to Mr. Fish.
Tokei, July 17, 1875. (Received August 13.)
Sir: On the 4th instant I received from Thomas B. Van Buren, esq., consul-general of the United States at Kanagawa, a communication dated the 3d instant, relative to the extradition of a person charged with the embezzlement of the money of his employers, and who, it is alleged, has taken refuge in California, a copy of which communication I have the honor to inclose herewith, (inclosure 1.)
It seemed to me proper to acquaint the consul-general that, in my opinion, he had no jurisdiction in the case as stated, nor was the party charged, assuming him to be an English subject, within the extradition [Page 818] provisions of the existing treaties between England and the United States; a copy of which opinion, as sent to the consul-general, is herewith, (inclosure 2.)
It seems to me that rules 279 and 280 (Revised Consular Regulations, page 68) manifestly adopted in aid of the act of 1860, (12 Statutes at Large, page 84, section 1,) necessarily imply that the consul-general has no jurisdiction in cases of the extradition of criminals, save when expressly instructed by the Department of State or the diplomatic representative of the United States to assist in the arrest and detention of criminals for their extradition from a foreign country to the United States.
These rules would seem to exclude the conclusion that the consul-general of the United States could take action in Japan for the extradition of a British subject from the United States to Japan “to be tried in a British court,” as the consul-general states.
So far as I know, the only extradition-treaty provisions now in force between the United States and Great Britain are contained in the 10th article of the Webster and Ash burton treaty, negotiated at Washington 9th August, 1842. That treaty makes no provision for the extradition of persons charged with the embezzlement of the money of their employers, or with the embezzlement of public money.
I am, &c.,