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officers aforesaid, in the absence of a diplomatic agent of their country, may apply directly to the government of the country where they exercise their functions.
Consuls-general, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents may take at their offices, at their private residence, at the residence of the parties, or on board ship the depositions of the captains and crews of vessels of their own country, of passengers on board of them, and of any other citizen of their nation. They may also receive at their offices, conformably to the laws and regulations of their country, all contracts between the citizens of their country and the citizens or other inhabitants of the country where they reside, and even all contracts between the latter, provided they relate to property situated, or to business to be transacted, in the territory of the nation to which the said consular officer may belong.
Such papers and official documents, whether in the original, in copies or in translation, duly authenticated and legalized by the consulsgeneral, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents, and sealed with their official seal, shall be received as legal documents in courts of justice throughout the United States and Greece.
In the case of the death of any citizen of the United States in Greece, or of a Greek subject in the United States, without having any known heirs or testamentary executors by him appointed, the competent local authorities shall give information of the circumstance to the consular officers of the nation to which the deceased belongs, in order that the necessary information may be immediately forwarded to the parties interested.
In all that relates to the administration and settlement of estates, the consular officers of the high contracting parties shall have the same rights and privileges as those accorded in the United States of America and Greece, respectively, to the consular officers of the most favored nation.
Consuls-general, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents shall have exclusive charge of the internal order of the merchant vessels of their nation and shall alone take cognizance of differences which may arise either at sea or in port between the captains, officers and crews, with: out exception, particularly in reference to the adjustment of wages and the execution of contracts.
In case any discord should happen on board of vessels of either party, in the territory or waters of the other, neither the Federal, State or Municipal Authorities or Courts in the United States, nor any Court or Authority in Greece, shall on any pretext interfere except when the said disorders are of such a nature as to cause or to be likely to cause a breach of the peace or serious trouble in the port or on shore; or when, in such trouble or breach of the peace, a person or persons shall be implicated, not forming a part of the crew.
In any other case, said Federal, State or Municipal Authorities or Courts in the United States, or Courts or Authorities in Greece, shall
not interfere but shall render forcible aid to consular officers, when they may ask it, to search, arrest and imprison all persons composing the crew, whom they may deem it necessary to confine. Those persons shall be arrested at the sole request of the consuls addressed in writing to either the Federal, State or Municipal Courts or Authorities in the United States, or to any Court or Authority in Greece, and supported by an official extract from the register of the ship or the list of the crew, and the prisoners shall be held, during the whole time of their stay in the port, at the disposal of the consular officers. Their release shall be granted at the mere request of such officers made in writing. The expenses of the arrest and detention of those persons, shall be paid by the consular officers.
The said consuls-general, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents are authorized to require the assistance of the local authorities for the arrest, detention and imprisonment of the deserters from the ships of war and merchant vessels of their country; and for this purpose they shall apply to the competent tribunals, judges and officers and shall, in writing, demand said deserters, proving by the exhibition of the registers of the vessels, the rolls of the crews, or by other official documents, that such individuals formed part of the crews, and on this reclamation being thus substantiated the surrender shall not be refused. Such deserters, when arrested, shall be placed at the disposal of the said consuls-general, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents, and may be contined in the public prisons at the request and cost of those who claim them, in order to be sent to the vessels to which they belonged, or to others of the same country. But if not sent back within the space of two months, reckoning from the day of their arrest, they shall be set at liberty, and shall not again be arrested for the same cause
It is understood, however, that if the deserter should be found to have committed any crime or offence, his surrender may be delayed until the tribunal before which the case shall be depending shall have pronounced its sentence, and such sentence shall have been carried into effect.
In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, between the owners, freighters and insurers, all damages suffered at sea, by the vessels of the two countries, whether they enter the respective ports voluntarily or are forced by stress of weather or other cause, over which the officers have no control, shall be settled by the consuls-general, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents of the country in which they respectively reside; in case, however, any citizen of the country in which the said officers reside, or subjects of a third power, sbould be interested in these damages, and the parties cannot come to an amicable agreement, the competent local authorities shall decide.
