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for Chicago, where he has an uncle, Gregor Benich, who keeps a coffeehouse. In April
, 1893, he again returned to his native country, ana procured, while at Vienna, a passport from the U. S. legation, dated April 15, 1893, numbered 379. This second absence from his home, therefore, lasted from April, 1889, to April, 1893, or four years. Foregoing testimony
and Benich's own statement therefore, bear ample proof that his sojourn in America from 1885 to May, 1893, was interrupted by his visit to his native country lasting from October, 1888, to April, 1889, and that consequently, he was neither during his first nor during his second stay, uninterruptedly for a period of five years in America. On the ground of this fact, fully ascertained and proven by the investigations, and in conformity with the provisions of paragraph 50, of the Hugarian law, Article I, of 1879. relative to the acquisition and loss of the Hungarian citizenship, the following decision was given by the Governor (Banus) of Croatia, Slavonia-Dalmatia, dated on the 26th of May, 1894, No. 22154.
In view of the fact that Ivan Benich has not resided uninterruptedly for five years in the United States of America, and his American citizenship is therefore, according to Article I, of the treaty of September 20, 1870, to be regarded as having been acquired fraudulently, he be considered as a subject of Hungary, and that in consequence the U. S. Governinent be petitioned to cancel the certificate of naturalization given to Benich and dated at Chicago the 5th of October, 1892, as well as his passport dated at Vienna, the 15th of April, 1893, No. 379.
As far as the course is concerned which the Croatian authorities saw proper to adopt towards Ivan Benich, at his enrollment, despite the protest made by the U. S. consnlar agent at Fiume, the governor of Croatia does not hesitate to state that the two officials who acted on the occasion, namely the chief of the district at Novi, Otto Rajakovic and his assistant in Sussak, Constantin Rajcevic, as members of the enrollment commission, were by no means justified in denying their recognition to the certificate of naturalization issued by the court of Cook County, Chicago, in 1892, and to the passport given by the U. S. legation in Vienna on April 15, 1893, or in refusing to respect them as legal documentary proof, but that it would have been their duty to take due cognizance of these papers, to take into consideration the protest made by the consular agent at Fiume, to cancel Benich's enrollment and to submit their suspicions, that these papers had been procured by unfair means, to the competent authorities for decision, and that therefore the two above-named officials had rendered themselves liable for a violation of their official duty by not showing to these papers, or to the remonstrance made by the consular agent, the respect which was due.
Attention must be called to the fact, however, that these two officials acted without the knowledge and anthority of their superiors, but in their own sphere and upon their own responsibility, and that furthermore, although their course was an incorrect one, they certainly can not be accused of having been guilty of an intentional lack of respect to the provisions of the treaty with the United States, or a want of deference due to the representative of the friendly Government of the United States; but that the conduct displayed by the two functionaries is explained in this, that having found that Benich had not been absent for fully five years, and therefore not removed from their jurisdiction, they had bona fide acted in the belief of proceeding lawfully, and that, in the present case, they had been misled in their interpretation of the provisions of the military law, the law governing acquisition and loss of Hungarian citizenship, the provisions of the treaty of September 20, 1870, and the claim made by the U. S. consular agent, which appears the more entitled to belief as a similar case had not occurred since 1870, either within their practice or within the limits of Croatia or Slavonia.
Without attaching particular weight to these extenuating circumstances, the governor of Croatia and Slavonia bas nevertheless given orders to proceed against the two above-named officials, and the law provided for such case will be applied and take its course. The governor at the same time expresses his deep regret that officials belonging to his department have, by their incorrect behavior, given just cause for complaint to the Ú. S. legation, in which connection it must be observed that, in case the investigations now pending show that the remark said to have been made by a member of the enrolling commission to Mr. Gelletich, the U. S. consular agent, that neither the convention of September 20, 1870, nor the authority of the consular officer of the United States would be recognized, should be true, the presiding officer of the enrolling commission will have to answer the charges which will be brought against him, as it would have been his duty to examine the protest made by the consular agent at Fiame and to determine afterward what steps would be proper to take.
