An interpretative study of the Venezuelan boundary dispute
Lallier, Charline Estelle
Master of Arts
Through a second-hand book catalogue, the Rice Library was able to secure, in the spring of 1932, a small, but unique collection of documents. These were the volumes actually used by Sir Richard Webster (afterwards Lord Alverstone) when he was Attorney-General, in preparing his case for presentation to the Arbitral Tribunal which determined the boundary line between Venezuela and British Guiana. Each book of this collection contains the autograph of Sir Richard and two of them have marginal notes in his handwriting. The Synopsis is particularly well marked with "cites" and "mentions" which show the materials which appeared to Sir Richard to be particularly significant. He has also marked errors and given the references which verify the corrections. In addition, the Rice Library has a full set of the London Times Weekly for the years when the dispute was in its most critical stages. The Times is an exceedingly valuable, indeed an essential, source for any study of the Venezuelan controversy. Besides its obvious value as a source of public opinion, and for its prints of the important documents, its editor, Mr.. Buckner, and its Few York correspondent, Mr. Smalley, played no little part in the settlement of the dispute. With these materials as a starting point and chief source, it has been the purpose of this paper to interpret the Venezuelan Boundary Dispute in certain phases which have, so far, been neglected by historians. In this thesis, the early history of the contested area has been depleted because of Its value In determining the right of the case. The Anglo-Venezuelan correspondence, as well as the Anglo-American and American-Venezuelan, has been used. For the period of the Anglo-American crisis, instead of discussing the documents alone, an attempt has been made to interpret public opinion, both English and American, and its bearing on the controversy. The standard treatments usually become exceedingly sketchy after January of 1896. This paper attempts to remedy this fault somewhat, by continuing the discussion, in fuller detail, through the final award of 1899.