Mr. Fish to Mr. Mathews.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 80, of the 7th ultimo, has been received. It is accompanied by a translation of a note addressed to you by the minister for foreign affairs of Morocco, in which that functionary expresses the hope that this government will not extend its protection to one Hamed Ducaly, who it seems has come to this country for the supposed purpose of obtaining the protection of the government with a view to evading obligations in Morocco. You may inform the Moorish minister for foreign affairs that the Constitution and laws of the United States do not screen any foreigner who may resort to this country from debts which he may have contracted at home, but that creditors can prosecute for them here on the same terms as citizens without any hinderance from the Executive Government.
If, however, the purpose of the communication of that government be to request us not to naturalize Mr. Ducaly, it will be impracticable to comply with such a request if he shall fulfill the required conditions. This Government has no discretion in such a matter. The right of any foreigner to be naturalized according to law, cannot be called in question.
It is apprehended, however, that the Moorish government may be mistaken, if it supposes that the effect of the naturalization of the person adverted to, supposing it to have taken place, would be to weaken his liability for his debts in Morocco, even if he should return to that country. He might, in that case, be prosecuted for them in the consular court, and this Government is bound to Resume that impartial justice would there be dispensed.
I am, &c.,