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I beg to remind you that on the 11th of August last a preliminary warrant was, at your request, issued by this Department, in order that Ezeta and others might be examined by the proper judicial authorities of the United States for extradition upon the charges of murder, rob. bery, and arson. It is understood that Ezeta and his associates were, upon the application of your Government, examined, with a view to their extradition, before a United States judge in the city of San Francisco, and that Ezeta was, as a result of that examination, discharged. Your Government must have known at the time of those proceedings of the offense for which you now ask that Ezeta be extradited, and you might have adduced evidence of that offense before the judge who heard the other charges. Indeed, for aught that appears from your communication, or is otherwise known to this Department, the charge of murdering Guillen was one of those made against Ezeta in the proceedings already had. Whether it was actually made or not, it might have been made, and I do not feel warranted under these circumstances in setting on foot new proceedings against him. In addition to this ground for declining to entertain your request, I may add it is believed that Ezeta, on being discharged, left San Francisco, and is now in Mexico, beyond the jurisdiction of the United States. Accept, etc.,
· W. Q. GRESHAM.
Mr. Castellanos to Mr. Gresham.
San Salvador, October 9, 1894. · SIR: I have the honor to notify your excellency that I have received instructions from the president to inform you that the Government of this Republic, making use of the right granted it by article 8 of the extradition treaty existing between the two countries, concluded in this city on the 230 May, 1870, and exchanged in the same May 12, 1873, desires that its effects cease at the termination of the legal period of continuance, as it was not denounced in proper time within the six months prior to the date of its expiration; and that if your excellency's Government wishes to have it cease at once, by means of a special convention, it is ready on its part to make that arrangement. I avail myself, etc.,
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Guzmán.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, October 26, 1894. SIR: Referring to your note to this Department of August 9 last, requesting the extradition of Antonio Ezeta, Juan Cienfuegos, and others, I beg to call your attention to the fact that the note did not specify the crimes of which they were accused.
Accompanying it, however, was a copy of a note from your Government to you, under date of July 2, in which murder, robbery, and arson only were specified.
Considering this as a sufficient requisition within the meaning of Article VI of the treaty concluded May 23, 1870, the usual certificate, by some called a warrant, was issued for a preliminary examination before a judicial officer on these charges. In the hearing before Judge Morrow, the charge of arson appears not to have been pressed. The charges of robbery and murder were found by him to relate to offenses of a political character, which are excluded from the operation of the treaty, and the persons, other than Cienfuegos, charged with those offenses accordingly were released. Judge Morrow deemed the evi. dence sufficient to hold Cienfuegos on the charge of attempt to murder, which charge was not embraced in the requisition of Salvador, the warrant for the preliminary hearing, or the warrant of arrest.
It appears from the record of the preliminary proceeding that on or about January 3, 1894, Cienfuegos was arrested and imprisoned in Salvador for an attempt to murder one Andres Amaya; that three days later, by order, or in consequence of some action of the chief executive of the Government, he was set at liberty, and, although the revolution did not break out until nearly four months later, he was not again molested on that charge. On these facts it may be reasonably inferred that Cienfuegos was pardoned before trial. But; however that may be, this Government declines to surrender him on a charge not embraced in the requisition for his extradition, the warrant for the preliminary hearing, or the warrant of arrest. Accept, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Castellanos. No. 43.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, October 29, 1894. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 9th instant. You therein express the desire of your Gov. ernment to terminate the treaty of extradition between the United States and Salvador at the end of the period for which it is now in force; you further offer to terminate it at once by means of a special convention, should this Government so desire.
In reply, I have to observe that the ratifications of the treaty were exchanged on March 2, 1874, and not, as your excellency inadvertently states, on May 12, 1873. It will therefore remain in force, according to its terms, until March 2, 1904, and this Government sees no reason for terminating it by special convention at an earlier date. Accept, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
FINES FOR CLERICAL ERRORS IN MANIFESTS.?
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Taylor.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, December 2, 1893. Our consul-general at Havana has telegraphed that the custom-house has embargoed $3,000 worth of sugar belonging to Hidalgo & Co., to pay fines. The fines imposed upon the Ward Line of steamers are for mere clerical errors in manifests from which Spanish vessels in our ports are exempt. Ask that intendente be requested by telegraph to report facts to Madrid for decision. Inform Department by cable of action taken.
Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.
MADRID, December 5, 1893. Presented your request Hidalgo case. Awaiting answer.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Taylor. No. 65.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, December 9, 1893. SIR: Referring to my telegram of the 2d, and your reply of the 5th instant, copies of which are inclosed, regarding an embargo of $3,000 upon the property of Hidalgo & Co., of Havana, consignees of the Ward Line of steamers, for fines levied upon the steamers of that line for errors in manifests, I have now to transmit to you a statement presented to the Department by an attorney of the line, dispatches from the consulate-general at Havana, and other correspondence, which will give you full information regarding the case.
You will observe from the list of fines annexed to dispatch No. 2050 of the vice-consul-general that $944 of the amount claimed is for fines ranging from $10 to $304 for unimportant errors in twelve different manifests. In addition to the amount accruing from this source there is a single fine of $2,400 levied upon the steamship City of Washington, reported in No. 2051 of the vice-consul-general. This particular fine affords an excellent example of the character of the fines in general and of the technical reasons for which they are levied.
