No. 581.

Mr. Bayard to Mr. Valera.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 21st instant, in which you call the attention of the Department to the means employed, as alleged, by persons in this country who plot [Page 772] against the peace of Cuba, for the accomplishment of their designs, and more especially to the method of acquisition through the sale of lottery tickets in the United States.

I cannot refrain from expressing the appreciation felt by the Government, of your assurances, so frankly and courteously given, touching the energy and sincerity with which the United States has endeavored to prevent the forwarding of aid from our shores to parties engaged in promoting insurrection in Cuba, while at the same time, as regards the special communication of your note, I beg to observe that so far as concerns furnishing funds to support Cuban insurrections, this Government can do no more than to recur to the often announced intention to prosecute all persons concerned in disturbing the peace of a friendly foreign State, so far as permitted by the neutrality and cognate statute of the United States.

So far as concerns the sale of lottery tickets in particular States, the matter is for State legislation. There is no Federal statute prohibiting sales either of lottery tickets or any other article of traffic, on the ground that the proceeds are to be applied to aid insurgents in a foreign land, nor is it a principle of international law that a sovereign is bound in any sense to prohibit sales of any kind on the ground that the proceeds might go to unlawful objects.

There are, however, in most of the States in the Union statutes providing for the punishment of those concerned in lottery tickets, without reference to the object to which their proceeds may be applied. To secure the prosecution and conviction of the offenders in such cases the proper course is to apply to the authorities of the State where the lottery tickets complained of are sold, bringing the matter to their attention by an oath made by a proper presentation to a State magistrate.

Accept, &c.,