No. 176.
Mr. Everett to Mr. Evarts.

No. 114.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge your instruction No. 2, of the 14th ultimo, addressed to Mr. White, in reply to my No. 105 on the subject of Wilhelm Knoth.

As Mr. White has not yet reached Berlin, and as the department may have some further instructions to send after receiving my No. 107 on the same subject, I have thought it best to leave the execution of the above instruction No. 2 to the minister himself when he shall arrive.

In the mean time, I beg leave, in pursuance of the same subject, to call your attention to a new law of the German Empire, an extract and translation of which I inclose, signed by the Emperor in July, 1878, but which does not go into effect until October 1, 1879.

By the terms of section 19 of this law it would appear that only non-Germans in legations will be exempt from state authority, and, consequently, by implication, that the German servants of the legation are not so exempt.

This would seem to indicate pretty clearly what we have a right to expect for the future.

I would also state that during a conversation I had with the minister of foreign affairs, on occasion of presenting the President’s letter of condolence on the death of Prince Waldemar, his excellency discussed the case of Wilhelm Knoth, and, while expressing his regret that the legation had suffered any inconvenience by his loss for twelve days, which he thought he might possibly, had he known of it sooner, have spared us by special request of the military authorities, was sure that the German Government could not admit such a release, as a claim in conflict with the provisions of their constitution requiring every man to perform a certain amount of military duty.

* * * * * * *

I will call the attention of Mr. White, when he arrives, to the clause of the new law referred to, in case he should think it best to discuss it with M. von Bülow, as I was not aware of it when I had my last interview with his excellency, nor did I mention it.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 176.—Translation.]

§ 18. Internal jurisdiction does not extend to the chiefs and members of missions accredited to the German Government.

If such persons are citizens of one of the confederated states, they are exempted from internal jurisdiction in so far only as the state of which they are citizens has renounced its jurisdiction over them.

The chiefs and members of missions accredited to one of the confederated states are not subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

The same applies to members of the Bundesrath, not citizens of the state where the Bundesrath meets. (14.)

§ 19. The foregoing regulations also apply to members of the families, business officials, and servants of the persons mentioned in§ 18 who are not Germans.

14 Comp., § 19. Internal jurisdiction is that of all German tribunals. (Mot., p. 5.)

The exterritoriality of diplomatic missions rests upon the principles of international law; it is extended to imperial and municipal law.

“When diplomatic persons are in the condition of continual citizenship to the state to which they are accredited, they are exempted from the jurisdiction of that state [Page 385] only in so far as it has renounced its jurisdiction over them. In their relation to the German Empire, the being subject to the empire must be considered as conclusive.” (Mot., p. 55.)

This opinion is expressed in the second section. Under section 18 is included the whole diplomatic body; therefore, also, ministers resident, chargés d’affaires, secretaries of legation, and attachés. (Mot., a. o. O., p. 55.) The second clause bears upon foreign (not German) diplomatic persons accredited to a confederated state, and upon such persons whom one confederated state has accredited to another state of the confederation. These are subject to imperial jurisdiction only.

The non-Prussian members of the Bundesrath are under diplomatic protection. (Art. 10, Imperial German Statutes; compare Hartman, Zeitschrift, a. o. O., vol. 2, p. 13–16.) For legal relations of the imperial diplomatic corps, compare imperial laws of 31st March, 1878, §§ 19, 20, 21, 22 (Imp. Laws, Bl., p. 61, Kamgieszer and o’ O., p. 85, 15). The term “servant” also includes teachers, butlers, &c. (Mot., a. o. O., p. 55.)