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deplorable, does not create liability on the part of the titular government in the cricumstances existing in connection with said claims.
These claims appear to the Department to be quite different in legal character from those which arose in behalf of American citizens expelled by the British authorities from South Africa and for which His Majesty's Government graciously made compensation. However much I might be personally disposed to recommend a compensation in these cases as a matter of grace and favor, as is suggested in your note, I am persuaded that such recommendation to Congress would be fruitless, in view of the adverse report" of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the mentioned claim of William Hardman, and in view of the further fact that the Government of the United States would probably be reluctant to set a precedent for the making of compensation for the losses of property caused by the action of insurgents beyond the control of the military authorities of the United States and for whose action the latter was not morally culpable. Such a precedent, if set, would doubtless be followed by the presentation of numerous and other large claims for compensation for property destroyed by acts of insurgents.
The claim of Mr. J. Walter Higgin, now presented for the first time, is of the same essential legal character as those which have already been rejected by the Department.
I am, etc.,
RIGHT OF UNITED STATES CONSULS TO RECEIVE EFFECTS OF UNITED STATES CITIZENS, DECEASED ON BRITISH TERRITORY OR VESSELS.
Mr. White to Mr. Hay.
AMERICAN EMBASSY, London, December 31, 1902.
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of a letter addressed to the ambassador on the 15th November last by the consul-general, relative to the refusal of the British India Steamship Company to hand over to him the effects of Capt. Charles E. Schonberg, a first-class passenger from Calcutta to London, who died on board that vessel on the 18th September last, and to inform you that on the 24th ultimo I called at the foreign office and requested that inquiry be made in the
I now have the honor to transmit herewith, for your information, the copy of a note which I have received from the foreign office, from which you will see that the laws of Great Britain do not recognize the right of a foreign consul to the custody of the personal effects of a subject or citizen of his country who dies in the United Kingdom or on board a British ship, and that if the agents of the British India Steamship Company had handed over to our consul-general Captain Schonberg's effects without having previously satisfied themselves of their value they would have exposed themselves to the infliction of a heavy penalty.
I have, etc.,
a See Senate Report No. 224, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session, January 23, 1902.
Mr. Evans to Mr. Choate.
CONSULATE-General of the UNITED STATES,
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following facts for your consideration, viz: Under date of October 13, Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co. reported to this consulategeneral the death of Capt. C. E. Schonberg, an American citizen, on board the steamship Manora, en route from Calcutta to London. (Copy of such notice herewith.) I immediately requested that the personal effects of Captain Schonberg be turned over to this consulate. (Copy herewith.)
Some two weeks thereafter a gentleman called giving his name, and said that he represented Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co., and after explanation he agreed to turn over the effects of Captain Schonberg, provided I would give a receipt for same, and said he would submit a form. This form was sent in, but it being so general, I said that he must state of what the effects consisted; if a trunk, locked, say so; if a box, fastened, say so, etc.; that the form of the receipt was all right, but I wanted to know the packages I was getting.
On November 7 I received a letter from the solicitors. (Copy herewith.)
I immediately made reply addressed Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co. (Copy herewith.) Soon thereafter another solicitor called, claiming to represent Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co. and wanting me to agree to indemnify Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co. against any damages or suit at law of any kind from the representatives of Captain Schonberg. This I declined to do; and after pointing out to the solicitor the law and consular regulations, informing him that I was appointed by my Government, and had given bond to my Government; that my duties were clearly defined in such cases by international laws; that His Majesty had duly accepted me as the representative of my Government to look after such interests as were now involved; that I must protest against them or their clients opening the trunks or baggage of whatsoever nature belonging to this American citizen, who happened to be a passenger on their ship and died upon the journey and was buried at sea; and that these personal effects must be turned over to me as the representative of the United States. On November 12 a messenger came with the word that the trunks and baggage of Captain Schonberg, at the East India Docks, had been examined, but nothing of value was found; that they only contained wearing apparel, and that there was a tin box that they would open at the office of the solicitors, and inviting me to call and see the contents. I paid no attention to this. About 5 p. m. one of the solicitors (as he represented himself) called at the consulate, wanting to turn over the box and contents, and had prepared a receipt for me to sign. After adding a memorandum I signed the receipt. (Copy herewith attached.).
I call your attention to the list of items submitted as personal effects under date of October 13, and again to the list of November 7, and my declining to receipt in general terms, but asking for a list of the packages.
At the time of each call of the solicitors I brought to their respective attention section 1709 of the Revised Statutes of 1878-duties of consuls as to the personal effects of deceased American citizens.
