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instructed to lay the facts before the Mexican foreign office, request the withdrawal of the consular agent's certificate, and the aid of the Mexican government in enabling the consul to obtain possession of the archives and property of the United States at the consular agency.
Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Whitehouse, chargé, Nov. 13, 1889, MS.
Inst. Mexico, XXII. 484.
In July, 1890, the consulate of the United States at San Salvador
was violated by the forces of the provisional governMyers's Case.
ment and the flag torn down. The property and archives of the United States and the personal property of Mr. Myers, the consul, were destroyed and carried away, and Mr. Myers himself subjected to great personal indignities and hardships.
With reference to these things Mr. Blaine, Nov. 20, 1891, declared that the incident was of a very grave and serious character, inconsistent with the friendly relations of the two countries and in direct violation of Art. XXXV. of the treaty of 1870. The government of the United States could not, said Mr. Blaine, with self-respect have accepted less reparation than Mr. Mizner, the American minister, had at the time proposed. This was (1) that the flag should be hoisted in broad daylight by a uniformed commissioned officer of the provisional forces; (2) that, as the flag was hoisted, a military salute should be paid to it; (3) that the consul should be placed in possession of his office, his property, and the archives, and should be allowed fully to resume his rights and prerogatives, including free communication with the United States and their minister; (4) that the ininister of foreign affairs of the provisional government should write to the American minister a letter of regret and apology, and (5) that a satisfactory indemnity should be paid for damage done to the property of the United States and the private property of the consul. The first two conditions were complied with, and also the third so far as the property and archives survived; and it was afterwards reported that the secretary-general of Salvador had agreed to comply with the remaining conditions, but this was not done. The government property destroyed in the consulate was valued at $137.25 and the property of the consul at $2,035.10; total, $2,172.65. This amount the Salvadorean government was expected promptly to reimburse. Mr. Myers estimated his personal injuries and sufferings at $15,000; but whether he was entitled to this amount the United States would, said Mr. Blaine, leave to further mutual consideration,
The Salvadorean government agreed that a satisfactory payment should be made for the damage done to the property of the United States and the private property of the consul, but took the ground that the damages should be sued for before the Salvadorean courts.
Mr. Blaine, in an instruction of April 6, 1892, said that it was unnecessary to discuss what the proper course would be if, during the occurrence in question, the property of an ordinary resident alien had been destroyed. But Mr. Myers was consul of the United States; he had no business and no interests in Salvador separate from his consular business and interests. His property which was destroyed was properly and necessarily in the American consulate, which, by the terms of the treaty, was declared to be inviolable. The incident was never in any of its phases a matter within the jurisdiction of the courts of Salvador, nor could the United States, said Mr. Blaine, consent to submit the agreement which it had made with the government of Salvador to any tribunal other than one of their joint making. It was thought that the determination of the matter ought to be arrived at without difficulty by the Salvadorean minister of foreign affairs and the minister of the United States; and if they should prefer each to appoint a person to examine and report on the question this would be considered a mere matter of detail. As to the question of reparation for the personal injuries to Mr. Myers, although it was not covered by the agreement, it was, upon general principles, regarded, said Mr. Blaine, as one to be determined solely by the agreement of the two governments.
Salvador afterwards settled the claim directly, by paying $2,500 in gold, as “ compensation in full ” for the loss of the property of the United States and of that of the consul, and for the “ personal sufferings" of the consul.
For. Rel. 1892, 21, 24, 30–37, 49–51; For. Rel. 1893, 176, 179, 181, 182, 181.
By Art. 31 of the treaty with Peru, of Aug. 31, 1887, it was provided that “the archives and papers ” of consulates should be “inviolably respected," and that " no person, magistrate, or other public authority” should,“ under any pretext, interfere with or seize them.” On a report that the local authorities at Piura, Peru, had, in executing a judicial process against the furniture of the “ consular agent of the United States there, broken open the desk in his office, scattered the archives about the room, and carried away several parcels of official papers, some of which were afterwards returned by unknown persons, the legation of the United States at Lima was instructed to ask for a disavowal of the acts of the local authorities, for their reprimand, and for a guarantee that such an incident should not recur.
Mr. Sherman, Sec. of State, to Mr. Neill, No. 250, June 26, 1897, MS. Inst.
Peru, XVIII. 37.
On the evening of April 15, 1898—a week before the outbreak of war between the United States and Spain-a mob attacked and demolished the American consulate at Malaga, and removed the United States coat of arms, hanging the Spanish colors in its place. The minister of the United States at Madrid immediately on being advised of the incident asked the Spanish government to protect all United States consulates and consular officers throughout Spain. The civil governor of Malaga, acting under instructions from Madrid, restored the coat of arms and expressed his regrets and those of his government for the attack. The Spanish government, in an official note, expressed its regret for the excesses of the mob, and stated that instructions had been given for the protection of the persons and property of United States consular representatives.
For. Rel. 1898, 1079–1085.
The convention of February 23, 1853, between the United States
and France, relative to consular privileges, besides Tourgée's case.
granting to consular officers the privileges usually accorded to their offices, “ such as personal immunity, except in case of crime," etc., contains the following special provisions:
“ They may place on the outer door of their offices, or of their dwelling houses, the arms of their nation
; and they shall be allowed to hoist the flag of their country thereon." (Art. II.)
The consular offices and dwellings shall be inviolable. The local authorities shall not invade them under any pretext. In no case shall they examine or seize the papers there deposited." (Art. III.)
