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Yesterday, for the fifth time, Mr. Frommer presented himself at this mission, requesting a renewal of his passport. Upon being questioned in regard to his intention of returning to the United States with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship therein, he practically stated that his business as a hatter at Krakau being in better shape he had no intention of ever leaving this Empire. Pending instructions from the Department of State I therefore refused to renew his passport in accordance with the latter part of paragraph 150 of “Instructions to diplomatic officers of the United States," which reads as follows:

The granting of a passport should also be withheld pending the instructions of the Department where the applicant, whether native or naturalized, has resided without the United States for a long period of time under such circumstances as to warrant the inference that he has practically abandoned his country. In all such cases the facts should be fully reported to the Department for further instructions.

Mr. Frommer's original passport, No. 36444, issued by the Secretary of State on the 2d day of April, 1892, and first above referred to, is inclosed herewith, having been found with the duplicate of his first application to this mission for renewal of same on the 3d day of April, 1894. I have, etc.,

CHANDLER HALE, Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.

Mr. Way to Mr. Hale. No. 75.]


Washington, November 19, 1902. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 30, of October 30, 1902, reporting your refusal to renew passport in the case of Harry Frommer, a native-born citizen of the United States.

It appears that Mr. Frommer, whose father was a naturalized citizen of the United States of Austro-Hungarian origin, was born in the city of New York; that he left the United States in June, 1892, the bearer of passport No. 36441, issued by the Department April 2, 1892; that in 1894 he applied to the United States mission in Vienna for a renewal of his passport, which was granted, he stating in his applica tion that he intended “ to return to the United States in six months.” It appears further that in 1896 he was granted a new passport by the United States legation for himself and his wife, born at Krakau, Galicia, where the said Frommer has continued to live for the past ten years; that on July 28, 1898, a third passport from the same source was issued to Mr. Frommer, and that in 1900 he was granted a fourth passport, “ he declaring on this occasion that he intended to return to the United States within one and a half years,” or “as soon as he had disposed of his hat business.” Finally, you report, for the fifth time Mr. Frommer presented him.self at the embassy, requesting a renewal of his passport, and that upon being questioned in regard to his intention of returning to the United States with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship therein, he stated practically that his business as a hatter at Krakau being in better shape he had no intention of ever leaving Europe.

Your course in withholding a passport in this case is approved by the Department. Mr. Frommer comes within the category of those of whom the Department's circular instruction of March 27, 1899, said:

When an applicant (for a passport) has completely severed his relations with the United States, has neither kindred nor property here, has married and established a home in a foreign land, has engaged in business or professional pursuits wholly in foreign countries; has so shaped his plans as to make it impossible or improbable that they will ever include a domicile in this country--these and similar circumstances should exercise an adverse influence in determining the question whether or not a passport should issue. I am, etc.,

John Hay.




Count Lichtervelde to Mr. Hay.


Washington, March 11, 1901. MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: Under instructions of my Government I have the honor to submit to your excellency's favorable consideration the inclosed reclamation of the Compagnie Générale des Philippines pour le Développement du Commerce et de l'Industrie, a Belgian corporation legally recognized in the Philippines. That letter sets forth the facts as well as the reasons which, according to the parties in interest, justify the refundment of the fine.

I eagerly take this opportunity, Mr. Secretary of State, to present to your excellency the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.




Brussels, February 12, 1901. MR. MINISTER: The board of directors of the Compagnie Générale des Philippines pour le Développement due Commerce et de l'Industrie, a Belgian corporation with headquarters at Brussels, 168 Rue Royale, but duly registered and legally recognized as a corporation in the Philippines, where it has complied with all the requirements of the law of that country regarding its registration, respectfully represents as follows:

First. The company holds a large interest in various navigation concerns in the Philippine Islands. Some of the vessels under consideration sail under the American flag, but it is none the less true that they represent for the greater part Belgian interest and capital.

Second. Under a contract signed in duplicate at Manila on the 19th of March, 1900, one of those vessels, the Belgika, 462 tons register, No. 272 of Lloyds' Register of British and Foreign Shipping, was chartered to the Philippine firm Mendoza & Co., of Manila, for a trip from Manila to Iloilo, Cebu, and any other port in the island of Leyte at the time open to navigation by the American authorities, and back to Manila.

Third. That it appears from the explanation made by the charterers that the aforesaid steamer in the course of her voyage entered the port of Indang on her way from Baybay (Bag-Bag), that she cleared for Indang with her papers in perfect order and aiter securing from the military commander of the district in which the port of Indang lies (island of Leyte) the authorization to proceed to that port.

That the steamer Belgika entered the port of Indang flying the American flag at her mainmast and that the master caused a white flag to be hoisted at the foreinast in order to give evidence to the authorities and people of the place that his intentions were entirely peaceful and that his ship was neither an American war vessel nor the property of insurgents; that all this, according to the charterers, was lawful.

