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In his reply the late minister does not attempt to controvert any of the facts or arguments advanced for the release of Catechi, but contents himself with saying that "according to existing laws in Greece the above mentioned (Catechi) could not change his nationality before attaining his majority and obtaining the authority of the Royal Government. All naturalization obtained outside of these conditions could not absolve him of the legal obligations he is under to Hellenic laws and particularly toward the military service."

I submit to your candid judgment whether this answer meets the case as presented or is in harmony with the facts or with your own law as applied to them by your highest legal tribunal having such cases in charge.

The law requiring the royal assent to enable a Greek subject to change his nationality, to which the late minister refers, inflicts a punishment when that assent is not obtained. Is not the infliction of this punishment a clear indication that your law recognizes that a Greek subject may change his nationality without such assent? If this be not the case the assumption of foreign allegiance by a Greek subject is a nullity, requiring no attention from your Government.

It would seem, however, that the logical purpose of your law in inflicting a penalty upon a Greek subject who fails to obtain the royal assent to a transfer of allegiance is that when the legal punishment has been inflicted, the penalty is exhausted and the person paying the same placed before your law precisely in the position he would occupy if he had received the royal assent before changing his allegiance. This is the construction placed upon a similar law in France, and, if it is not a fair interpretation of your law, I fail to recognize any logical force in its provisions.

To hold, as in the case of Catechi, who has suffered the penalty imposed by your law for his becoming an American citizen without your assent, that, after suffering the penalty of his oversight or neglect, you can still demand of him military service, as if his allegiance had never been changed, appears most illogical.

If the change of allegiance on the part of a Greek subject affords to him no immu. nity from your military or other service on his return to Greece, why inflict punishment in addition to the service yon demand of him?

Does it seem reasonable, or even possible, that your law can bear such a construction? There is another fact bearing upon this point in the case, and to which I beg to call your attention. I am informed from a reliable source that, under your penal law, where a former subject has suffered the penalty imposed for changing his nationality without the royal assent, as in the case of Catechi, he thereby loses all the civil rights enjoyed by subjects of Greece.

If this be true, upon what ground can military service be demanded where civil sights are denied? A primary principle of government is that protection and rervice are reciprocal. Surely, where the first is refused the latter should not be required. That your laws contemplate no such injustice I am the more convinced, not alone from the general spirit that pervades them, but especially from the perusal of two opinions given by the legal counsel of the Kingdom having special reference to cases similar to the one under consideration. One of these opinions bears directly upon the facts as presented in the case of Catechi. Both opinions are dated June 14, 1886, and numbered 16 and 17, and may be found in the "Collection of Opinions and Sentences of the Legal Council in Doubtful Administration," pages 290 and 291. Both these opinions illustrate the liberality that pervades your laws. I shall, however, content myself by quoting but one, No. 17, which most singularly and fully covers the case under consideration. This opinion was delivered upon the appeal of A to hold S to military service so that A might be released therefrom. The case, as stated, was "whether the acquirer of a foreign allegiance is regarded as a foreigner if he was a minor when he asked permission therefor." The opinion of the legal council is as follows:

"Whereas, since the appellant, citizen A, does not dispute that conscript S, against whom the appeal is taken, had, before his conscription, obtained a foreign citizenship and is regarded now as a foreigner; and

"Whereas it is immaterial whether he was under age when he asked for the Hellenic Government's permission:

"Therefore, because he was able, even without such permission, to change his nationality, subject only to the penalty prescribed in the penal laws, the essential question is whether he legally acquired the foreign allegiance according to the laws of that foreign state, which is not disputed in the present case.

"Accordingly the court denies the appeal of A.”

It will be seen from this opinion that your highest court decides that a minor can, without the royal assent, change his nationality, subject only to the penalty prescribed in the penal laws.

