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Consul Proffit to the Third Assistant Secretary of State. No. 66.]
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Pretoria, Transvaal, January 21, 1904. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your dispatch No. 36, under date of December 18 last, relative to the payment of certain bonds issued by the Government of the late South African Republic, the property of Dr. William H. McGreevy, of Scranton, Pa. Replying thereto the department is informed that the claimant has forwarded the bonds mentioned to this consulate and that a formal claim has been made on his behalf. The result thereof will be communicated to the department.
So far as I have been able to ascertain, the British Government have refused to entertain claims of this nature in all cases in which the holders of the bonds or notes were rebels or foreigners. Such refusal would seem to be warranted by section 10° of the treaty between Great Britain and the late republics, published in the Gazette Extraordinary on June 3, 1902, a copy of which you will find inclosed with Mr. Gordon's dispatch No. 104, of June 10, 1902. A copy of a letter to the claimant is inclosed herewith. I have, etc.,
JOSEPH E. PROFFIT.
Consul Profit to Doctor Jcireery.
PRETORIA, TRANSVAAL, January 12, 1904. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of November 22 last inclosing 31 notes, issued by the Government of the late South African Republic, of the face value of £681, which you ask me to present for payment to the officials of the British Government. Replying thereto, you are advised that I shall be pleased to make a formal claim on your behalf, though I fear that the issue will prove unsuccessful, as under the treaty of peace signed by Great Britain and the late republics, these notes were made a part of Great Britain's liability only in cases in which they were issued by officers of the said republics in return for supplies furnished or services rendered. And section 10 of said treaty expressly excludes rebels and foreigners from participation in the fund provided for the payment of said notes. However, I shall prosecute your claim diligently, and communicate the result to you as soon as possible. I have inclosed herewith a receipt for the notes in question. I have, etc.,
JOSEPHI E. PROFFIT.
Consul Proffit to the Third Assistant Secretary of State. No. 68.]
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Pretoria, Transvaal, January 28, 1904. Sir: Referring again to my dispatch No. 66 of January 20, 1904, I have the honor to inform you that the British Government have refused to entertain Dr. William H. McGreevy's claim for the payment of certain notes issued by the late South African Republic.
After a formal presentation of the claim I appeared before the central judicial commission and urged payment thereof. The reason assigned for refusal to entertain said claim will be found in the letter from the chairman of the commission, part of which letter has been quoted in my letter of this date to the claimant.
• Printed, ante, p. 793.
The British Government maintain that the fund provided for the payment of war claims was offered as a matter of grace rather than of legal obligation, and that the same was intended for those persons who, undergoing the ills and hardships incident to war in South Africa, had suffered in their property rights by reason of said war. Thus a party holding the obligations of the late Republic in order to be entitled to participate in the benefits of the fund mentioned must first show that he is in lawful possession of said obligations—that they came into his hands by virtue of supplies furnished or services rendered to the responsible officers of the late Republic, and at a time when the said Republic had the right to pledge its credit.
The British forces crossed the Vaal River on the 28th of May, 1900, investing Johannesburg on the 31st of May, 1900, and Pretoria on the 6th of June, 1900. Lord Roberts immediately issued a proclamation annexing the Transvaal to the British Crown.
By reference to the 31 notes which form the basis of Doctor McGreevy's claim it will be found that 26 of them were issued in Pretoria on May 28, 1900, the other 5 being issued in Pietersburg on January 4, 1901.
In conclusion, the department is informed that the position of the British Government, as announced by the central judicial commission (being in part gleaned from a personal interview with the chairman). is as follows:
First. The claimant came into possession of the notes forming the basis of his claim after the world had notice of the fact that the British forces were in possession of the capital of the late republic, and after a formal proclamation of annexation had been published by the responsible commander of the said British forces.
Second. The claimant, living in Scranton, Pa., suffered no hardships in South Africa during the war between Great Britain and the two republics, and so far as the allegations accompanying his claim show, sustained no injury to his property rights in South Africa.
