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Mr. Hay to Mr. Meyer.
[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 31, 1902. (Mr. Meyer is instructed to communicate to the Italian Government the following telegram which Mr. Hay has just received from the United States minister to Venezuela:

I have received the following answer from the President of Venezuela: “I recognize in principle the claims which the allied powers have presented to Venezuela. They would already have been settled if it had not been that the civil war required all the attention and resources of the Government. To-day the Gov. ernment bows to superior force and desires to send Mr. Bowen to Washington at once to confer there with the representatives of the powers that have claims against Venezuela in order to arrange either an immediate settlement of all the claims or the preliminaries for reference to the tribunal of The Hague, or to an American republic to be selected by the allied powers and by the Government of Venezuela. Mr. Bowen would be duly authorized to settle the whole question as the representative of Venezuela.

“CIPRIANO CASTRO." Mr. Meyer is authorized to say to the Italian Government that the suggestion of the President of Venezuela that an American power be chosen to arbitrate is not supported by the Government of the United States.)

Mr. Meyer to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.—Paraphrase.]

EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES,

Rome, January , 1903. (Mr. Meyer reports that the Italian Government desire him to con vey their sentiments of gratitude to the President for his good offices, and to say that Italy has no objection, as heretofore stated, to refer her claims to arbitration at The Hague. The Italian Government are communicating with the cabinets at London and Berlin concerning the other points at issue.)

Mr. Meyer to Mr. Hay. No. 221.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

Rome, January 2, 1903. Sir: I have the honor to confirm herein your cable of date December 31, 1902.

Immediately upon receipt I communicated the contents of this cable to the minister for foreign affairs in a note dated January 1, and I have to-day received a reply thereto, copy of which I inclose with translation, dated also January 1, and in which the minister for foreign affairs, Signor Prinetti, requests me to transmit to the President the thanks of the Government of Italy for his good offices, and declares that in principle the Government of the King has no objection, as heretofore stated, to referring their claims to the arbitration of The Hague. The minister says further that on other points the Italian Government is communicating with the cabinets of Berlin and London.

The contents of this note were duly transmitted to you in my telegram of this morning.

A matter which may be of interest to the Department, bearing on this subject, is the attitude taken by Italian socialists in reference to the Venezuela affair. It is rumored here that they are exchanging views with the socialists of other countries in order to reach a common understanding as regards the attitude to be taken by them in connection with the Venezuela affair. For this reason, it is said, Signor Bissolati, a member of Parliament and editor of the socialist paper Avanti, has not yet arranged the text of his announced interrogation in the Chamber of Deputies, wishing first to communicate with his colleagues abroad. The socialist programme seems to be to draw the attention of the governments to the fact that although the European powers adhered to and approved The Hague conference and pledged themselves by article 27 to have recourse to that arbitration tribunal, in the Venezuela affair three of them resorted to force and only consented to arbitration after the United States interfered. I am, etc.,

G. V. L. MEYER.

[Inclosure.- Translation.] Mr. Prinetti to Mr. Meyer.

Rome, January 1, 1903. MR. AMBASSADOR: I hasten to thank your excellency for the notes of December 29 and lst instant, and I beg you to convey to his excellency, the President of the United States, the sentiments of gratitude of the Government of the King, for his good offices which were inspired by extreme courtesy.

As I already had the honor of communicating to your excellency, the Government of the King has no difficulty, in principle, to refer its claims to the arbitration of The Hague.

To reply to the other points indicated in the notes above mentioned, the Government of the King has already hastened to place itself in communication with the cabinets of London and Berlin. Pray accept, etc.,

PRINETTI.

Mr. Meyer to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.)
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES,

Rome, January 7, 1903. (Mr. Meyer reports that he has been notified by the minister for foreign affairs that the Italian Government is gratified that Venezuela should have recognized the justness of the claims presented by the three powers, and has no objection to the controversy being made the object of direct negotiations at Washington between the three ambassadors and Mr. Bowen, the latter to be given sufficient power to that end by the Government of Venezuela, and in case a prompt understanding can not be reached to limit the work of the meeting to a settlement of the preliminaries for referring the controversy to the permanent court of The Hague.

Referring to their previous declarations, the Government of Italy submit their consent on the condition that the claims of Italian subjects receive the same treatment as analogous claims of the other powers in interest.)

Mr. llay to Mr. Meyer.
[Telegram.--Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 8, 1903. (Mr. Hay states that the following telegram has just been received from Minister Bowen:

I have just received the following from President Castro:

“Mr. MINISTER: The Venezuelan Government accepts the conditions of Great Britain and Germany; requests you to go immediately to Washington for the purpose of conferring there with the diplomatic representatives of Great Britain and Germany and with the diplomatic representatives of the other nations that have claims against Venezuela, and to arrange either an immediate settlement of said claims or the preliminaries for submitting them to arbitration.

“CIPRIANO CASTRO,

Constitutional President." If, as I understand, Great Britain and Germany want to know what guarantee they will have, please inform them it will be the custom-houses. Consequently, I beg that the blockade be raised at once.

Mr. Meyer is directed to at once communicate the above to the Italian foreign office, saying that Mr. Bowen will come to Washington immediately.)

Mr. Hay to Mr. Mejer.
[Telegram.—Paraphrase.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 10, 1903. (Mr. Hay states that Mr. Bowen will leave Caracas for Washington on January 11; that he is anxious for the raising of the blockade at the earliest moment possible, on account of the fact that the scarcity of provisions in Venezuela threatens general distress. Mr. Hav has answered Mr. Bowen that no preliminaries can be adjusted before his arrival, and that the raising of the blockade may depend upon the sufficiency of Venezuela's guarantee. Mr. Meyer is directed to suggest to the Italian minister for foreign affairs that the matter might be taken into consideration with a view to early determination.)

