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No. 1092.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.

Berlin, November 30, 1899.

SIR: While referring to my dispatch No. 1091, mailed you yesterday afternoon, I have the honor to append hereto a copy of the text of your telegram, received late last night, and of my reply thereto, just sent you, in regard to the readmission of the Prussian fire insurance companies to the State of New York, and to be, etc.,


[Inclosure 1 in No. 1092.-Telegram.]

Mr. Hay to Mr. Jackson.

WASHINGTON, November 29, 1899.

Prussian fire insurance companies admitted to business in State of New York.


[Inclosure 2 in No. 1092.-Telegram.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.

BERLIN, November 29, 1899.

Prussian minister of interior has requested me to express sincerest thanks to proper authorities.

No. 353.]

Mr. Hay to Mr. von Holleben.



Washington, December 2, 1899. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 28th ultimo by which you advise me that the New York Life Insurance Company has, by order of the Royal Prussian ministry of the interior, been readmitted to do business in Prussia.

I have already instructed the United States ambassador at Berlin, by telegraph, to express to the Prussian Government the gratification and pleasure which this action gave to the United States.

Accept, etc.,


No. 649.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.


Berlin, December 9, 1898.

SIR: Several months ago, just after the enactment of the law making the Sandwich Islands a part of the United States of America, an appliention for an American passport was made to this embassy by a young

Hawaiian of American ancestry, who was a student at Harvard and who wished to travel in Russia during the summer vacation. The young man could have obtained a passport from the Hawaiian authorities in the United States, as the islands had not been annexed at the time he left, but as he knew their annexation was about to take place he preferred to wait, hoping to be able to secure an American passport. In view of the fact, however, that the embassy had received no official information as to the annexation of these islands, Ambassador White did not feel at liberty to grant the passport desired.

An application was subsequently made to the Hawaiian chargé d'affaires and consul-general in this city, and a passport was obtained which enabled the young man in question to carry out his plans for the


I was reminded of this incident at the recent opening of the German Reichstag, to which the diplomatic corps received formal invitation, by the presence of the Hawaiian chargé, and by noting that his name still appears in the official list of the diplomatic corps which I obtained yesterday from the foreign office. In view of the fact that no notice has been given the German Government-by this embassy, at leastof the annexation of the Sandwich Islands, I take the liberty of bringing the matter to the attention of the Department and respectfully request that such instructions therein may be given as are found convenient and proper.

I have, etc.,


Mr. Hay to Mr. White.

No. 716.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 10, 1899.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Jackson's No. 649, of the 9th ultimo, with reference to the status of the Hawaiian chargé d'affaires and consul-general at Berlin.


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As stated in my telegram of the 4th instant, the diplomatic functions of the Hawaiian representative as chargé d'affaires ceased upon the annexation of the islands. With reference to his commercial capacity, I enlarge upon my telegrams as follows:

By the joint resolution of Congress, approved July 7, 1898, providing for the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States it is provided that "until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands, the customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and other countries shall remain unchanged."

This Government had regarded that provision of law as continuing the commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands with other States pending such legislation by Congress concerning the Hawaiian Islands as may be deemed necessary or proper, and consequently the United States continues to conduct its commercial business through its own consular officer at Honolulu as a de facto commercial agent, while the Hawaiian consuls in this country continue to act in a similar capacity. Until the commercial dependency of the Hawaiian Islands upon the United States shall be regulated by law, it would seem desirable that the present representatives of the Hawaiian Islands should continue

to discharge their commercial functions as such agents in foreign countries, and until such laws shall be passed this Government is not prepared to commission those consular officers as full consular officers of the United States or to merge their functions in those of existing consular representatives of the United States in the same localities.

With regard, however, to the consular officers of foreign Governments in the Hawaiian Islands the case is somewhat different, and inquiries on this point have been, in several instances, answered by expressing the opinion of this Government that it would be desirable for the existing foreign consuls in the Hawaiian Islands to receive new commissions from their Governments, upon which this Government could issue its exequator covering the present provisional arrangement with respect to the commercial intercourse of Hawaii with foreign

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SIR: Among the applications for passports which accompany Mr. Jackson's dispatch of the 31st ultimo is that of Oscar von Wolff, executed October 12, 1898, before W. P. Leonhard, United States vice and acting consul at Hamburg, upon which passport No. 850 was issued October 22, 1898.

It appears from Mr. Wolff's affidavit that he was born in Silesia, July 9, 1859, and came to this country in 1878; that he served from 1884 to 1892 on board the United States coasting ships, and during the late war with Spain on board the United States ship San Francisco, as shown by his discharge paper. He also exhibited a declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States.