Third. The notes were not given to the claimant by the responsible officers of the late republics in exchange for supplies furnished or services rendered, and claimant, therefore, is beyond the provisions of section 10 of the treaty of peace.
The department is further informed that the claimant has been informed of the decision of the central judicial commission and the notes in question returned to him. I have, etc.,
JOSEPH E. PROFFIT.
Consul Proffit to Doctor JcGreevy. No. 1248.)
PRETORIA, January 28, 1904. SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the British Government, through the agency of the central judicial commission, have refused to entertain your claim for the payment of the certain notes of the late South African republic mentioned in my letter of January 12 last.
I presented a formal claim on your behalf and appeared before the commis. sion and pressed same personally, but with the poor result already indicated.
In announcing the refusal of his commission to entertain your claim the chairman writes to me as follows:
“Apart altogether from the fact that the time for filing claims expired some ten months ago, Doctor McGreevy would not appear to have any right to compensation. He is not a resident of the Transvaal or Orange River Colony, he
had no property destroyed in either of these two colonies, and suffered no loss in either of these two colonies.
* Compensation will be paid only to those who suffered war losses in South Africa. If a man such as Doctor McGreevy, who is not a resident of South Africa, chooses to acquire certain paper notes, he does so at his own risk.”
Regretting the unfruitful issue of my efforts on your behalf, and returning herewith the notes in question, I am, etc.,
JOSEPI E. I'ROFFIT.
The Second Assistant Secretary of State to Consul Proffit. No. 47.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 16, 1904. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 68, of January 28 last, in regard to the refusal of the British authorities to pay the bonds, issued by the Boer government, which are now held by Dr. William H. McGreevy.
You will please forward to the department a copy of the decision of the commission by which payment was denied. I am, etc.,
ALVEY A. ADEE. Consul Proffit to the Second Assistant Secretary of State. No. 92.]
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Pretoria, Transvaal, May 16, 1904. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your dispatch No. 47, of the 16th of March last, in which you direct me to forward a copy of the decision by which payment of the claim of Dr. William H. McGreevy, of Scranton, Pa., was denied by the central judicial commission.
Replying thereto, I regret to inform you that I can not secure a copy of the decision, as the same was verbally delivered by the chairman of the said commission. The only written evidence of the commission's refusal to entertain said claim which I have been able to obtain is embodied in the chairman's letter, copy of which was transmitted with my No. 68, of January 28 last, but which is here repeated for the sake of convenience:
Apart altogether from the fact that the time for filing claims expired some ten months ago, Doctor McGreevy would not appear to have any right to compensation. He is not a resident of the Trausvaal or Orange River Colony, he had no property destroyed in either of these two colonies, and suffered no loss in either of these two colonies.
Compensation will be paid only to those who suffered war losses in South Africa. If a man such as Doctor McGreevy, who is not a resident of South Africa, chooses to acquire certain paper notes, he does so at his own risk. I have, etc.,
J. E. PROFFIT.
FOOD-INSPECTION LAW OF THE UNITED STATES.
Ambassador Reid to the Secretary of State. No. 225.)
London, July 13, 1906. Sir: I have the honor to report the receipt of a letter from the Federation of Grocers' Associations of the United Kingdom inclosing me a copy of a letter and resolution which they had sent in full
to the President, and the substance of which they had previously cabled him. They intimated to me a hope that they might receive from the President, through me, something on the subject which would be of a reassuring character for the trade and might promote the interests of packers of American canned meats.
As the President was known to be at Oyster Bay and the time was short, I finally concluded, after some hesitation, to send a careful dispatch direct to him on the subject without making any immediate response to the Grocers' Associations or committing the President in any way.
On receipt of his cabled reply, however, I hastened to forward it to the meeting of these associations at Sheffield. It was immediately read in their convention, a resolution concerning it was passed, it was published broadcast, and at the request of the associations I have consented to let them make a photolithographic copy of the original dispatch for wide distribution. It is already evident that the impression produced has been most favorable, and it is hoped that it may have some effect in reviving the trade which had been so materially checked.