In regard to that part of the esteemed letter of September 26, 1893, which treats of the necessity that papers issued by the competent authorities of one country should be respected and recognized by the anthorities of a third state as long as these documents do not bear unmistakable proofs of having been counterfeited or otherwise obtained by fraud, the provincial government of Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia
begs leave to say that it fully shares the views expressed in that part of the note, and that the governor has not failed to instruct all his subordinate officers to act in the future in due conformity.
As regards the indemnity, however, which Benich claims for the annoyance to which he was subjected, the facts show that no such claim has any foundation, for the reason that there is no one to blame in the matter except Benich himself; and the ministry of foreign affairs, at the instance of the minister-president of Hungary and the gorernor of Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia, takes this occasion to request the honorable legation of the United States to submit the facts in this case, as they appear from the foregoing official investigation, to the Government of the United States, and at the same time to plead that the necessary steps be taken to cancel the certificate of naturalization given to Benich at Chicago, on October 5, 1892, and the American passport issued to him, on the strength of this certificate, by the legation at Vienna on April 15, 1893, which it is believed the U. S. Government will not hesitate to do after having been convinced that Benich had not been in the United States uninterruptedly for a period of five years, and that his certificate of naturalization had therefore been issued to him erroneously, or had been obtained by fraudulent means.
While the ministry of foreign affairs looks forward to a decision arrived at by the
Mr. Uhl to Mr. Tripp.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 14, 1894. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 93, of the 23d ultimo, and its accompaniments, with reference to the arrestand enrollment of John Benich, a naturalized citizen of the United States, by the Austro-Hungarian authorities, and desire to express the Department's gratification at learning that the Austro-Hungarian Government has conceded every essential principle contended for by the Department and the legation.
The Department fully concurs in your view that a reasonable and proper construction of the language of the treaty-resided uninterruptedly-does not preclude a mere temporary absence of the alien during the period of probation, when such absence is unaccompanied by any intention of chauging his domicile.
As to the request of the Austro-Hungarian Government, that the necessary steps be taken to cancel the certificate of naturalization granted to Benich by the superior court of Cook County, Ill., you should inform the minister of foreign affairs that this Department has no power, by any steps of its own, to effect such cancellation. While the Department is strongly inclined to agree with you that the circumstances do not warrant the setting aside of Benich's naturalization, his brief stay abroad not seeming to have constituted an interruption of his residence here, yet the question will be submitted to the Chicago court, by communicating your request that it will require Benich to show cause why the judgment of the court admitting him to citizenship should not be set aside on the grounds suggested.. Should the court decide that its decree of naturalization was erroneously issued and set the same aside, this Department will of course withdraw the passport, which was given in reliance upon such naturalization. I am, etc.,
EDWIN F. UHL.
Mr. Tripp to Mr. Gresham.
UNITED STATES LEGATION, Vienna, September 29, 1894. (Received October 12.) SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch, No. 89, of date September 14, 1894, in reference to the case of John Benich, and I have, in a formal noté, communicated to the imperial and royal ministry of foreign affairs of Austria-Hungary the gratification on the part of the Government of the United States that the position taken by the Department and legation upon the legal questions involved were fully concurred in by Austria-Hungary; and while communicating the further fact that the Department of State had requested the superior court of Cook County, Ill., to require John Benich to show cause why the certificate of naturalization issued to him should not be set aside, on the ground that his protracted absence in Austria-Hungary constituted an interruption of his five-years residence, I took occasion to call the attention of his excellency to the fact that this was all the power that existed in the Department of State to exercise in the premises; tbat under our form of government the judiciary department, which was charged with the power of granting certificates of naturlization, was wholly independent of the executive department, to which the Department of State belonged, and that should the superior court of Cook County, upon an examination of the case, find that the absence of John Benich was merely temporary, without any intention of abandoning his residence already begun, and that mere temporary absence of such a character was not an interruption within the meaning of the treaty, such decision must govern the case and would be binding upon the executive department of the Government and the Department of State.
