Page images
PDF
EPUB

the property of individuals and the property held by towns under the Mexican Government.

Townsend v. Greeley, 5 Wall. 326.

The rule that a suit by or against a corporation in its corporate name in a court of the United States is conclusively presumed to be a suit by or against citizens of the State creating the corporation, does not apply to a limited partnership association organized under the Pennsylvania statute of June 2, 1874, entitled "An act authorizing the formation of partnership associations in which the capital subscribed shall alone be responsible for the debts of the association except under certain circumstances."

Great Southern Fire Proof Hotel Co. l. Jones (1900), 177 U. S. 449.

“ There is an indisputable legal presumption that a State corporation, when sued or suing in a circuit court of the United States, is composed of citizens of the State which created it.

That doctrine began, as we have seen, in the assumption that State corporations were composed of citizens of the State which created them; but such assumption was one of fact, and was the subject of allegation and traverse, and thus the jurisdiction of the Federal courts might be defeated. Then, after a long contest in this court, it was settled that the presumption of citizenship is one of law, not to be defeated by allegation or evidence to the contrary. There we are content to leave it."

St. Louis & San Francisco Railway Co. L. James (1896), 161 U. S. 545,

562-563, The rule that the stockholders of a corporation are, for purposes of

Federal jurisdiction, conclusively presumed to be citizens of the
State under whose laws the corporation was created, was questioned
or opposed to Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 3 Cranch, 267; Bank of the
United States v. Deveaux, 5 Cranch, 84; Commercial and Railroad
Bank of Vicksburg 1. Slocomb, 14 Pet. 60. See, also, Hope Ins. Co.
V. Boardman, 5 Cranch, 57. These cases were reviewed and con-
trolled in 1844 in the case of Louisville Railroad Co. v. Letson, ?

How. 497.
See, also, Muller v. Dows, 94 U. S. 444; National Steamship Co. v.

Dryer, 1 Sup. C. R. 58; Ferry 1. Imperial Fire Ins. Co., 9 West.
Jur. 551.

A corporation under the laws of the State of Minnesota brought suit against the United States in the Court of Claims, under the act of March 3, 1891, 26 Stat. 851, in relation to the payment of Indian depredation claims, for the value of certain horses and harness taken or destroyed by Sioux Indians. The act authorized the payment only of “ claims for property of citizens of the United States.” The

H. Doc. 551-vol 3-51

Court of Claims found as a conclusion of law that the claimant, as a Minnesota corporation, must be presumed to be a citizen of the United States for the purposes of the action. The United States appealed. The decision of the Court of Claims was affirmed.

United States v. Northwestern Express Co. (1897), 164 U. S. 686.
Mr. Justice White, delivering the opinion of the court, observed that Con-

gress had frequently in its legislation, as also had the treaty-making
power, used the words citizens of the United States " as embracing
corporations created under. State laws. This was the case in kerised
Statutes, secs. 2319 and 2321, relating to the purchase of mineral
deposits in public lands, and also under the French Spoliations Act
of January 20, 1885, 22 Stat. 283. In these cases ('ongress had
entered upon no inquiry as to whether the stockholders were com-
posed in whole or in part of any but citizens of the United States.
So, in various treaties of the United States, the phrase "citizens of
the l'nited States” had been used as including corporations, com-
panies, and private individuals. By the act of March 3, 1891, the
United States had designed to pay for injuries committed by the
Indians, its wards. In order to make such restitution the word
“ citizens " would require a construction embracing Federal and State
corporations, since redress must be denied unless the corporation
holding legal title to property miglit bring a claim for damages, the
stockholders being legally incompetent to present such it claim. It
had been argued that, if corporations were embraced in the terms
of the act, an alien who was a corporator might be benefited. But
the argument of inconvenience on this ground was overwhelmed by
the preponderance of inconvenience on the other side, for, while the
alien (orporator might be an exception, the corporator who was a
citizen both of the State and of the United States was the rule.

Henry Chauncey, a citizen of the United States, and two other persons, also such citizens, made a claim against the Chilean Government as surviving members of the firm of Allsop & Co. The claim was based on alleged interference by the Chilean Government with certain property or property rights, which were transferred in 1875 to that firm, and which, the firm having gone into liquidation, were embraced in a contract of settlement in 1876 between the liquidating partner of the firm and the Government of Bolivia. Subsequently, on the death of the partner in question, Mr. Chauncey became the liquidator of the firm, and as such liquidator he appeared as the firm's representative in presenting the claim. It appeared that the firm was formed in 1870 under the laws of Chile, with its domicil at Valparaiso, and that it constituted under those laws a society of partnership en comandité, which constitutes under the law of Chile, which is based on the civil law; a juridical person or entity distinct from its individual members. On this ground it was held that the firm was to be considered for international purposes as a citizen of Chile, and was therefore incapable of prosecuting through its representative

a claim against Chile as a citizen of the United States before an international commission.

Henry Chauncey 1. Chile, No. 3, United States and Chilean Claims Com

mission (1901), citing Code of Chile, tit. 28, art. 2053; Calvo, Droit International, II. 227, 399 ; Smith v. McMicken, 3 La. Ann. 322 ; Liverpool Nav. Co. v. Agar, 14 Fed. Rep. 615; Wharton's Int. Law Dig. II. 528; Field's Int. Code, art. 545; Müller 1. Dows, 94 U. S. 445 ; Code of Belgiun, art. 3; Lyon-Caen and Renault, Droit Commercial, II. 241–243; the Cerruti Case, as presented in the Italian Green Book, March 13, 1900, and in Calvo, Droit International, III. 426.