I submit these facts for your consideration. I have used my best efforts to protect the interests of the widow in this case and prevent the representatives of this steamship company from breaking open and inspecting the personal effects and private papers of this deceased American citizen, who was traveling upon their line from Calcutta to this port. I would thank you to advise me in the premises. Has this steamship company, or any other steamship company, or any transportation company, acting simply in the capacity of common carriers, the legal right under international laws and commercial regulations between friendly nations to open, examine, inspect, or otherwise pry into the personal effects or affairs of an American citizen, who is so unfortunate as to die while a passenger en route?
H. CLAY EVANS, Consul-General.
Messrs. Gray Dawes & Co., to Mr. Evans.
23 GT. WINCHESTER STREET, London, E. C., October 18, 1902.
DEAR SIR: As representing the British India Company we have to advise you of
the death of Capt. Charles E. Schonberg, who was a saloon passenger on board the steamship Manora for London, and who, we understand, was a United States citizen. The captain's letter advising the regretful incident of his death is as follows: "I regret having to report the death of Capt. Charles E. Schonberg, first-class passenger from Calcutta to London. The deceased had been suffering more or less from fever ever since embarking at Garden reach; he informed me it was a malarial fever, contracted in America. Doctors Danton and Douglas also received the same information, which was substantiated by their personal observations. On the 15th of September he was ordered to bed by Doctor Douglas, being very weak, but showing no alarming symptoms, but at 0.45 p. m., 18th, he suddenly took a turn for the worse and expired at 1.35 p. m. His body was committed to the deep at 5.30 p. m.
"His effects have been taken charge of and will be handed over to your representatives at the Royal Albert Dock. The deceased was a citizen of the United States of America.
"The personal effects referred to above are as follows: 1 deed box, 1 Gladstone bag, 1 ring, 1 watch and chain, 1 set sleeve links, 3 studs, 3 pair spectacles, 1 trunk, 1 portmanteau, 1 canvas bag, 1 wooden box, 1 umbrella, 1 walking stick, 1 holdall, 1 bunch keys, 1 tin box."
In communicating this to you may we ask your kind offices with a view to tracing the relatives of the deceased so that they may apply for the effects.
We are, etc.,
GRAY, DAWES & Co.
Mr. Evans to Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co.
UNITED STATES CONSULATE-GENERAL,
DEAR SIRS: I am in receipt of your letter of the 13th instant regarding the effects of the late Capt. Charles E. Schonberg, who died on board the steamship Manora. If you will have the effects in question delivered to me I will take charge of them for delivery to the person or persons entitled thereto.
H. CLAY EVANS,
Messrs. Lyne & Holman to Mr. Evans.
5 AND 6 WINCHESTER STREET,
DEAR SIR: Referring to our communications herein we find that in addition to the articles we were previously aware of there are seven packages of effects lying at the docks still unopened by our clients, and if it should appear that the contents of these are of substantial value there would be a difficulty in the way of handing them over except to the authorized legal personal representative of the deceased. If, however, the contents are of small value we would be quite willing that they should be handed over to you as previously suggested.
Our representative is going down to the docks to satisfy himself on the point of value, and if you like to inform Mr. T. S. Schonberg of this there will be no objection to his being present, or we will inform him if you prefer. We propose 11.30 a. m. on Monday for the purpose, and await your reply.
LYNE & HOLMAN.
Mr. Evans to Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co.
UNITED STATES CONSULATE-GENERAL.
GENTLEMEN: Reference to personal effects of Capt. Charles E. Schonberg, who died
and was buried at sea.
On October 14 I wrote you requesting that they be turned over to this consulate for shipment to his widow.
I call your attention to international law and consular regulations upon this subject: "A consular officer is by the law of nations and by the statute the provisional conservator of the property within his district belonging to his countrymen deceased therein." Consular regulations make it the duty of a consul “to take possession of the personal estate left by any citizen of the United States, etc."
A gentleman claiming to represent you came to my office raising a technical objection to turning over to this consulate the personal effects of Captain Schonberg; finally submitted a form of a receipt to be given. I agreed to this. Now I am advised by letter that upon examination if these effects are of any value they will not be turned over, but if they are of no value (“or of small value") they will be turned over.
If you are unwilling to deliver the personal effects of Capt. Charles E. Schonberg to this consulate please say so, that I may bring the matter to the attention of the foreign office of His Majesty's Government through the proper channels. I have been desirous that whatever effects he had left on your ship might be gotten and shipped to his widow without expense to her. In this I had the cooperation and approval of the deceased's brother and uncle in this city. Your early reply will greatly oblige. H. CLAY EVANS, Consul-General.
