Mr. Stoeckl to Mr. Seward

Mr. Secretary of State: In the new exequaturs which have been issued by the President of the United States to Russian consuls, the phrase “consuls may enjoy the privileges stipulated by treaties” has been introduced in place of this: “consuls may enjoy the privileges granted to the most favored nations.”

Article VIII of our treaty of commerce stipulates, “the two contracting parties shall have the liberty of having in their respective ports consuls, vice-consuls, agents, and commissioners of their own appointment, who shall enjoy the same privileges and powers as those of the most favored nations.”

It seems to me that this article indicates clearly that our consuls must enjoy the prerogatives which are or shall be granted to those of other nations; at any rate, I wish to know, in this respect, the opinion of the federal government; and I venture to request you, Mr. Secretary of State, to give me information on this point, so that I may transmit it to the imperial government.

Please accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurance of my very high consideration.


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States.