geddes) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, August 16, 1922. SIR: With reference to the note which you were good enough to address to me on July 5th, with regard to the injuries sustained by two British subjects, Thomas J. Steel and Dougald [Dugal] McPhail, at the hands of Dominican bandits, I have the honour to inform you, on instructions from my Government, that these two gentlemen have been advised to apply to the Procurador Fiscal of the Judicial District of San Pedro de Macoris in accordance with the recommendation contained in your note under reference. His Majesty's Government, however, consider that their claim is one which would fall within the scope of the article on claims which occurs in the draft treaty understood to have been presented to the Mexican Government by the United States Government on May 27, 1921 "1 and quoted in a note addressed by the United States Ambassador in London to the Earl of Balfour on July 12th last.72
His Britannic Majesty's Government desire accordingly to reserve the right to press this claim through the diplomatic channel if there should be a denial of justice in the Dominican Courts. His Britannic Majesty's Government trust moreover, that they can count on the support of the United States Government in prosecuting this claim in view of the fact that the latter are in de facto control of the administration of Santo Domingo. I have [etc.]
(For the Ambassador)
H. G. CHILTON
BOUNDARY DISPUTE WITH HAITI
(See volume I, pages 434 ff.)
* See despatch no. 3929, June 3, 1921, from the American Chargé in Mexico, Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. II, p. 404. For draft of the treaty, see ibid., p. 397.
CONTINUED PROTESTS BY THE UNITED STATES AGAINST THE RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF DECREES FIXING THE RATE OF INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE
422.11Am8/21 : Telegram
The Minister in Ecuador (Hartman) to the Secretary of State
QUITO, January 6, 1922—11 a.m.
[Received January 7–2:35 p.m.] 2. Department's 25, December 24, 4 p.m.” President says that because municipality is an autonomous body he cannot intervene.
Full report on remainder of said telegram my despatch number 772, December 29, 1921.3
422.11Am8/23 : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Ecuador (Hartman)
WASHINGTON, February 7, 1922-1 p.m. 2. Your January 6, 11 A.M., and other correspondence regarding exchange regulations.
1. Department considers President's reply to your memorandum, December 29 ,+ as set forth in above mentioned telegram, evasive and unsatisfactory. The main question is not the relations between municipality and central government but whether the latter intends arbitrarily fixed exchange rates to apply retroactively to contracts antedating the decree. Although the Government of the United States does not in general question the right of Ecuador to regulate exchange transactions, it cannot refrain from vigorous protest when such regulations are applied so as in effect to bring about repudiation of indebtedness due American citizens. The Government of the United States regards the principle involved as of the utmost importance, and this principle, rather than the settlement of any individual claim, is the chief motive of American diplomatic intervention.
For previous correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. I, pp. 871 ff. * Ibid., p. 877. *Ibid., p. 878. *Ibid., p. 880.
99 32604-vol. 11-38-14
2. You are instructed to present to the President an informal written memorandum making the foregoing as clear as possible, and stating that the Government of the United States is very deeply concerned over the matter and trusts that it may be promptly assured that this regulation will not be applied retroactively so far as foreign interests are concerned. You will renew emphatically representations indicated in Department's December 13, 6 P.M.,' and December 24, 4 P.M.,o and point out that the Department is receiving further complaints from American interests. The President should clearly realize the serious injury which continuing this policy will undoubtedly work upon Ecuador's credit and good name.
3. Inform Department of action, if any, taken by your colleagues in this connection. Cable developments.
The Secretary of State to Mr. Van Santvoord Merle-Smith
WASHINGTON, February 10, 1922. SIR: Adverting to this Department's letter to you of January 10, in respect to a cablegram dated January 6, from the American Minister at Quito, Ecuador, regarding the claim of G. Amsinck and Company against the municipality of Guayaquil, and referring also to your call at the Department on January 20, at which time you expressed the desire in behalf of your clients, G. Amsinck and Company, that the Government cable a further protest in the matter, you are advised that written despatches just received from the American Minister contained no more satisfactory information than that reported in his cablegram.
Therefore, on February 7th, the Department again cabled the American Minister at Quito to enter a vigorous protest with respect to the arbitrary exchange rate in Ecuador which if applied retroactively to contracts antedating the decree, would in effect bring about repudiation of indebtedness due American citizens. The American Minister was instructed to incorporate in his written communication representations setting forth that the Government of the United States is deeply concerned over the matter and trusts that it may receive prompt assurances that the regulation will not be applied retroactively so far as American interests are concerned. The Minister was also instructed to renew the representations which he had previously made
Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. I, p. 877.
Ibid., p. 877. 'Not printed.