A British railway corporation, considering itself aggrieved by the action of the British colonial authorities, addressed a memorial to the British Government. The Government of the United States was requested, in behalf of an American corporation, which was said to own all the shares of the British corporation, to support the latter's memorial. The United States answered that the railway company, in whose name the memorial was presented, being a British corporation, could not call upon the United States to intervene in its behalf with the British authorities, but that there was “a more substantial reason for the refusal than that of the distinction between a corporation and its shareholders. It is an established principle that where a State creates a corporation and confers upon it franchises and obligations of an important public character, such as the operating a railroad, the company entrusted with these privileges and duties is not allowed, without the consent of the Government from which it derives its existence, to transfer them to others. This general principle may be to some extent evaded in the case of an incorporated company by a transfer, not of the property itself, but of the shares of stock in the corporation. But the mere transfer of shares between individuals does not affect the complete subjection of the corporation itself to the Government which created it. That Government still retains all the powers of regulation and legislation in respect to the corporation, its rights, privileges and franchises, which it would have had, had there been no transfer of shares. Any attempt at intervention by the Government of persons holding a portion or even the whole of the shares of a corporation, with the Government which created it and within whose limits its operations are conducted, would be an infringement of the principle above referred to.”

Mr. Chl, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Wesson, April 29, 1895, 201 MS. Dom.

Let. 696.
See Canada Southern Railway 1. Gebhard (1883), 109 U. S. 527.

A corporation organized in Great Britain, having its principal place of business in that country, is not a subject of that country, within the meaning of a treaty giving subjects of that country the right to do business in any of the States of the United States on the same terms as natives.

Scottish Union & National Ins. Co. of Edinburgh, Scotland, and London,

England v. Herriott, 109 Iowa, 606, 80 N. W. 665.

The Board of Harbor Works of Ponce, Porto Rico, a Spanish corporation, became “as between the United States and other governments, an American citizen," by virtue of the treaty of peace, by which Porto Rico was annexed to the United States.

Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Sec. of War, March 27, 1900, 244 MS. Dom.

Let. 41.

[blocks in formation]

" There is no appropriation or authority for the relief by a diplomatic representative of a distressed citizen of the United States or for furnishing him transportation home. The exception in the case of seamen falls under consular administration."

Instructions to the Diplomatic Officers of the United States, 1897, § 175,

p. 68.

See, to the same effect, Ir. Marcy, Sec. of State, to Mr. Jackson, chargé

d'affaires at Vienna, Jan. 31, 1851, H. Ex. Doc. 100, 33 Cong. 1 sess. 31.

While the Federal and State Governments in this country make provision for the care of all destitute, siek, or infirm persons within their borders, without regard to nationality, no provision as yet exists in most States, or under the Federal system, for the relief of destitute, sick, or infirm citizens of the United States abroad.

Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Motley, min. to Austria, April 7, 1863,

MS. Inst. Aust. I. 184.
See, to the same effect, Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Fogg, July 28,

1864, MS. Inst. Switzerland, I. 146 ; Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr.
Delfosse, Dec. 22, 1869, MS. notes to Belgium, VI. 244; Mr. Evarts,
Sec. of State, to Mr. Fish, March 5, 1880, MS. Inst. Switzerland, II. 37.

The Russian legation stated, in a note of April 12, 1872, that the Imperial Government had issued a decree providing for the return to their own country of the Russian indigent and sick abroad.

Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Schirkoff, April 22, 1872, MS. Notes to

Russ. Leg. VII. 67.

Congress, from the beginning of the Government, has wisely made provision for the relief of distressed seamen in foreign countries. No similar provision, however, has hitherto been made for the relief of citizens in distress abroad, other than seamen. It is under

stood to be customary with other governments to authorize consuls to extend such relief to their citizens or subjects in certain cases. A similar authority, and an appropriation to carry it into effect, are recommended in the case of citizens of the United States destitute or sick under such circumstances."

President Grant, annual message, Dec. 2, 1873, Richardson's Messages,

VII. 191.

“ Instances of insanity on the part of citizens of the United States abroad have, from time to time, been reported to this Department, by ministers and consuls. When their friends here were known, they were apprised of the case, that they might relieve the sufferer. When, however, we could obtain no information as to those friends, or these were unable to provide relief, the case has been reported to the governor of the State of which the patient might be a citizen, so that proper relief might be afforded."

Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Shishkin, Jan. 8, 1879, MS. Notes to

Russia, VII. 255.

[ocr errors]

Article III. of the treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and Switzerland of 1850 provides that citizens of the one republic residing in the other, who shall desire to return to their own country or who shall be legally sent thither by a judicial decision or act of police, “ shall be received at all times and under all circumstances

in the country to which they belong, and in which they shall have preserved their rights in conformity with the laws thereof." In the case of Spitznagel in 1861, and Zweifel in 1861, the Swiss Government took the ground that this article did not require either contracting party to provide for the return to its territory of its indigent citizens, but only to receive them when sent back to their own country. The United States coincided with this view, but took the ground that, although neither party might be required to provide for the return of its pauper citizens, it might at least be asked to prevent the exportation of its pauper citizens to the other country.

Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Fish, No. 139, March 5, 1880, MS. Inst.

Switzerland, II. 37.
See, also, Mr. Day, Sec. of State, to Mr. Pioda, Swiss min., No. 173, June

25, 1898, MS. Notes to Swiss Leg. I. 500, to the effect that the article
does not require either government to provide for the wants of its
indigent citizens residing within the jurisdiction of the other, or to
provide the means for their return.

“ While it may not be anticipated that judicial proceedings against aliens in British jurisdiction will be conducted otherwise than in strict conformity to law, and with every constitutional guarantee for the fair trial and defense of the accused, yet it is the clear right and

« PreviousContinue »