On this vital point the opinion fully covers the case of Emmanuel C. Catechi. He emigrated during his minority and became an American citizen without the royal assent, but on his return to Greece, being subject only to the penalty prescribed in the penal laws, he suffered the punishment, thereby exhausted the penalty, and is

no longer amenable to Greek law as a subject but as an alien. It must logically follow that he was unlawfully conscripted and is now held in your military service in violation of his rights as an American citizen and in violation of your own laws as expounded by your highest judicial tribunal having cognizance in such cases.

The proofs that Catechi was naturalized as an American citizen in accordance with the law of the United States, to which he claims allegiance, are conclusive and have not been disputed. You will find them on file in your office. They include a copy of his naturalization papers issued by the authority of the United States and a passport based thereon issued by the State Department at Washington.

In referring to another point to which I had the honor to allude in our personal discussion of this case, I beg to say that I do not do so for the purpose of strengthening the case under consideration, which requires nothing further in fact or in law to effect the immediate release of Catechi from your military service. It is nevertheless an interesting point to consider that Catechi was not born a subject of Greece, but at a period when the Ionian Islands were under British rule, and, further, that before he had arrived either at manhood or at the age at which conscription is authorized, he removed to the United States, and, after remaining there for the period required by our laws, became a naturalized American citizen. The transfer of the Ionian Islands to Greece by Great Britain took place when Catechi was but 4 years old, and, although there is no reference in the text of the treaty of transfer as to the future status of the inhabitants of these islands, it must be gravely doubted whether a child born as a citizen or subject of a country can have the birthright of nationality taken away when as an infant he is unable legally to assent or dissent. It should be remembered that Catechi, at the earliest lawful period after his emigration to the United States, became an American citizen, which as an English-born subject he had a lawful right to become under treaty stipulations between Great Britain and the United States. I submit that in this he committed no offense against the laws of any country to which he held lawful or natural allegiance.

Passing from this point, it must not be forgotten that Catechi left Greece before the age at which, even if a subject of Greece, he could be called to perform military service. He did not leave your country to evade any duty, but as a youth he departed from the land of his birth to find a home elsewhere, leaving no obligation unsatisfied.

All the facts and circumstances surrounding this case, and the spirit of your laws as applied to them, make earnest appeal for the prompt release of Catechi, who has been permitted to remain too long in the service of a Government to which he holds no allegiance, and to which he is made to render an unwilling and unnatural service. I therefore, on behalf of my Government, renew the request for the immediate release of Catechi from your military service on the ground of his American citizenship and of his legal exemption under the judgment of 1886, and that steps be taken to prevent his future molestation on this ground.

I seize, etc.,

Mr. Snowden to Mr. Blaine.


No. 71.]


Athens, December 17, 1890. (Received January 5, 1891.) SIR: I have the honor to communicate to the Department that the minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Deligeorges, whilst dining at my house last evening took advantage of the opportunity to say that after a careful perusal of my last communication he was satisfied that I had clearly demonstrated the claim of Emmanuel C. Catechi to American citizenship, and that he had communicated his views to the minister of war, requesting that Catechi be released from the military service of Greece. I visited the war department this morning and had an interview with the prime minister, who is minister of war, and received assurances that he would give immediate attention to the subject and communicate the conclusion reached through the foreign office.

As soon as Catechi is released from military service I shall hasten to notify the Department.

I have, etc.,


Mr. Snowden to Mr. Blaine.

No. 73.]

Athens, December 25, 1890.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I am at this moment in receipt of a communication from the minister of foreign relations, stating that the minister of war has, in conformity with his request, issued orders for the immediate release of Emmanuel C. Catechi from the Greek military service. Since my last dispatch on the subject I have had two interviews with the minister of war urging prompt action.

I have conveyed to the minister of foreign affairs an expression of my appreciation of the careful and intelligent consideration he has given to the case, as well as for the action taken.

We have occasion for congratulation on the result attained, involving not only the release of a fellow-citizen from a forced service to a foreign State, but the establishment of a most valuable precedent, should similar cases require the intervention of our Government.

