No. 25.
Mr. Delfosse to Mr. Fish.


Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 28th, whereby you were pleased to inform me that serious doubts, at least, are entertained as to the power of the President of the United States to comply, without acting in contravention of the acts of Congress which regulate and limit this power, with the request which I have presented, in the name of the government of the King, that Carl Vogt, alias Stupp, may be delivered up to the Belgian authorities, and further to inform me that you therefore feel constrained to refuse the extradition of this prisoner.

In apprising me of this decision, you did me the honor to inform me that your Government, while refusing as a general principle the extradition of persons within the limits of its jurisdiction and under the protection of its laws, to be tried according to an altogether different system of jurisprudence, had nevertheless, even before the repetition of my request, in consideration of the special circumstances of the case, commenced a re-examination of the possibility, in the absence of an extradition treaty, to surrender Vogt, alias Stupp, to the Belgian authorities without an infraction of the laws of the United States. This spontaneous effort to supply in this case the deficiency of our international treaties, gives evidence of an earnest and sincere desire to accomplish this result, and of a friendly disposition for which I desire, Mr. Secretary of State, hereby to express the equally earnest and sincere thanks of the government of the King.

According to information, which I have reason to believe correct, the German government has also asked for the extradition of Vogt, alias Stupp. I think it proper for me to state, in this connection, that the government of the King, in case of Vogt’s being brought before the German courts, renounces its own jurisdiction over the prisoner as regards the crimes for which he would there be tried, and would be glad to see justice take its course at Berlin, since it (the government of the King) is necessarily estopped in Belgium.

The justness of the rule of which I am reminded in the last paragraph of your aforesaid note is incontestable and uncontested, I think; but permit me to say that my intention was by no means to comment upon, still less to criticise, the confidential correspondence of the Attorney-General, to which I incidentally alluded, the fact having become one of public notoriety through the newspapers of the country, in the desire to explain, to excuse even, if necessary, the reiterated and pressing request which it induced me to make, in view of the imminent liberation of the prisoner.

I have, &c.,