No. 275.
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. West.

Sir: Acknowledging the receipt of your note of the 1st ultimo, in which you acquaint me with the action of Her Majesty’s Government with regard to the proposition of France to extend French judicial tribunals and procedure to the territory of Tunis from the 1st of January next, I have the honor to inform you that, upon receiving notice from the French Government in relation to its proposed action in regard to this matter, I informed Mr. Roustan, the minister of France at this capital, that inasmuch as the consular jurisdiction of this country in Tunis is expressly prescribed by an act of Congress, the renunciation of that jurisdictional right is not a matter within the control of the Executive, and that it would therefore be necessary to lay the matter before Congress at its then approaching session.

When Congress assembled I accordingly called the attention of the appropriate committees of both houses to the subject.

On the 19th instant the House of Representatives passed a joint resolution in relation to the matter, which is now pending in the Senate, a copy of which I inclose herewith for your information, showing the present status of the matter so far as this Government is concerned.

I have, &c.,


Joint resolution, passed the House of Representatives December 19, 1882.

Whereas the Government of France proposes to establish in Tunis a judicial system common among christian nations, so that the courts in that country shall be fully open for the protection of citizens of the United States in their personal property and rights: Therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, &c., That when the President of the United States shall be satisfied that a system for the administration of justice shall be established in Tunis by the Government of France in accordance with the usage of civilized and christian nations, under which all rights of person and property of the citizens of the United States may be fully and permanently protected, he shall be, and is hereby, authorized by proclamation to declare that the right on the part of the United States and its citizens to claim extraterritorial jurisdiction within said territory of Tunis, as secured by existing treaties and laws, has ceased and will no longer be claimed or exercised.