« PreviousContinue »
agents of the most favored Nation, it being understood that the favors, privileges, immunities and exemptions granted by the one party to the Envoys, Ambassadors, Ministers, Chargés d'affaires, or any other diplomatic agents of the other party or to those of any other Nation, shall be reciprocally granted and extended to those of the other High Contracting Party.
Each of the High Contracting Parties pledges itself to admit the Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls and Consular Agents of the other in all its ports, places and cities, except where it may not be convenient to recognize such functionaries.
This reservation, however, shall not be applied by one of the High Contracting Parties to the other unless in like manner applied to all other Powers.
Consular officers shall receive, after presenting their commissions, and according to the formalities established in the respective countries, the exequatur required for the exercise of their functions, which shall be furnished to them free of cost; and on presentation of this document, they shall be admitted to the enjoyment of the rights, privileges and immunities granted to them by this Treaty.
The Government granting the exequatur shall be at liberty to withdraw the same on stating the reasons for which it has thought proper so to do. Notice shall be given, on producing the commission, of the extent of the district allotted to the consular officer, and subsequently of the changes that may be made in this district.
All consular officers, citizens or subjects of the country which has appointed them, shall be exempted from military billetings and contributions, and shall enjoy personal immunity from arrest or imprisonment, except for acts constituting crimes or misdemeanors by the laws of the country to which they are commissioned. They shall also be exempt from all National, State, Provincial and Municipal taxes except on real estate situated in, or capital invested in the country to which they are commissioned. If, however, they are engaged in professional business, trade, manufacture or commerce, they shall not enjoy such exemption from taxes, but shall be subject to the same taxes as are paid under similar circumstances by foreigners of the most favored Nation, and shall not be entitled to plead their consular privilege to avoid professional or commercial liabilities.
If the testimony of a consular officer, who is a citizen or subject of the State by which he was appointed, and who is not engaged in business, is needed before the Courts of either country, he shall be invited in writing to appear in Court, and if unable to do so, his testimony shall be requested in writing, or be taken orally at his dwelling or office.
To obtain the testimony of such consular officer before the Courts of the country where he may exercise his functions, the interested party in civil cases, or the accused in criminal cases, shall apply to the competent judge, who shall invite the consular officer in the manner prescribed above, to give his testimony.
It shall be the duty of said consular officer to comply with this request, without any delay which can be avoided. Nothing in the foregoing part of this article, however, shall be construed to conflict with the provisions of the sixth article of the amendments to the Constitution of the United States, or with like provisions in the Constitutions of the several States, whereby the right is secured to persons charged with crimes, to obtain witnesses in their favor, and to be confronted with the witnesses against them.
Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls, and Consular Agents may place over the outer door of their office the arms of their Nation with this inscription Consulate," "Vice-Consulate,” or “Consular Agency of the United States” or “Spain.”
They may also hoist the Hag of their country over the house in which the Consular Office is, provided they do not reside in the Capital in which the Legation of their country is established; and also upon any vessel employed by them in port in the discharge of their official duties.
The consular offices and archives shall be at all times inviolable. The local authorities shall not be allowed to enter such offices under any pretext, nor shall they in any case examine or take possession of the official papers therein deposited. These offices, however, sball never serve as place of asylum.
When the consular officer is engaged in trade, professional business or manufact'ire, the papers and archives relating to the business of the Consulate must be kept separate and apart from all others.
In case of death, incapacity or absence of the Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls, and Consular Agents, their respective Chancellors or Secretaries whose official character shall have been previously made known to the Department of State at Washington or the Ministry of State in Spain, shall be permitted to discharge their functions ad interim, and they shall enjoy, while thus acting, the same rights, privileges and immunities as the officers whose places they fill, under the same conditions prescribed in the case of these officers.
Consuls-General and Consuls may, so far as the laws of their country allow, with the approbation of their respective Governments, appoint Vice-Consuls and Consular Agents in the cities, ports and places within their consular jurisdiction. These Agents may be selected from among citizens of the United States or among subjects of Spain or those of other countries. They shall be furnished with a regular commission and shall enjoy the privileges, rights and immunities stipulated for consular officers in this Convention, subject to the exceptions specified in articles XV and XVI.
The Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls and Consular Agents of the two High Contracting Parties, shall have the right to address the authorities of the respective countries, national or local, judicial or executive, within the extent of their respective consular districts, for the purpose of complaining of any infraction of the treaties or conventions existing between the two countries, or for purposes of infornration, or for the protection of the rights and interests of their countrymen, whom, if absent, such consular officers shall be presumed to represent.
If such application shall not receive proper attention, such consular officers may, in the absence of the diplomatic agent of their country, apply directly to the Government of the country to which they are commissioned.
ARTICLE XXII. Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls, and Consular Agents of the respective countries or their deputies shall, as far as compatible with the laws of their own country, have the following powers:
1. To take at their offices, their private residence, at the residence of the parties concerned or on board ship, the depositions of the captains and crews of vessels of their own country and of passengers thereon, as well as the depositions of any citizen or subject of their own country.