I beg to inclose herewith copies of the letter from the Grocers' Associations, the President's letter, and my letter to the secretary of the Grocers' Federation transmitting it, together with the response from the Grocers' Associations. I have, etc.,
Jr, Giles to Ambassador Reid.
49 EASTCHEAP, LONDON, E. C., July 3, 1906. SIR: I have now the honor to inclose you a copy of the letter embodying the resolution which we cabled to the President of the United States yesterday.
I have likewise the honor to inclose you a copy of the programme of the annual conference of this federation, which will be held at Sheffield next week. On page 53 of this programme you will see that the subject is coming up for consideration, and if it were possible for us to receive from the President, through you, sir, any reply to our cable which would be of a reassuring character, I believe that it would prove to be in the best interests of the packers of American canned meats and of the trade in such articles in this country. I have, etc.,
ARTHUR J. GILES, Secretary.
JULY 3, 1906. SIR: I have now the honor to inclose you a copy of the resolution which we cabled to you briefly yesterday, and to express the hope that we shall receive some intimation from you that you are satisfied that such alterations have been made in the methods of packing canned meats in the United States that we may be assured that the Government will now give its certificate to all such goods, so that the distributers in this country may be able to assure the British public.
The present state of alarm is almost paralyzing the trade in American (canned meats, and we have been compelled to pass the resolution which I have the honor to inclose, and which I cabled in brief yesterday, in order that we may assure the public as to the care which is being taken by the distributer to see that the food supplied is of the best quality.
I have the honor to inclose a copy of the programme of our annual conference, which will be held at Sheffield next week. Ou page 53 you will see there are
resolutions which will come up for discussion on the 11th instant on this subject. I hope that it may be possible for us to receive an assurance, either direct or through your ambassador, which will assist us in our deliberations. I have, etc.,
ARTHUR J. GILES, Secretary.
RESOLUTION. That the Grocers' Federation cordially supports President Roosevelt in the action he is taking for the purpose of securing such a rigid inspection of American preserved provisions as to provide against the possibility of the continuance of such a shocking state of affairs in the factories as has been exposed recently.
Unless this federation, representing 14,000 grocers, receives an assurance that in future American preserved provisions will be issued with a proper government certificate as to the soundness of their condition for human food, the ex. ecutive will recommend at the annual conference on July 10 that the trade should cease to stock such goods until these assurances have been received.
Tinclosure 4.-- (ablegram.]
President Roosevelt to the American Embassy, London. You are at liberty to inform the Grocers' Federation that under the new law we can, and will, guarantee the fitness in all respects of canned meat bear. ing the government stamp. If any trouble arises therewith, protest can be made, not merely to sellers of goods, but to the United States Government itself.
Ambassador Reid to Mr. Giles.
London, July 9, 1906. Sir: Referring to the resolution by the Federation of Grocers' Associations of the United Kingdom, and to your letter to myself of 3d of July, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a cable dispatch which I have received from the President of the United States. I have, etc.,
FEDERATION OF GROCERS' ASSOCIATIONS
Royal VICTORIA HOTEL, July 10, 1906. SIB: I have to thank you for your letter and copy of President Roosevelt's cable, and I have the honor respectfully to ask you to forward the President the copy of the resolution as given on the other side. I have, etc.,
ARTHUR J. GILES.
[Grocers' Federation resolution, July 10, 1906.) That this conference of the Federation of Grocers' Associations has received with great satisfaction the cablegram from President Roosevelt assuring us as retail distributors of food that his Government guarantees the soundness and wholesomeness of American packed meats; that this conference desire to tender their most sincere and respectful thanks to President Roosevelt for his courtesy in the matter, and also sincerely thanks the American ambassador, the Hon. Whitelaw Reid, for his prompt action and his courtesy. Signed on behalf of the Grocers' Federation.
ARTHUR J. GILES.