No. 430.
Mr. Evarts to Mr. Hoffman.

No. 64.]

Sir: An examination of the case of Mr. John Calvocoressi with a view to giving you the further instructions asked in your No. 88, of the 14th of April last, has been deferred through press of urgent business until now.

Your conclusion that, as a matter of right, the presentation of the case to the Russian Government, as reported by you, is now complete, is regarded as sound. As a principle of international law, the view that a foreigner domiciled in the territory of a belligerent cannot expect exemption from the operations of a hostile force, is amply sustained by the precedents you cite, and many others. Great Britain admitted the doctrine as against her own subjects residing in France during the Franco-Prussian war; and we, too, have asserted it successfully against similar claims of foreigners residing in the Southern States during the war of secession.

Nevertheless, considering that San Stefano was not the scene of active hostilities which would justify the apparently wanton damages done to the property of Mr. Calvocoressi, and that the lengthy occupation of his dwelling was for the discretional convenience of the Russian officers rather than from any strategic necessity or urgent military purpose, and therefore was of a nature for which compensation is, according to the usages of war, generally allowed by military commanders, the claim is deemed a proper one to submit, as you have already done, to the sense of equity and fair-dealing of the Government of His Imperial Majesty, and it is hoped that it will have received favorable consideration before this reaches you. Should the Russian chancellor, however, reply, denying responsibility, as of right, for the military occupation of Mr. Calvocoressi’s dwelling, you will briefly urge the claim as one of equity. You will, however, take no action upon this instruction unless a negative reply of the Russian Government should make it opportune to act in the sense indicated.

I am, &c.,