2. To draw up, attest, certify and authenticate all unilateral acts, deeds, and testamentary dispositions of their countrymen, as well as all articles of agreement or contracts to which one or more of their countrymen are a party.
3. To draw up, attest, certify and authenticate all deeds or written instruments which have for their object the conveyance or encumbrance of real or personal property situated in the territory of the country by which said consular officers are appointed, and all unilateral acts, deeds, testamentary dispositions, as well as articles of agreement or contracts relating to property situated, or business to be transacted, in the territory of the Nation by which the said consular officers are appointed; even in cases where said unilateral acts, deeds, testamentary dispositions, articles of agreement or contracts are exe cuted solely by citizens or subjects of the country to which said consular officers are commissioned.
All such instruments and documents thus executed and all copies and translations thereof when duly authenticated by such ConsulGeneral, Consul, Vice-Consul or Consular-Agent under his official seal, shall be received as evidence in the United States and in Spain, as original documents or authenticated copies as the case may be, and shall have the same force and effect as if drawn up by and executed before a notary or public officer duly authorized in the country by which said consular officer was appointed; provided always that they have been drawn and executed in conformity to the Laws and Regulations of the country where they are intended to take effect.
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 without exception, particularly in reference to the adjustment of wages and the execution of contracts. In case any disorder should happen on board of vessels of either party in the territorial waters of the other, neither the Federal, State or Municipal Authorities in the United States, nor the Authorities or Courts in Spain, shall on any pretext interfere, except when the said disorders are of such a nature as to cause or 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 in the United States, or Authorities or Courts in Spain, shall not interfere, but shall render forcible aid to consular officers, when they may ask it, to search for, 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 Consul addressed in writing to either the Federal, State or Municipal Authorities in the United States, or the Authorities or Courts in Spain, 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 Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls and Consular-Agents of the two countries may respectively cause to be arrested and sent on board or cause to be returned to their own country, such officers, seamen or other persons forming part of the crew of ships of war or merchant vessels of their Nation, who may have deserted in one of the ports of the other.
To this end they shall respectively address the competent national or local authorites in writing, and make request for the return of the deserter and furnish evidence by exhibiting the register, crew list or other official documents of the vessel, or a copy or extract therefrom, duly certified, that the persons claimed belonged to said ship's company.
On such application being made, all assistance shall be furnished for the pursuit and arrest of such deserters, who shall even be detained and guarded in the gaols of the country pursuant to the requisition and at the expense of the Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls or Consular Agents, until they find an opportunity to send the deserters home.
If, however, no such opportunity shall be had for the space of three months from the day of the arrest, the deserters shall be set at liberty, and shall not again be arrested for the same cause. It is understood that persons who are citizens or subjects of the country within which the demand is made shall be exempted from the provisions of this article.
If the deserter shall have committed any crime or offence in the country within which he is found, he shall not be placed at the disposal of the Consul until after the proper Tribunal having jurisdiction in the case shall have pronounced sentence, and such sentence shall have been executed.
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 port in the respective countries voluntarily, or are forced by stress of weather or other causes over which the officers have no control, shall be settled by the ConsulsGeneral, Consuls Vice-Consuls and Consular Agents of the respective countries; in case, however, any citizen or subject of the country to which said consular officers are commissioned, or any subject of a third Power be interested and the parties cannot come to an amicable agreement, the competent local authorities shall decide.
In case of the death of a citizen or subject of one of the parties within the territories or dominion of the other, the competent local authorities shall give notice of the fact to the Consuls or Consular Agents of the Nation to which the deceased belongs, to the end that information may be at once transmitted to the parties interested.
The Consuls - General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls or Consular Agents of the respective High Contracting Parties shall have, under the laws of their country and the instructions and regulations of their own Goyernment so far as compatible with local laws, the right of representing the absent, unknown or minor heirs, next of kin or legal representatives of the citizens or subjects of their country, who shall die within their consular jurisdiction; as well as those of their countrymen dying at sea whose property is brought within their consular district; and of appearing either personally or by delegate in their behalf in all proceedings relating to the settlement of their estate until such heirs or legal representatives shall themselves appear.
Until such appearance the said consular officers shall be permitted, so far as compatible with local laws, to perform all the duties prescribed by the laws of their country and the instructions and regulations of their own Government for the safe-guarding of the property and the settlement of the estate of their deceased countrymen.
In every case the effects and property of such deceased citizens or subjects shall be retained within the consular district for twelve calendar months by said Consuls-General, Consuls, Vice-Consuls or Consular Agents or by the legal representatives or heirs of the deceased during which time the creditors, if any, of the deceased shall have the right to present their claims and demands against the said effects and property, and all questions arising out of such claims or demands shall be decided by the local judicial authorities in accordance with the laws of the country to which said officers are commissioned.