to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
London, March 4, 1882.
[Reports his action in McSweeny’s case. On 10th June, 1881, Mr. Lowell instructed the vice-consul at Belfast to ascertain the cause of [Page 201] the arrest, and, if innocent, to present the matter in the competent quarter, and ask that McSweeny be released or brought to trial. The same day Mr. Lowell asked Lord Granville to furnish particulars in the case. The Irish under-secretary at Dublin meanwhile informed the vice-consul at Belfast that the prisoner was reasonably suspected of inciting persons to assemble unlawfully and commit riot and assault. No further means of ascertaining the justice of the accusation were open to the vice-consul. Later, on the 29th of June, Lord Granville informed Mr. Lowell that, irrespective of the nationality of the arrested parties, whether native or alien, in no case could information be given beyond the statement of the warrant of arrest. Mr. McSweeny having asserted his innocence, Mr. Lowell communicated this circumstance unofficially on the 8th of July, and asked that the case might be considered favorably. Mr. Lowell was thereupon distinctly assured that McSweeny could not be discharged from custody, his conduct having brought him under the statute.
In the case of Hart, the vice-consul at Queenstown was told by the inspector of police that Hart had incited to non-payment of rent, and was a dangerous, good-for-nothing, troublesome character, who was perhaps involved in more serious matters than those which led to his arrest. The vice-consul was informed by a brother of the prisoner that the latter would not subscribe to an undertaking to conduct himself according to law if he were set at liberty.
Mr. Lowell adds his belief that both of the prisoners are no more innocent than the majority of those under arrest, and promises full statements with copies of all papers by mail.]