In the winter of 1898–99, Mr. Tourgée, United States consul at Bordeaux, took a furnished house at Arcachon, 30 miles from Bordeaux, but within his consular district, in order to undergo there a course of medical treatment. The routine work of the consulate continued to be done in the office at Bordeaux, but he conducted his consular correspondence and wrote his despatches in the house at Arcachon, which consequently contained various official papers. In April, 1899, owing to a dispute as to reservations in the lease, Mr. Tourgée withheld the second installment of rent. The landlord then obtained from a civil tribunal a writ authorizing the seizure in the house of any movable goods belonging to the tenant. When the bailiff appeared with the writ, Mr. Tourgée refused to permit it to be executed, raising the American flag and protesting his privilege. The bailiff, however, with the assistance of a commissary of police, entered the house, but, finding the personal effects of the tenant insufficient to pay the rent, did not seize them.
The United States took the view that these proceedings constituted a violation of the treaty, holding that Article III. guaranteed the inviolability of any dwelling in which the consular officer might for the time being have his habitation within his consular district. The United States, it was said, required the consul to keep offices at Bordeaux, but not necessarily his dwelling; and attention was called to the fact that he performed official work in the house at Arcachon.
The French government, on the other hand, held that the treaty accorded inviolability to the consular dwelling only, because it might sometimes be difficult to distinguish the office from the residence; that the designation in the exequatur of the seat of the consulate determined the place of official residence, the mention of the wider area of jurisdiction referring only to the right to perform consular acts; and that, as consuls do not enjoy the exemptions of public ministers, the privilege of the treaty should not be extended beyond the offices and residences of the consuls at their several official posts.
The United States, while maintaining that this vietv was not consistent with the letter or the intent of the treaty, intimated that it would be adopted, should occasion arise, as a reciprocal construction thereof.
For, Rel. 1900, 429-431, 432–435, 450–452, 155, 456.
March 30, 1899, Dr. J. B. Terres, vice-consul-general of the United
States at Port au Prince, Hayti, complained to Mr. Cases at Port au Powell, United States minister, that on the afternoon
of the preceding day, when he arrived at his residence, he found on the premises 15 or 20 Haytian soldiers. They withdrew before he could reach the gate, but one of his domestics told him that they had come with an order to arrest two men who were in his employ. The next morning, in coming from his bath, he found two Haytian generals sitting on the gallery of 'his house. On his inquiring their mission, they stated that they had an order from the minister of the interior to arrest two Spaniards (Cubans) who were in his employ. He answered that he did not admit any right to invade his premises with an armed force under any pretext whatever, and that if any information was desired from him he should be written to officially. On the strength of these incidents, he protested to Mr. Powell against the action of the Haytian government, and requested him to take steps to prevent a like occurrence.
In a note written to Mr. La fontant, minister of foreign relations, March 30, 1899, Mr. Powell declared that an entrance upon “ the premises of accredited officers of the United States, located in this Republic, is a grave infraction of international law, a recurrence of which will be very apt to lead to serious complications," and that “all Cubans resident in this Republic are under the protection of the United States while in the peaceful performance of their work, and are not to be molested.” Mr. Powell requested Mr. Lafontant to inform his colleague, the minister of the interior, that the Haytian government “has no right to enter upon the premises of United States consular officers with either its military or its constabulary force."
Mr. Lafontant, while stating that he had immediately communicated with the department of the interior, assured Mr. Powell that it could not have been the intention of his colleague “to give orders that may be of the nature to cause a violation of international laws and the violation of the dwelling of an accredited agent of the United States;” and that he took note of the fact that Cubans residing in the Republic were under the protection of the United States.
Mr. Lafontant subsequently wrote to Mr. Powell assuring him that the minister of the interior, in ordering, on the request of the diplomatic representative of the Dominican Republic, the arrest of a Dominican who was in the service of Dr. Terres with a view to expelling him, “had in no wise the intention to violate the dwelling of an accredited agent of the United States, nor to commit any infraction of the international laws." Mr. Lafontant called attention to the fact that in consequence of the protest of Dr. Terres the order was not executed, and declared that it would be painful to his government if Mr. Powell “ could believe for a single instant that a minister of the Republic could have given an order of a nature to disturb the good relations that unite the two Republics and to which my government attaches such price.”
In reply Mr. Powell expressed his satisfaction, at the same time stating “ that the two Dominicans referred to are not and have never been in the employ of our vice-consul-general, Dr. J. B. Terres.”
The Department of State, on receiving a report of the case, said: “ It appears
that the parties were merely employed in the tobacco plantation' belonging to Dr. Terres, and that the Haitian military authorities did not enter the legation or consular premises, but merely went to Dr. Terres's residence. Even this is explained to have been the result of a blunder on the part of subordinate officials. In view of these facts, the Department is of opinion that you had no authority whatever in the premises, either to grant or to refuse the surrender of the parties, or to approve their arrest."
Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Mr. Powell, min. to Ilayti, April 25, 1899. For.
Rel. 1899, 377.
October 28, 1899, the Haytian minister of foreign affairs addressed a note to the United States legation at Port au Prince stating that the minister of the interior had just announced that he was about to make domiciliary searches in the square in which resided Mr. Battiste, deputy consul of the United States, and that it was possible that his dwelling might be penetrated. It was further stated
a For. Rel. 1893), 375.
For. Rel. 1899, 376. e For. Rel. 1899, 377.