No. 116.
Mr. Rouston to Mr. Davis.


My Dear Mr. Davis: I called at the State Department at one o’clock for the purpose of giving you some explanations with regard to the situation of the case of M. Le More, referring to your letter of today. I thought that you would have received a copy of the letter addressed by M. J. Ferry to Mr. Morton on the 27th of December last, but, as I was informed by Mr. Hunter, you have received only an extract from that letter. I therefore send you a copy of its full text, which I have received by telegraph. I will call to-morrow at eleven o’clock, in order to talk with you of this matter, unless you are otherwise engaged.

Truly yours,

[Page 187]

M. Ferry to Mr. Morton.


You were pleased to communicate to me, on the 22d nst., a telegram from Mr. Frelinghuysen in relation to the claim brought against the United States by Mr. Le More, a French citizen, and laid before the mixed commission sitting at Washington. The honorable Secretary of State of the United States desired that the decision of this claim should be postponed, in order that the two Governments might thus be enabled to decide whether it was not proper for it to be withdrawn, according to Article II of the treaty of 1880.

With a view to complying with this desire, I at once telegraphed to our commissioner at Washington not to oppose the desired postponement. It appears, however, from Mr. Lefaivre’s reply, that, by a unanimous decision, after a formal deliberation, the Commission ordered, on the 19th of December, that Mr. Le More’s case should be submitted to it on the 28th instant. This decision, in which the American commissioner acquiesced, as did also the Brazilian commissioner, evidently changes the condition of the question; to the doubts which existed, and which should have inured to the benefit of the claimant, it adds a presumption, and, as it were, a kind of acquired right, of the benefit of which it does not seem possible to deprive him. It does not appear, moreover, by what right one of the two Governments could interfere in order to cause the postponement of a decision adopted by the commission, which alone has power to decide upon the order in which its work is to be performed. In this state of things, it has seemed proper to me to allow the proceedings to take their own course, the Commission being theproper judge of the question whether Mr. Le More’s claim should be withdrawn for a reason based upon Article II of the treaty of 1880, which is the law by which it is governed. I will thank you to inform Mr. Frelinghuysen of the reasons which have prevented me from complying with his request.