No. 117.
Mr. Roustan to Mr. Frelinghuysen.


Mr. Secretary of State: After the receipt of the communications which you addressed to this legation on the 27th ultimo and the 7th instant, relative to the Le More case, I had a conversation on Tuesday last with the Assistant Secretary of State, to whom I communicated a letter written by the president of the council to Mr. Morton, on the 27th ultimo, in which the reasons were stated why M. Jules Ferry deemed it to be his duty to leave the question to be decided by the Claims Commission.

Mr. John Davis made several observations to me on this subject, especially with regard to the scope which M. Ferry seemed inclined to give to the decision of the Commission, bearing date of the 19th ultimo, which put the case on the docket for the 28th of that month, and he insisted that the French Government should consent to having this case postponed by the Commission, and that the negotiations should be resumed which took place between us last summer, and at the conclusion of which I addressed a report to my Government relative to the Le More claim.

I telegraphed a report of that conversation to Paris, and I now have the honor to communicate to you the reply which I have received on this subject.

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The president of the council informs me that the observations presented by the United States Government, which are reproduced in my report of last year, have not dispelled the doubts which exist in the mind of the French Government as to whether Mr. Le More’s claim should be considered as having been previously settled.

The president of the council, thinking that the claimant ought to have the benefit of the doubt, does not consider that it would be proper for him to deprive M. Le More of the last resort that remains to him. He thinks that under these circumstances, and in view of the difference of opinion on this subject between the two Governments, it is proper to leave it to the mixed commission to decide the question by examining thoroughly, according to Article II of the treaty of 1880, whether M. Le More’s claim should be decided by it (the mixed commission).

I trust, Mr. Secretary of State, that this method of settlement, which leaves the principle of the matter intact, will secure the adhesion of the United States Government.

Be pleased to accept, &c.,