All operations relative to salvage of United States vessels wrecked upon the coasts of Greece, and of Greek vessels upon the coasts of the United States, shall be directed by the respective consuls-general, consuls, and vice-consuls of the two countries, and until their arrival, by the respective consular agents, where consular agencies exist.
In places and ports where there is no such agency, the local authorities shall give immediate notice of the shipwreck to the consul of the district in which the disaster has taken place, and until the arrival of the said consul, they shall take all necessary measures for the protection of persons and the preservation of property.
The local authorities shall intervene only to preserve order, and to protect the interests of the salvors, if they do not belong to the crew of the wrecked vessel, and to secure the execution of the arrangements made for the entry and exportation of the merchandise saved. It is understood that such merchandise is not to be subjected to any customhouse charges unless it be intended for consumption in the country in which the wreck took place.
Consuls-general, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents shall be at liberty to go, either in person or by proxy, on board vessels of their nation admitted to entry and to examine the officers and crews, to examine the ship's papers, to receive declarations concerning their voyage, their destination and the incidents of the voyage; also to draw up manifests and lists of freight, to facilitate the entry and clearance of their vessels, and finally to accompany the said officers or crews before the judicial or administrative authorities of the country, to assist them as their interpreters or agents.
The judicial authorities and custom-house officials shall in no case proceed to the examination or search of merchant vessels without having given previous notice to the consular officers of the nation to which the said vessels belong, in order to enable the said consular officers to be present.
They shall also give due notice to the said consular officers, in order to enable them to be present at any depositions or statements to be made in courts of law or before local magistrates, by officers or persons belonging to the crew, thus to prevent errors or false interpretations which might impede the correct administration of justice. The notice to consuls, vice-consuls or consular agents shall name the hour fixed for such proceedings. Upon the non-appearance of the said officers or their representatives, the case may be proceeded with in their absence.
The present convention shall remain in force for the space of ten years, counting from the day of the exchange of the ratifications, which shall be made in conformity with the respective constitutions of the two countries and exchanged at Athens as soon as possible.
In case neither party gives notice, twelve months before the expiration of the said period of ten years, of its intention not to renew this convention, it shall remain in force one year longer, and so on from year to year, until the expiration of a year from the day on which one of the parties shall have given such notice.
This convention abrogates articles 12, 13 and 14 of the treaty of Commerce and Navigation concluded between the United States of inclosure from the United States minister at Guatemala, concerning outrages committed against Chinese by the local police of Guatemala City:
It is to be deplored that any occasion should arise for making a complaint of false arrest and robbery against an officer of the law, whose duty it should be to protect peaceable and law-abiding residents instead of committing outrages against them. Officers who commit such acts as have been reported should be made an example of and severely punished. I venture to express the confident hope that the action taken by your minister in Guatemala will have a salutary effect upon the future conduct of members of the police force of that city, and that the two Chinese subjects referred to will be indemnified in some appropriate manner.
May I ask you kindly to convey to the honorable Mr. Combs my grateful appreciation of what he has done in behalf of the said Chinese subjects and my request that he will kindly press the matter to a satisfactory conclusion? Be pleased, etc.,
CAENTUNG LIANG CHENG.
Mr. Combs to Mr. Hay. No. 74.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS,
Guatemala, June 19, 1903. Sir: I have the honor to inclose the correspondence in the case of Juan Ton, a Chinese arrested at Amatitlan and illegally imprisoned and fined.
I wrote the proper authority forwarding the complaint of the Chinese (inclosure No. 1), and two days afterwards I secured his release from imprisonment by a personal interview with the foreign minister.
On the 30th ultimo I received the opinion of the superior judge that the fine imposed was illegal and directing it to be returned (inclosure No. 2). A copy of this opinion was sent to Juan Ton's employer directing him to apply for the return of the fine illegally imposed (inclosure No. 3), and to-day I am in receipt of a letter (inclosure No. 4) from the Chinese thanking me for my successful efforts in his behalf and acknowledging the return of the fine.