Mr. Meyer to Mr. Hay. No. 223.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

Rome, January 10, 1903. Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 221, of January 2, 1903, I beg to confirm my cable dispatch sent to you on January 7, also to inclose a copy, with translation, of the note from the minister for foreign affairs, dated January 6, the substance of which was given in the cable above referred to. I have, etc.,

G. V. L. MEYER.

[Inclosure.—Translation.]

Mr. l'rinetti to Mr. Meyer.

ROME, January 6, 1903. MR. AMBASSADOR: In pursuance of the note which I had the honor of addressing to your excellency on the 1st of this month concerning affairs in Venezuela:

As appears from the telegram of the Secretary of State, which your excellency communicated in your note of the 1st instant, the President of Venezuela, General Castro, replying to the recent communication addressed by the Government of the United States to the four contending governments, suggested that Mr. Bowen, minister of the United States at Caracas, be authorized to assume the representation of Venezuela, and in such capacity should treat with the ambassadors of Italy, Germany, and England at Washington for a direct settlement of the controversy, or to regulate the reference of the same to the arbitration of the permanent tribunal at The Hague, or of an American republic to be chosen by common agreement.

Of the latter point, viz, of the possible arbitration by an American republic, it is of no use to busy ourselves now, since the Government of the United States in transmitting the news warned us also that it did not support this point. As regards the other points, the Government of the King is gratified that Venezuela should have recognized the justness of the claims presented by the three powers, and has no objection, as far as it is concerned, that the controversy be the object of direct negotiations at Washington between the three ambassadors and Mr. Bowen; the latter to be given sufficient power to this end by the Government of Venezuela; and in case a prompt understanding can not be reached, to limit the work of the meeting to a settlement of preliminaries for referring the controversy to the permanent court of The Hague.

Referring to its preceding declarations, the Government of the King must, both in view of the direct negotiations as well as in view of an arbitral procedure, expressly subordinate its consent to the fact that the claims of our fellow citizens be granted the same proceeding and the same treatment as the analogous claims of any other power.

I shall be grateful to your excellency if you will convey the above to the k'nowledge of your Government, and meanwhile I avail, etc.,

PRINETTI.

Mr. Meyer to Mr. Ilay.

No. 225.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

Rome, January 14, 1903. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, on January 11, of your cable dispatch dated January 10.

I immediately communicated the contents of this cablegram to the minister for foreign affairs and on the same day was informed by him that he was consulting the Governments of Germany and Great Britain before replying. A copy of the minister's note with translation is inclosed herein. I am, etc.,

G. V. L. MEYER.

[Inclosure.- Translation.]

Mr. Prinetti to Mr. Meyer.

ROME, January 11, 1903. MR. AMBASSADOR: In the letter which your excellency addressed to me to-day you did me the honor of informing me, as per telegram from your Government, dated vesterday, that Mr. Bowen will leave Cape St. Lucas to-morrow for Washington and that Mr. Bowen has intimated that the blockade is causing great scarcity of provisions and threatening general distress. Your excellency mentions this to me with the hope that the propriety of raising the blockade at the earliest possible moment may be considered.

F R 1903— 39

In reply to this communication I hasten to inform you, Mr. Ambassador, that concerning the matter to which it refers I immediately placed myself in communication with the Governments of Germany and England with the object of coordinating my reply with that which those Governments are about to make to the analogous communication which doubtless they too have received. Pray accept, etc.,

PRINETTI.

Mr. Meyer to Mr. Hay.
[Telegram.—Paraphrase.]
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES,

Rome, January 19, 1903. (Mr. Meyer reports that the minister for foreign affairs has informed him, in a note dated January 17, that the Italian ambassador at Washington has been instructed to place himself in communication with Mr. Bowen as soon as the latter arrives, in order to settle the Venezuelan claims directly or to arrange preliminaries for reference to the court at The Hague, having previously consulted with the British and German ambassadors and the Secretary of State.

The Italian minister for foreign affairs adds that these instructions assume that President Castro has accepted the conditions transmitted in Mr. Meyer's telegram of January 7.)

Mr. Meyer to Mr. Hay.

No. 227.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

Rome, January 20, 1903. Sir: I have the honor to confirm my cablegram sent to you yesterday, January 19.

Înclosed also please find copy with translation of the note from the minister for foreign affairs upon which the telegram was based. I am, etc.,

G. V. L. MEYER.

[Inclosure.-Translation.]

Mr. Prinetti to Mr. Meyer.

Rome, January 17, 1903. Mr. AMBASSADOR: Referring to the note, which I had the honor to send to your excellency on the 11th instant, about Venezuelan matters, I beg leave to say that, in pursuance of an exchange of ideas with the cabinets of Berlin and London, I have wired to the ambassador of His Majesty the King in Washington, giving him the necessary instructions in order that, as soon as Mr. Bowen arrives there as plenipotentiary of the Government of Venezuela, he might, having previously made the necessary agreements with his colleagues of Germany and England and with the Secretary of State, put himself in communication with Mr. Bowen, with the view either of settling the difficulties directly, or of arranging to refer the same eventually to the permanent court at The Hague.

These instructions rest naturally on the assumption which we do not for a moment doubt, after the explanations furnished to us by Mr. Hay through our ambassador in Washington, that President Castro has fully accepted the conditions of the note which I had the honor to address to your excellency on the 6th instant. Accept, etc.

PRINETTI.

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