Fourth. That it is none the less a fact that upon the return of the steamer to Manila the collector of customs, on the information given by discharged seamen, detained the Belgika and mulcted the owners, not the charterers, of the said steamer in a fine of 125,000 francs, which, thanks to the good offices of the consul of Belgium, was subsequently reduced to 75,000 francs.

Fifth. That, moreover, under the Coasting Trade Regulations, promulgated by the American Government under date of December 2, 1899, fines imposed for unlawful trade must be recovered through seizure of the merchandise and not of the ship itself.

Sixth. That the detention of the steamer Belgika for sixteen days represents a loss of $1,000 Mexican per diem, and completely tied up the sailing vessels Clementia and Nueva Celestina, which could not get out of the harbor except in tow of the Belgika.

Seventh. That the charter party especially mentions in clauses Nos. 1, 3, and 9 that the vessel was only chartered under the laws and regulations of the American Government.

Eighth. That the fine of 75,000 francs had to be paid by the owners in order to regain possession of the steamer, and that they have been unable to recover from the charterers.

Ninth. That serious damage to Belgian interests results from the foregoing facts. That it is shown on sufficient evidence that the owners are in no wise at fault, and that they have besides evinced the greatest respect for the laws and regulations established by the Government of the United States when they held the charterers in three articles of the contract to observe the same.

That the moral effect sought by the American authorities in severely punishing an offense that had been more or less proved has been fully achieved, and that by now refunding the fine to the owners, who have no delinquency to blame themselves with, the Government of the United States would in no wise impair its prestige, and would do itself an honor by an act of justice and by not discouraging institutions aiming at the advancement of the new possessions of the United States.

That the damage suffered by Belgian interests is not confined to the payment of the fine, but also includes the enforced idleness of the steamer and two sailing vessels for a prolonged period.

That the reimbursement of the fine by the alleged offender, the charterer, is extremely doubtful, and that of the loss occasioned by the said idleness, which can be rated at nearly 50,000 francs in addition to the fine, is even more so.

Under these circumstances we come to you, Mr. Minister, with the earnest prayer that you will be pleased to use your good offices toward obtaining through the good will of the Government of the United States, the reimbursement of the $30,000 Mexican deposited by the owners in order to have the free use of their vessel. We thank you in advance, Mr. Minister, and beg you to accept the expression, etc.,

MELOT, The President,
N. BEKAERT, The Delegated Director.

Mr. Ilay to count Lichtervelde. No. 267.)


Washington, March 18, 1901. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 11th instant relative to the tine imposed upon the Compagnie Générale des Philippines by the customs authorities of Manila, and to inform you that I have sent a translation of the note, with its inclosure, to the Secretary of War, with a request that he have the matter investigated. Accept, etc.,

John Hay.

Mr. Wauters to Mr. Ilay.


New York, October 20, 1901. Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: In the course of the month of March fast Count de Lichtervelde submitted to the consideration of your excellency a claim of the Compagnie Générale des Philippines taken up by the Government of the king with a view of procuring the restitution of a fine imposed on the owners of the steamship Belgika for a breach of the provisions regulating the coasting trade in the Philippine Islands.

I have been instructed to apply again to your excellency with a request that you may earnestly insist that the proper authorities take the claim of the Compagnie Générale des Philippines into consideration and give it a favorable reception. The Government of the King is very greatly interested in obtaining a favorable solution of the matter.

I should be very grateful to your excellency if you would be pleased to support with your recommendation the request that I have been directed to renew. The Government of the King is very desirous of having this claim entertained and of securing the restitution of the fine imposed on the Belgian company, of whose good faith it is satisfied. embrace, etc.,


Mr. Hay to Mr. Wauters.

No. 310.]


Washington, October 30, 1901. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 20th instant, and to inform you that I have to-day addressed the Secretary of War asking him to send me the report of his Department regarding the fine imposed on the steamship Belgika as early as practicable. Accept, etc.,



LEGATION OF BELGIUM, December 20, 1901. Pursuant to instructions of its Government the legation of Belgium had the honor to submit to the favorable consideration of the Secretary of State, on the 11th of March last, a claim of the Compagnie Générale des Philippines, a Belgian corporation recognized in the Philippines.

That company set forth in that document the reasons why it was an act of equity on the part of the United States to reimburse it in the amount of a fine of $30,000, Mexican, which it had to pay by reason of an act of the Philippine firm, Mendoza & Co., to which its steamer Belgika had been chartered.

The legation had the honor to recall this matter to the attention of the Secretary of State on the 20th of October last, and your excellency answered in your communication of the 30th of October last, that you had called upon the Secretary of War for a report on the case.

Baron Moncheur is in receipt of another letter from the minister for foreign affairs at Brussels inquiring urgently concerning the status of the matter.

Mr. Thieupont, a deputy in the Belgian Parliament and director of the company, in a letter addressed to the department of foreign affairs, lays stress on the circumstance that the Belgian company was constrained, in order to secure the release of its vessel, the Belgrka, to

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