From the statement submitted it would appear a passport should not have been issued in this case. Service as a seaman or in the naval service of the United States does not in itself confer citizenship. It has never been held by the Department that one who has been an American seaman and has made his declaration of intention to become an American citizen is entitled to receive a citizen's passport until he has complied with the requirements of section 2174 of the Revised Statutes and received naturalization papers from a court having competent jurisdiction. Honorable discharge from an enlistment in the Navy after five years' service is also a cause for naturalization by the courts under the provisions of the act approved July 26, 1894 (vol. 28, United States Statutes at Large, p. 124), but the discharge by itself confers no rights of citizenship.

I am, etc.,



No. 738.]


Mr. White to Mr. Hay.


Berlin, February 13, 1899.

SIR: Referring to my dispatch, No. 737, of the 10th instant, I have the honor to inform you that the interpellation in regard to the commercial relations between the United States and Germany was reached at too late an hour on that day to be discussed, and that consequently it was not taken up by the Reichstag until the afternoon of Saturday, the 11th instant.

That afternoon, after Minister von Bülow, the imperial secretary of state for foreign affairs, had declared his readiness to answer the interpellation, Count Kanitz, its introducer-in a speech of considerable length, which was remarkable for its lack of aggressiveness-referred to the increase in American importations throughout Europe and the decrease in exportation to the United States, reviewing the whole of the American tariff legislation since 1861 and describing what he called the American transition from free trade to extreme protection, and mentioning in particular the Saratoga agreement of 1891 and the more recent convention with the French Republic, the advantages of which had been denied to Germany by the United States a fact which he considered an absolute breach of the "most-favored-nation" clause of the treaty of 1828 with Prussia. He said that in consequence of this it would not be necessary to give notice of intention to terminate that treaty, but that the German Government was at once in a position to apply the higher rates of duty prescribed in its general tariff. He stated that in his opinion German agriculture could supply all domestic demands for wheat, rye, and meats, and that German mines could do the same in the case of raw copper; that cotton could be imported from Egypt and India, and petroleum from Russia; and that under such circumstances America would feel a tariff war, should it actually come to that, much more than would Germany. He hoped that the Government would show the necessary energy in protecting home interests.

* * *

Minister von Bülow at once arose and read a formal reply. In this reply he stated that negotiations were being conducted with the United States Government in regard to commercial matters at the present time, and that consequently, in accordance with diplomatic usage, he was not in a position to discuss them. He wanted the house to know, however, the spirit (geist) in which these negotiations were being conducted. Germany's commercial relations with the United States rest upon the treaty between the United States and Prussia of 1828, and the similar treaty with the Hanse Towns of about the same He discussed in detail Articles V and IX of this treaty, explaining the different interpretations given to them by the two Governments concerned. He referred to the treatment of German sugar under the Dingley tariff and stated that German representations in the matter had been so far successful that the indirect export premiums upon sugar exported from other countries were now considered by the American customs officials. He then referred to the question of

tonnage dues, reciting the action of our Government in 1888 and the reversal of the same in 1896, adding that there appeared to be some probability that this question would be regulated by legislation in the United States. He further stated that the German Government had repeatedly informed the American Government of its views in these matters, in regard to the refusal to accord to Germany the benefits of the recent agreement with France, and the action of the American customs officials in regard to exports from Germany. In his opinion it is probable, in view of the increasing exportation of American goods to Germany, that the friendly discussion now going on will have a satisfactory result, and consequently he expressed the hope that the house would show that it had confidence in the Government.

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SIR: Your interesting summary of the debate in the Reichstag upon the German-American relations, No. 738, dated February 13, 1899, is received.

There are two points developed in that debate to which I invite your attention.

The first is found in the reference by Baron von Bülow and others to the concession by the United States to Switzerland, under our treaty of 1850, of the benefits accorded to France by our late reciprocal convention of May, 1898, and our refusal to extend the same to Germany. A comparison of the "most-favored-nation" clauses in our treaties with Switzerland and with Prussia will show the radical difference between their stipulations. The plain provisions of article IX of the Prussian treaty of 1828 (reproduced from the former treaty of 1799, Article XXVI) do not exist in the Swiss treaty. Much more conclusive than this, however, is the assurance obtained by an examination of the official papers connected with the negotiation and ratification of the Swiss treaty. This examination revealed the fact that the construction of the treaty claimed by Switzerland was expressly understood at the time by both negotiators and by both ratifying powers. Under these circumstances this Government was bound in honor to yield to the contention of Switzerland, and did so in the official communication of which I inclose you a copy. You will observe in the inclosure that this Government made the concession to Switzerland expressly on the ground of the original agreement of the two parties upon the intent of the peculiar language of the Swiss articles in question.

If his excellency, Baron von Bülow, is not already aware of this exceptional and only reason for the concession to Switzerland, you are at liberty to so advise him; and, if desired, to read to him that part of the inclosed copy of my note to the Swiss envoy which sets forth the reason for our yielding to the claim made by his Government.

1Printed under Switzerland, p. 746.

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