I have investigated rigidly all alleged cases of outrage upon the Chinese here and have pressed all meritorious cases vigorously to a proper settlement-punishment of the guilty parties—and will try to secure reimbursement of losses where they occur. This is, however, very difficult.
I hope future imposition upon these people by the subordinate authority will be less frequent. I have, etc.,
Mr. Combs to Mr. Barrios.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Guatemala, May 6, 1903. SIR: I have the honor to inclose to your excellency herewith a copy of a complaint by one Juan Ton, which explains itself.
I trust your excellency will take immediate steps to ascertain the truth of the charges and afford the proper relief. I embrace, etc.,
AMATITLAN, May 4, 1903. With the greatest respect, permit me to bring to your knowledge the following: On Monday, the 4th instant, at 9 o'clock a. m., I was found complying with my obligations and fulfilling my duty as clerk in the store of my employers, known as Win Chow, in Amatitlan, situated on the principal street.
About this time a lady came, whom I did not then know, and desired to buy a silk shawl, for which she offered $12 or $13, but I could not and would not let her have it for that price, for which reason the lady became furious and left without anything else particularly happening.
A short time afterwards a soldier came, accompanied by the aforementioned lady, and I was taken before the municipal judge, arrested, and left in jail, where I am still, only on the word of the lady and contrary to the law that provides other procedure for such cases.
The judge demands $300, but the law does not permit him to impose any such fine for slander, of which the lady complains, neither is he competent authority to fine me $300 or thirty days in jail without any proof whatever.
I am still under arrest, and as your excellency is recommended to look after the interest of the Chinese here, I pray you kindly investigate this case and protest against the acts complained of for the purpose of having the proceedings rectified and the reparation made that you may deem convenient.
I am, etc.,
Guatemala, May 30, 1903. MR. MINISTER: From the department of justice I have received, on the 29th instant, the following note:
“MR. MINISTER: I have the honor to transcribe to you, for your information and guidance, a note received from the president of the supreme court of justice, which says:
“GUATEMALA, May 25, 1903. “Sir: In the investigation instituted in pursuance of your esteemed note of the 11th instant, relative to the complaint of the Chinese, Juan Ton, against the municipal judge of Amatitlan, will be found the following opinion of the attorney-general, which says, literally: ‘Supreme court of justice: According to article 456 of the penal code punishment can only be imposed economically for slander, when owing to its trifling character it does not merit more than three days' confinement. When the slander is of so grave a character as to constitute a crime, it should be followed up according to the provisions especially laid down by Division IV, Book V, of the Code of Penal Procedure. If this slander be classified as being comprehended in articles 338 and 339 of the penal code, it should be tried by a judge of the first instance, but if it be com prehended in article 340 of the said code, it may be tried verbally by a justice of the peace or municipal judge. It is not my province to qualify the slander attributed to the Chinese Juan Ton against Mrs. Ysabel Paloma de Ortiz and determine if it is grave, slight, or trifling; but it is my duty to call attention to the fact that the punishment imposed by the justice of the peace of Amatitlan does not correspond, according to the above, with the procedure employed. It is, therefore, my opinion that we should proceed: First, to return to the Chinese, Juan Ton, the amount paid for commutation of punishment; and, second, having been under arrest more than three days and the judge having qualified the slander as trifling and to be punished economically, no other punishment can be imposed for said slander, unless the offended person makes the corresponding accusation before competent authority. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I ask that you transmit to the tribunal of the first instance of Amatitlan the foregoing opinion, and that in view of this and other circumstances that exist the law that should be observed may be applied in the present case, making known, without delay, this opinion to the Chinese, Juan Ton.
"Guatemala, May 21, 1903. CALDERON. Supreme Court of Justice, Guatemala, May 22, 1903. As asked by the attorney-general. Article 26, book of rules and reg