No. 501.
Mr. Westenberg to Mr. Fish.

Mr. Secretary of State: I have been instructed by my government to address your excellency requesting you to be pleased to furnish me with some information touching the nature and sense of a stipulation inserted in several extradition treaties which have recently been concluded by the Government of the United States.

It is provided in these treaties that the extradition can take place only “when the fact of the commission of the crime shall be so established [Page 784] as to justify their apprehension and commitment for trial if the crime had been committed in the country where the persons so accused shall be found, in all of which the tribunals of said country shall proceed and decide according to their own laws.” This stipulation is not found in the treaty between the Netherlands and the United States, which was signed August 21, 1857, the ratifications of which, however, have never been exchanged, and which has consequently never gone into effect.

My government would now be glad to be informed, 1st, whether the meaning of this stipulation is that, in order to obtain the extradition of an accused person, it is necessary to transmit the depositions made under oath by the witnesses, before the judge conducting the preliminary proceedings, as is required in England; 2d, what may have been the reason why this stipulation, which is found in all subsequent treaties concluded by the United States, was not inserted in the one concluded with the Netherlands in 1857; 3d, whether there exists, in the United States, any uniform criminal procedure; that is to say, whether the same laws and rules are in force in relation to criminal procedure in all the States, or whether the laws concerning such procedure are different in the different States.

Offering your excellency my thanks in advance for such information as you may be pleased to give me upon these various points, I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurances of my very high conideration.