I have, etc.,



Mr. Douglass to Mr. Blaine.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Port-au-Prince, January 17, 1890. (Received January 31.)

No. 31.]

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that an important election has been in progress here since the 10th instant and is now nearly finished. The election machinery under the laws and usage of Haiti is extremely cumbersome and complicated, and a period of 15 days is allowed for completing the voting.

The present is the first general election for members of the Legisla tive Assembly since the organization of the Government under President Hyppolite.

The returns show that the voting has been in favor of the Government, and that a majority of the Assembly will support its measures.

The proceedings appear to have been characterized by considerable disorder and violence in some quarters, but not more than occur in some parts of our own country at elections. No matter what party is in power here, the administration is usually charged with the exercise of improper and undue influences to defeat the popular will. The present administration has not escaped this common reproach.

The presence of soldiers in uniform at the polls has been complained of as having a tendency to intimidate the voters. However this may be, since many citizens are on duty as soldiers, they have been compelled to appear at the polls in uniform or not to vote at all.

In the main, I think that the election has been fair, and that the result reached is in favor of the stability of the Government and of the peace of the country.

I am, etc.,


Mr. Douglass to Mr. Blaine.

No. 45.]

LEGATION OF THE Port-au-Prince, March 13, 1890. SIR: Article 2 of President Hyppolite's amnesty proclamation, a copy of which I had the honor to transmit to you under cover of my dispatch No. 14 of the 18th of November last, states that "the individuals accused of murder, of incendiarism, and of other non-political offenses" were not included in the amnesty and would have to answer before competent tribunals.

(Received March 26.)

Nevertheless, several persons, mostly underofficers of small repute, whom public opinion designated as having been concerned in common law offenses under the Légitime administration, hastened to return to the country. But public clamor rose against them to such an extent that they finally took alarm and ran into the foreign legations or con

sulates, mostly into that of France, where they still are, probably secure from arrest, awaiting an opportunity to embark for foreign lands. None of these men seem to be of political importance.

A notable exception to their case, however, is that of General Boisrond Canal, ex-President of the Republic, who is also in refuge. Although public clamor apparently holds him responsible for some of the evils that have come upon the country since the overthrow of President Salomon, yet there do not appear to be any specified charges against him, as the Government sent a passport in regular form to him at the British consulate, where he still is, awaiting a steamer to take him to the neighboring island of Jamaica.

The public does not manifest much concern over the matter of these refugees, of whom there are, I judge, less than a dozen. I suspect there is a feeling of relief at the prospect of their early departure from the country.

On the 7th instant the minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Firmin, addressed me a note (inclosure No. 1) stating that the Government had been informed that "many individuals" of the class already referred to were in refuge in the legations or consulates, and asking me for a list of such as might be here.

I promptly responded (inclosure No. 2) to Mr. Firmin, assuring him that no refugees were here and that no one had applied for refuge under my flag.

I am, etc.,


[Inclosure 1 in No. 45.-Translation.]
Mr. Firmin to Mr. Douglass.

Port-au-Prince, March 7, 1890.

Mr. MINISTER: The Government is informed that many persous are at this moment refugees in the legations or consulates established in this city, because the law pursues (la justice recherche) those whom public clamor has denounced as having committed common law crimes and misdemeanors during the course of the last civil strife in the country.

If this information is correct, I pray you to be pleased to furnish me with a list of the persons to whom you have accorded the protection of your flag.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 45.]

Mr. Douglass to Mr. Firmin.

A. FIRMIN, Secretary of State.

Port-au-Prince, March 7, 1890.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of this date, in which you state to me that the Government is informed that many individuals are refugees in the legations or consulates in this city, because the courts are seeking for those whom public clamor has denounced as having committed offenses against the common law during the last civil strife in the country, and in which you ask me, in case the Government's information on the subject be correct, to furnish you with a list of such of these persons as I have received under my flag.

In response to your note, I am happy to state to you that no person or persons whatsoever are in refuge under the flag of this legation, and that no person has applied to me for such refuge.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,


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