Received of Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co. the effects undermentioned of Charles E. Schonberg, a citizen of the United States of America who died on board the steamship Manora on or about September 18, 1902, which effects I claim should be delivered to me as consul-general of the United States of America pursuant to the laws of that country, and which effects are received for distribution to the parties entitled thereto under such laws:
One small box containing 1 watch and chain, 3 pair spectacles, 1 signet ring, 2 metal sleeve links, 3 studs, and 1 bunch of keys (9); 1 japanned dispatch box containing as follows: £20 in Bank of England notes and 9 rupees in silver; sundry pocketbooks containing letters of introduction and cards of ditto; sundry Masonic papers and certificate; leather case containing necklace or chain, of garnets apparently, and small silver brooch; letter book and sundry business correspondence and papers; counterfoils of cheques; empty dollar case, 1 dozen photos of scenes in India and 2 small photos of natives; handbook of Hindustani language; certain envelopes marked as containing letters from friends, letters from home, regimental papers, traveling memoranda, and 1 envelope of papers marked I. P. & S. (I. Payne & Sons); small packet of some soft material like tobacco and addressed to W. Brown, esq., care Thos. Cook & Son, 4 Broadway, New York; sundry paid bills and other papers apparently of small importance.
Dated this 12th day of November, 1902.
Notice of death of Captain Schonberg was given this consulate the 13th of October, 1902, and on the 14th October, 1902, request was made, according to custom of consular service, for the personal effects of Capt. C. E. Schonberg; they were not delivered. After personal interviews and letters-one letter stating if effects were of value they would not be turned over-and upon inspection, if found of little value, they would be turned over. They have since been opened and inspected by the shipping company or its agents, so this consulate is only responsible for such articles as received.
Dated November 12, 1902.
H. CLAY EVANS, Consul-General.
Lord Lansdowne to Mr. White.
FOREIGN OFFICE, December 23. 1902.
SIR: I lost no time in considering the communication which you left at this office, on the 24th ultimo, in regard to the treatment, by Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co., of the effects of the late Captain Schonberg, a citizen of the United States.
I have the honor to inform you that the laws of this country do not recognize the right of a foreign consul to the custody of the personal effects of a citizen or subject of his country who dies in the United Kingdom or on board a British ship.
A heavy penalty is imposed on any person who deals in any way with the estate
to the delimitation of the boundary line between the territory of Alaska, now a possession of the United States, and the British possessions in North America, have resolved to provide for the submission of the questions as hereinafter stated to a tribunal, and to that end have appointed their respective plenipotentiaries as follows:
The President of the United States of America, John Hay, Secretary of State of the United States; and
His Britannic Majesty, The Right Honorable Sir Michael H. Herbert, K. C. M. G., C. B., His Britannic Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary;
Who, after an exchange of their full powers which were found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles
A tribunal shall be immediately appointed to consider and decide the questions set forth in Article IV of this convention. The tribunal shall consist of six impartial jurists of repute who shall consider judicially the questions submitted to them, each of whom shall first subscribe an oath that he will impartially consider the arguments and evidence presented to the tribunal and will decide thereupon according to his true judgment. Three members of the tribunal shall be appointed by the President of the United States, and three by His Britannic Majesty. All questions considered by the tribunal, including the final award, shall be decided by a majority of all the members thereof.
In case of the refusal to act, or of the death, incapacity or abstention from service of any of the persons so appointed, another impartial jurist of repute shall be forthwith appointed in his place by the same authority which appointed his predecessor.
The tribunal may appoint a secretary and a bailiff to perform such duties as they may prescribe, and may employ scientific experts if found to be necessary, and may fix a reasonable compensation for such officers. The tribunal shall keep an accurate record of all its proceedings.
Each of the High Contracting Parties shall make compensation for the services of the members of the tribunal of its own appointment and of any agent, counsel, or other person employed in its behalf, and shall pay all costs incurred in the preparation of its case. All expenses reasonably incurred by the tribunal in the performance of its duties shall be paid by the respective governments in equal moieties.
The tribunal may, subject to the provisions of this convention, establish all proper rules for the regulation of its proceedings.
Each of the High Contracting Parties shall also name one person to attend the tribunal as its agent.
The written or printed case of each of the two parties, accompanied by the documents, the official correspondence and all other evidence in writing or print on which each party relies, shall be delivered in duplicate to each member of the tribunal and to the agent of the other party as soon as may be after the organization of the tribunal, but within a period not exceeding two months from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this convention.