No. 372.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.

No. 566.]

Sir: In compliance with the request expressed in your No. 302, of February 24, I send you copies of my note asking for the discharge of John Fruchier and of Mr. Flourens’s reply, with a translation of the same. You will observe that this reply is almost word for word identical [Page 523] with the one made in the case of Arbios, a copy and a translation of which were forwarded with my No. 391, of April 14, 1887. Many other dispatches from the French office, couched in the same language, can be found in the correspondence of this legation with reference to American citizens of French origin called to perform military service in France, all of which have been duly forwarded and commented upon by this legation.

I agree with you that the case of Fruchier is one of those well adapted to test the question of the right of American citizens of French parentage to visit France without being subjected to forced military service. The question has been plainly and fairly put to the French Government in my note of January 11, to which no answer has yet been made, and in which, as you can see by referring to it, I have formally demanded the discharge of Fruchier and Arbios.

The copy of your No. 298, which I left with Mr. Flourens, has, I trust, strengthened my position; but, for the reasons stated in my No. 560, I did not feel myself authorized to make a new demand for the release of these two men, and until a reply is received to my demand of January 11 I do not believe that it is advisable to press the matter.

I have, etc.,

Robert M. McLane.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 566.]

Mr. McLane to Mr. Flourens.

Sir: My Government having been informed that John Fruchier, an American citizen, residing in the State of Nevada, has been arrested while traveling in France and incorporated in the French army, I am instructed to ask that your excellency will kindly take the necessary steps to liberate this American from French military service John Fruchier was naturalized on the 16th of October, 1880. His arrest took place at St.-Martin-d’Entrennes (Alpes-Maritimes) on the 24th of December, 1886, and maintained until January 22, 1887. He was then conducted to Cahors and enrolled in the seventh regiment of infantry, second battallion, second company.

I avail, etc.,

Robert M. McLane.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 566.—Translation.]

Mr. Flourens to Mr. McLane.

Sir: On the 5th May, you did me the honor of writing to me with the view of obtaining the release from military service of John Fruchier, French by origin, American by naturalization in 1880, who, having lately returned to our territory, was arrested and enrolled in the seventh regiment of infantry.

The minister of war, to whom I hastened to transmit this request, informs me that the interested party, after having undergone the punishment of eight days of prison to which he was condemned on the charge of disobedience to orders, the 14th January last, by the court-martial of the fifteenth army corps has been in fact enrolled under our flag. General Ferron adds that the claim made in Fruchier’s behalf raises a question of personal status which the administration is not competent to decide and which the civil courts are alone in a position to settle; this young man, therefore, can only be struck off our military rolls upon the production by him of a judgment rendered by a French court of justice and recognizing in him the status of a foreigner.

Accept, etc.,