No. 13.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Jay.

No. 404.]

Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter of the 27th instant, from Judge Wm. T. Otto, arbitrator on the part of the United States before the American and Spanish Claims Commission, and of its accompanying letter addressed by Baron Lederer to the arbitrators of the two governments, resigning the position of umpire to the said commission.

You are requested to express the regret with which the President learns of the retirement of Baron Lederer from duties for which he has shown such qualification, and the sense of the President of the ability and learning with which the baron has devoted himself to their performance,

You will also request the minister for foreign affairs to be pleased to convey to Baron Lederer the thanks of the President for the valuable services rendered by him in the interest of the two governments represented in the commission.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 404.]

Mr. Otto to Mr. Fish.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter received from Baron Lederer, resigning his position as umpire to the commission.

I am, &c.,

[Page 24]
[Inclosure to in closure in No. 404.—Translation.]

Baron Lederer to Messrs. Otto and Potestad, arbitrators.

Gentlemen: By your communication of May 31, 1871, you were pleased to inform me that the international commission, appointed in pursuance of the stipulations between Spain and the United States of February 11, 1871, had just selected me as an umpire for the settlement of all questions concerning which the members of said commission should fail to agree.

I had the honor to accept this appointment, with the consent of the imperial and royal government, as a proof of confidence on the part of the high contracting parties, and at the same time to refuse the compensation provided for by Article VI of the said convention.

For three years I have devoted myself to the conscientious decision of all the cases which have been presented to me.

I now have the honor to inform you, gentlemen, that I have just been notified by my government that I am shortly to be recalled from my post as minister at Washington, and being on the point of delivering my letters of recall, intending to sail for Europe very soon afterward, it will, in future, be out of my power to continue to hold the appointment with which you have been pleased to honor me.

I therefore deem it my duty to resign my position as umpire in the aforesaid international commission, in order that you may be enabled to proceed, in time, to the choice of my successor, according to Article I of the convention in question.

Returning to you my thanks for the kind support which you have been pleased to give me in the performance of my duties, I avail myself, &c.