Canadian Treaty Series
E103213 - CTS 1928 No. 1
CONVENTION BETWEEN HIS MAJESTY AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF BRITISH PECUNIARY CLAIMS IN MEXICO ARISING FROM LOSS OR DAMAGE FROM REVOLUTIONARY ACTS BETWEEN NOVEMBER 20, 1910, AND MAY 31, 1920
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India: Esmond Ovey, Esq., Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, Member of the Royal Victorian Order, His Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Mexico.
The President of the United Mexican States: Señor Licenciado Don Aarón Sáenz, Secretary of State for Foreign Relations.
Who, having communicated to each other their respective Full Powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:
All the claims specified in Article 3 of this Convention shall be submitted to a Commission composed of three members; one member shall be appointed by His Britannic Majesty; another by the President of the United Mexican States; and the third, who shall preside over the Commission, shall be designated by mutual agreement between the two Governments. If the Governments should not reach the aforesaid agreement within a period of four months counting from the date upon which the exchange of ratifications is effected, the President of the Permanent Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague shall designate the President of the Commission. The request for this appointment shall be addressed by both Governments to the President of the aforesaid Council, within a further period of one month, or after the lapse of that period, by the Government which may first take action in the matter. In any case the third arbitrator shall be neither British nor Mexican, nor a national of a country which may have claims against Mexico similar to those which form the subject of this Convention.
In the case of the death of any member of the Commission, or in case a member should be prevented from performing his duties, or for any reason should abstain from performing them, he shall be immediately replaced according to the procedure set forth above.
The Commissioners thus designated shall meet in the City of Mexico within six months counting from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this Convention. Each member of the Commission, before entering upon his duties, shall make and subscribe a solemn declaration in which he shall undertake to examine with care, and to judge with impartiality, in accordance with the principles of justice and equity, all claims presented, since it is the desire of Mexico ex gratia fully to compensate the injured parties, and not that her responsibility should be established in conformity with the general principles of International Law; and it is sufficient therefore that it be established that the alleged damage actually took place, and was due to any of the causes enumerated in Article 3 of this Convention, for Mexico to feel moved ex gratia to afford such compensation.
The aforesaid declaration shall be entered upon the record of the proceedings of the Commission.
The Commission shall fix the date and place of their sessions.
The Commission shall deal with all claims against Mexico for losses or damages suffered by British subjects or persons under British protection, British partnerships, companies, associations or British juridical persons or those under British protection; or for losses or damages suffered by British subjects or persons under British protection, by reason of losses or damages suffered by any partnership, company or association in which British subjects or persons under British protection have or have had an interest exceeding fifty per cent of the total capital of such partnership, company or association, and acquired prior to the time when the damages or losses were sustained. But in view of certain special conditions in which some British concerns are placed in such societies which do not possess that nationality it is agreed that it will not be necessary that the interest above mentioned shall pertain to one single individual, but it will suffice that it pertains jointly to various British subjects, provided that the British claimant or claimants shall present to the Commission an allotment to the said claimant or claimants of the proportional part of such losses or damages pertaining to the claimant or claimants in such partnership, company or association. The losses or damages mentioned in this article must have been caused during the period included between the 20th of November, 1910, and the 31st of May, 1920, inclusive, by one or any of the following forces:
1. By the forces of a Government de jure or de facto;
2. By revolutionary forces, which, after the triumph of their cause, have established Governments de jure or de facto, or by revolutionary forces opposed to them;
3. By forces arising from the disjunction of those mentioned in the next preceding paragraph, up to the time when a de jure Government had been established, after a particular revolution;
4. By forces arising from the disbandment of the Federal Army;
5. By mutinies or risings or by insurrectionary forces other than those referred to under subdivisions 2, 3 and 4 of this Article, or by brigands, provided that in each case it be established that the competent authorities omitted to take reasonable measures to suppress the insurrections, risings, riots or acts of brigandage in question, or to punish those responsible for the same; or that it be established in like manner that the authorities were blamable in any other way.