I further stated that when the result of the action of the court of Cook County was communicated to this legation it would give me pleas. ure to transmit the same to the ministry of foreign affairs. I have, etc.,
COLLISIONS AT SEA.
Mr. Tripp to Mr. Gresham.
UNITED STATES LEGATION, Vienna, October 19, 1896. (Received November 2.) SIR: I have the honor of submitting herewith the translation of a note just received from the imperial and royal ministry of foreign affairs of Austria-Hungary, making favorable response to my note of September 20, 1894, in which was presented the earnest request of the United States that Austria-Hungary would, if it had not already done so, adopt regulations similar to those already adopted by the United States, Great Britain, and France for the prevention of collisions at sea, in accordance with the recommendations of the International Marine Congress held at Washington in 1889. I have, etc.,
(Inclosure in No. 102- Translation.) The Honorable BARTLETT TRIPP,
United States Minister at Vienna. SIR: In the esteemed note of September 17, 1894, No. 66, the honorable envoy of the United States was pleased to submit copy of a proclamation, made by the President of the United States, relating to the adoption of regulations framed by the Congress of August 19, 1890, for preventing collisions at sea, expressing at the same time the desire that Austria-Hungary would also adopt these regulations.
In reply the ministry of foreign affairs now has the honor of informing the honorable envoy that Austria-Hungary is prepared to adopt the regulation in question in so far as it was proposed by England in 1892, and as recently reproduced in the English programme of February, 1894, and that it is intended to let a regulation in conformity therewith take effect on March 1, 1895.
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity, etc.
ADMEASUREMENT OF VESSELS.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Tavera.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 7, 1894. SIR: The Secretary of the Treasury has referred to this Department your note to the Commissioner of Navigation (not dated) in which your request to be informed with regard to the views of the Government of the United States relative to the proposition of the London International Statistical Institute for convening an international commission for the establishment of uniform rules for the admeasurement of seagoing vessels.
A similar inquiry was made of the Secretary of the Treasury by this Department in January last, and on the 30th of that month that official replied as follows:
6. While the Government of the United States recognizes the utility of uniformity among commercial nations in the methods of admeasur. ing vessels and is willing to cooperate in any practical measure to establish such uniformity, at the present time it is disposed to believe that some more rapid progress toward the desired end can be effected through correspondence and the concentration of efforts in the lawmaking branches of the governments of the commercial nations interested than through the convocation of an international conference.
" It is confirmed in its belief by a review of the parliamentary history of the establishment of the regulations for admeasurement in vogue in the various countries subsequent to and based upon the adoption of the Moorsom system by Great Britain in 1854.
"It deems applicable in part to the proposition for an international tonnage conference the conclusions of the international maritime conference of 1889 concerning the proposed establishmeut of a permanent international maritime commission. Those conclusions, to which the delegates from Belgium, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, and the United States assented, were: “It seems to your committee that such a consulting body of experts would not serve the purpose for which it is intended to be created, viz, that of facilitating the introduction of reforms in maritime legislation, because the advice given by such a commission would not in any way enable the governments of the maritime nations to dispense with the necessity of considering the
subjects laid before them, and laying the proposals made to them, if adopted, before the legislative bodies of the different states.
u Thé consequence of instituting a body like that in question, on the contrary, would, it appears, be this: That merely another investigation of any scheme proposed with a view to reforming international maritime laws would have to be gone through before the opinions of the governments could be taken, and thas the course of procedure as it is nowby correspondence between the different governinents—would be made more complicated instead of being simplified."
The Secretary of the Treasury concludes by observing that, so far as his Department is aware, the British Government has taken no steps to carry out the recommendations of the London International Statistical Institute. Accept, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM. F R 94