to Mr. Evarts
Berlin , July 5, 1878. (Received July 24.)
Sir: Referring to your instruction No. 7, which reached me on the 3d instant, I beg leave respectfully to represent that the case of Mr. Willimek belongs to a class the disposition of which has already been settled by the action of the German Government. If his statement be strictly correct in every particular, he is not liable to punishment, and may return to Germany for the space of two years without interference by the local authorities.
In order to confer with the minister of foreign affairs, as I am instructed to do, I require to be furnished with the evidence of his naturalization, and also to know his former place of residence in Germany, [Page 226] since otherwise there would be no practical means of granting the special favor which he has requested from the Department of State.
Inasmuch as cases exactly similar to his have been satisfactorily settled under the provisions of the treaty, I cannot but feel that to ask the Imperial Government for an assurance in advance would be to imply a doubt of its good faith. The records of this legation do not show any instance of a protection being granted to any naturalized citizen without the production of the documents necessary to establish his character and identity.
As a further guarantee, I herewith inclose the ministerial circulars of July 5 and 6, 1868, which have special reference to cases like that of Mr. Willimek. Furnished with this (especially if it also bears the stamp of the Department of State), he needs but to show it to the authorities of his native place immediately on his arrival and declare the probable duration of his visit, in order to be recognized and protected as an American citizen.
I have, &c.,