The Commission shall also deal with claims for losses or damages caused by acts of civil authorities, provided such acts were due to revolutionary events and disturbed conditions within the period referred to in this Article, and that the said acts were committed by any of the forces specified in subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of this Article.
The Commission shall determine their own methods of procedure, but shall not depart from the provisions of this present Convention.
Each Government may appoint an Agent and Counsel to present to the Commission either orally or in writing the evidence and arguments they may deem it desirable to adduce either in support of the claims or against them.
The Agent or Counsel of either Government may offer to the Commission any documents, interrogatories or other evidence desired in favour of or against any claim and shall have the right to examine witnesses under affirmation before the Commission, in accordance with Mexican Law and such rules of procedure as the Commission shall adopt.
The decision of the majority of the members of the Commission shall be the decision of the Commission. If there should be no majority the decision of the President shall be final.
Either the English or Spanish languages shall be employed, both in the proceedings and in the judgments.
The Commission shall keep an accurate and up-to-date record of all the claims and the various cases which shall be submitted to them, as also the minutes of the debates, with the dates thereof.
For such purpose each Government may appoint a Secretary. These Secretaries shall be attached to the Commission and shall act as joint Secretaries and shall be subject to the Commission’s instructions.
Each Government may likewise appoint and employ such assistant Secretaries as they may deem advisable. The Commission may also appoint and employ the assistants they may consider necessary for carrying on their work.
The Government of Mexico being desirous of reaching an equitable agreement in regard to the claims specified in article 3 and of granting to the claimants just compensation for the losses or damages they may have sustained, it is agreed that the Commission shall not set aside or reject any claim on the grounds that all legal remedies have not been exhausted prior to the presentation of such claim.
In order to determine the amount of compensation to be granted for damage to property, account shall be taken of the value declared by the interested parties for fiscal purposes, except in cases which in the opinion at the Commission are really exceptional.
The amount of the compensation for personal injuries shall not exceed that of the most ample compensation granted by Great Britain in similar cases.
All claims must be formally filed with the Commission within a period of nine months counting from the date of the first meeting of the Commission; but this period may be prolonged for a further six months in special and exceptional cases, and provided that it be proved to the satisfaction of the majority of the Commission that justifiable causes existed for the delay.
The Commission shall hear, examine and decide within a period of two years counting from the date of their first session, all claims which may be presented to them.
Four months after the date of the first meeting of the members of the Commission and every four months thereafter, the Commission shall submit to each of the interested Governments a report setting forth in detail the work which has been accomplished, and comprising a statement of the claims filed, claims heard and claims decided.
The Commission shall deliver judgment on every claim presented to them within a period of six months from the termination of the hearing of such claim.
The High Contracting Parties agree to consider the decision of the Commission as final in respect of each matter on which they may deliver judgment, and to give full effect to such decisions. They likewise agree to consider the result of the labours of the Commission as a full, perfect and final settlement of all claims against the Mexican Government arising from any of the causes set forth in Article 3 of this present Convention. They further agree that from the moment at which the labours of the Commission are concluded, all claims of that nature, whether they have been presented to the Commission or not, are to be considered as having been absolutely and irrevocably settled for the future; provided that those which have been presented to the Commission have been examined and decided by them.
The form in which the Mexican Government shall pay the indemnities shall be determined by both Governments after the work of the Commission has been brought to a close. The payments shall be made in gold or in money of equivalent value and shall be made to the British Government by the Mexican Government.
Each Government shall pay the emoluments of their Commissioner and those of his staff.
Each Government shall pay half of the expenses of the Commission, and of the emoluments of the third Commissioner.
This Convention is drawn up in English and in Spanish.
The High Contracting Parties shall ratify this present Convention in conformity with their Respective Constitutions. The exchange of ratifications shall take place in the City of Mexico as soon as possible and the Convention shall come into force from the date of the exchange of ratifications.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention, and have affixed thereto their Seals.
DONE in duplicate, in the City of Mexico, on the nineteenth day of November, 1926.