The British Chargé ( Lindsay ) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 461

Sir: I have the honor to refer to previous correspondence with the State Department, ending with Mr. Adee’s memorandum of April 26th on the subject of certain British claims against the Government of Nicaragua, notably the so-called “Legation Claim”. In this note it is stated that the Public Credit Commission is willing to award £9000 cash and £4000 bonds in settlement of this claim. It is also known that acceptance of this award must be notified by June 30th in order to ensure its payment.

A reference to previous correspondence especially to the notes from this Embassy of October 28th 1915,13 and June 29th, 1916,14 will remind you that the amount of these claims was settled between the Nicaraguan Government and His Majesty’s Representative to that country by a formal agreement in 1912 at the sum of £19,800 to be paid in cash, with accrued interest from that time. The claims were subjected to a serious scrutiny by His Majesty’s Legation and heavily reduced to make them equitable. They have since then passed before the Public Credit Commission and it is now proposed to satisfy claims amounting with accrued interest to over £26,000 by a payment which, taking the value of the bonds into consideration, is, I understand, equivalent to about £10,500.

Such a proposal cannot appear equitable to His Majesty’s Government and I am now instructed by Earl Curzon of Kedleston to inform you that it is not acceptable. Desirous, however, of effecting a settlement of a question which has been pending for so many [Page 669] years, His Majesty’s Government would be prepared to accept in full satisfaction of the claims a payment of £9000 in cash and £9000 in bonds.

In putting forward this proposal, which represents a settlement of far less value than that which the claimants could legitimately expect, I respectfully beg you to be so good as to press its acceptance on the Nicaraguan Government and the Public Credit Commission in order that the whole matter may be satisfactorily terminated by the 30th instant.

I have [etc.]

R. C. Lindsay