No. 373.
Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard.

No. 573.]

Sir: Referring, again to your No. 302, under date February 24, inclosing for my information copy of a letter to you from Senator William M. Stewart, with its inclosures, all having reference to the case of Mr. Fruchier, an American citizen constrained to service in the armies of France,” together with a copy of your reply to Mr. Stewart’s letter, I have to note that on February 15 I addressed Mr. Flourens a personal note, informing him that you had again called my attention to the case of Fruchier, which you thought was a proper case to test the principle at issue between the two Governments, and that I had called on him the day before to urge him in person to give me, as early as his convenience would permit, an answer to my note of January 11.

Although I had advised you that I should not further discuss the matter with him until I was in possession of his reply to this note, I changed my mind, foreseeing that this would be delayed longer than I expected.

Day before yesterday, it being the regular day of reception of the diplomatic corps at the foreign office, I called again and drew his attention to the importance of disposing promptly of Fruchier’s case, and urged upon him the immediate release of Fruchier and Arbios from the military service on my affirmation that they were American citizens, and that they ought not to be held in the army while the two Governments were engaged in the discussion of the general principles involved Mr. Flourens in reply promised me to recommend the release of Fruchier, but he again referred to the difficulty he had encountered by rea son of the regulations which had been established by the war depart ment submitting such cases to civil courts, and which have been in force for a long while, and which were now maintained as against all soldiers in the French army who claimed to be subjects or citizens of some other country. He promised further to bring the case to the attention of the council of ministers at an early day.

I have, etc.,

Robert M. McLane.