Fines for clerical errors in manifests were imposed in Cuba on a number of vessels of the United States. The two cases printed have been selected as instances, FB 94— 37
A bill of lading called for 141 tierces of lard, amounting to 25,900 kilos. In transcribing the manifest of the vessel's cargo a zero was dropped, owing to the indistinctness of the figures on the bill of lading, so that the manifest read 2,590 kilos instead of 25,900. For this simple clerical error, where there is no pretext for a charge of fraudulent intent, lard being free of duty under our reciprocity arrangement, the consignees of the vessel have been ordered to pay $2,400.
The inclosed letters from Mr. J. M. Ceballos, the New York agent of the Spanish Transatlantic Company (Compañía Transatlántica Espasola), and from the collector of customs of the port of New York, show conclusively that no fines are imposed upon Spanish vessels in any port of the United States for clerical errors of any kind in their mani. fests. These vessels, under the customs regulations of this country, have the right, in case the cargo is in excess of manifest, to make a post entry, and in case of the cargo being short of manifest to make an affidavit stating that the missing portion has been left behind.
In connection with this long-standing cause of complaint against the customs officials of Cuba, which undoubtedly grows out of the moiety system existing in that island, you are referred to dispatch No. 1300, from the consul-general at Havana, dated March 31, 1891, a copy of which was transmitted to your legation with the Department's No. 62, of April 9, same year. This dispatch gives a clear exposition of the whole subject of this annoying class of fines, and especially calls attention to the lack of reciprocity between the treatment of Spanish vessels in American ports and of American vessels in Spanish ports.
Your attention is particularly called to the statement annexed to that dispatch of the cases in which additions to the manifests of Spanish vessels were made by post entries at the port of New York during the years from 1884 to 1890, both inclusive. This statement shows that 38 Spanish vessels made entry with cargoes in excess of their mani. fests, and that they were allowed to amend by post entries on payment of a fee of $2 each, or $76 in all.
You are instructed not only to protest against the levy of the fines upon the Ward Line and the embargo, upon the property of Messrs. Hidalgo & Co., but also to make a general statement of the question of these annoying and groundless impositions on American vessels, and to state, in the interest of our commerce, it is the opinion of this Government that the same considerate treatment should be extended to American vessels in Spanish ports as is received by Spanish vessels in all ports of the United States.
The statements of Mr. Ceballos, and the collector of the port of New York, and the list of post entries made by Spanish vessels, seem of especial value, and it is regarded as advisable that copies of these documents, in addition to any others that you may select, should be sent to the minister of state as inclosures to your presentation of the case. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
(Inclosure 1 in No. 65.)
WASHINGTON, December 4, 1893. SIR: Referring to the conversation which the Hon. Ramon O. Williams and I had with you some days since in respect to the fines which are being imposed by the customs department at Havana upon the vessels of the New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company, I beg leave to inclose herewith the original statement, as received from Havana, of the various fines imposed upon the ships, with translation of the same. From this statement you will note that all of the fines imposed are for very trivial matters, mostly clerical errors, which are almost unavoidable owing to the detail required on the Spanish manifests and the rapidity with which the manifests have to be made up in order to allow the ships of the company to sail on time. In many instances, to oblige shippers the company receives goods up to one hour of sailing; then the manifest has to be made out. After that, an employee of the commany must go to the Spanish consul and get him to look it over and visé it.
You can readily apprehend the difficulties that are experienced and how easy it is, among so many bills of lading and the corresponding entries on the manifests, to have mistakes.
I beg also to submit to you two recent manifests which will give a good idea of the amount of labor involved. When it is considered that all this work has to be done at a lightning rate of speed, it is a very simple matter to have an error creep in. Two cases will illustrate the injustice which is being done the New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company . Quite recently in Cienfuegos they imposed a fine on one of the ships of the company of $50 on account of an error in the entry of some hams weighing 2,000 pounds, which in Spanish is “dos mil.” On the original manifest, made in New York, this was correctly written out, but the purser, in making copies for the customs officials in Cuba, wrote “doce mil" instead of "dos mil.”
Another instance is a fine that was iinposed on the City of Washington for an error in the weight on manifest, the bills of lading reading “tierces lard weighing 25,900 kilos." The figures on the bills of lading were not very plain, and the manifest clerk wrote, in copying, “2,590" instead of 625,900” kilos. As the article (lard) is free of duty, it is plainly evident that no fraud was intended by the company; and yet, notwithstanding, the officials in Cuba are endeavoring to collect a fine of $2,400 on the ship for this small error.
I beg also to inclose you letters from the collector of customs of the port of New York, and from Messrs. J. M. Ceballos & Co., agents of the Spanish line, which state that all Spanish vessels in the port of New York, or in any other port of the United States, are allowed, in case of mistakes in their manifests, to amend the same, and no fines whatsoever are imposed under any circumstances for clerical errors of any kind.
The intent of the treaty with Spain regarding Cuba and Puerto Rico is certainly reciprocating in the treatment of such matters, and it appears to me that it is fully within the province of the State Department to insist that Spanish authorities shall treat American vessels in their waters as fairly and courteously as Spanish vessels are treated in American waters.
The New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company has mail contracts on routes 69 and 70, "0. M. S.," with the United States Goverument, and is compelled to sail promptly with United States mails. It is frequently very difficult to make shippers get their bills of lading and other documents into the office of the company in time, and the employés of the company are invariably rushed at the last moment in making up the manifests, which, as stated above, after being written out and hectographed in the office of the company, have to be taken to the Spanish consul to be examined and viséd by him.
Printed on p. 582 as Annex 2 to inclosure 4.