Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 3, 1888, Part II
to Mr. Bayard.
The Hague, Netherlands , August 24, 1887. (Received September 5.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 243, of April 18 last, with reference to the complaint of Mr. E. R. Connell respecting his enrollment for military service at Batavia, I have now the honor to transmit herewith for the consideration of the Department a translation of the reply of the foreign office here, with the original document mentioned therein and described as the report of the lieutenant-colonel commanding the schuttery at Batavia.
As there seems to be an issue of fact involved as to whether Mr. Connell is permanently established at Batavia, I have deemed it prudent to submit the whole subject to the Department for further instruction.
I have, etc.,
Mr. Karnebeek to Mr. Bell.
The Hague , August 20, 1887.
Mr. Minister: In referring to my communication of the 2d of May, No. 3898, I have the honor to apprize you that according to that which I have learned from the minister of the colonies the inquiry instituted in the Netherlands Indies in relation to the obligation of Mr. E. R. Connell to serve in the “schuttery” at Batavia has demonstrated that the complaint presented on this subject by the said individual is entirely unfounded.
I permit myself to refer in this connection to the contents of a detailed report of the lieutenant-colonel commanding the civil guard at Batavia, of the 9th of June, of which you will find inclosed herewith a translation in the English language.
You will be good enough to observe, Mr. Minister, from this statement that Mr. Connell is compelled by the terms of the provisions of existing legislation to serve in the civil guard the same as all Dutch and foreign inhabitants of the Dutch Indies.
Still the authorities have always extended to him all the consideration possible.
It is, moreover, undeniable that Mr. Connell should be considered as an inhabitant of the Netherlands Indies, considering that by decree of the governor-general of the the 12th of November, 1886, No. 10, he has obtained the authorization required by law to establish himself in this colony.
Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Penn.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 2844 of 3d instant, “urgent,” inclosing a note from the first Government secretary as also a letter dated The Hague, 27th April, 1887, No. 141670, from his excellency the minister for the colonies to his excellency the governor-general of Netherlands India, and a dispatch dated 16th April, 1887, from the minister-resident of the United States of America at The Hague to his excellency the minister for foreign affairs.
The subject of this correspondence is a complaint of a Mr. E. R. Connell, an American citizen, to the United States Government, in which it is alleged that this gentleman has been illegally compelled to serve in the Batavia “schuttery.”
I have much satisfaction of being in a position at once to supply the Government with the most circumstantial and exhaustive information on the matter. To avoid mistakes and misrepresentations I beg to record the following provisions of the ordinance No. 22, 1838, by which the “schutteryen” has been regulated.
“Section the 2d. All Europeans and persons thereto assimilated (Americans being consequently included) and the descendants thereof, having attained their 16th and not yet entered upon their 45th year, are to serve in the ‘schuttery.’
“Section the 4th. The following exemptions from personal service shall be made:
“Persons only staying for a short time in the place, as also foreigners who have not manifested their intention to settle in the colony, and to whom a delay from one to three months may be granted by the court-martial, the said persons to be called up again on expiration of the said term of three months.
“Unconditionally. Persons affected by irremediable complaints or diseases of such a nature as to permanently disable them to bear arms.
“Conditionally: Persons affected by diseases or complaints of such a nature as to temporarily disable them to bear arms, but for such period only as the complaint or disease may last.
“Section the 70th: Every ‘schuttery’ corps is to have its court-martial, by whom the enlistment, exemptions, and assessment in the tax are affected and regulated.
“Section the 44th; The ‘schuttery’ is regularly to attend semi-monthly drills from the 1st April to the 30th September of every year. Every member of the force not meeting the requirements for efficiency is to attend drill at least once a week during the period aforesaid.
“Section the 32d: The object of the ‘schutteryen’ is in ordinary times to assist in the maintenance of local order and tranquillity in the places in which they have been established, whereas in times of rebellion and danger and in case of the available means proving insufficient their co-operation may also be required to extend beyond these places. In the latter case, as also if in the place to which the corps belongs the state of siege has been proclaimed, the ‘schuttery’ is first to be placed on the war footing (mobilized) by the Governor-General.
“Section the 34th: In case of fire and on the alarm being given the members of the ‘schuttery’ fully armed and equipped, without any further calls being made, are immediately to proceed to the appointed rallying places.”
As to these points I think there is no doubt possible.
In 1883 Mr. H. F. McCreery, a New York merchant, arrived here, starting a firm under his own name for the exclusive purpose of buying up coffee and small produce for the United States market. He managed his business all by himself without any other assistance than a native servant to sweep the office and keep it in order.
In due time Mr. McCreery had to appear before the court-martial, but he was exempted from personal service on account of temporary corporal incapacity duly certified to by the competent medical authorities, and accordingly assessed in the tax.
This is the reason why no objections have ever been raised by Mr. McCreery himself.
On the 4th of April, 1886, Mr. E. R. Connell arrived here in the steamship Graaf Van Bylandt in connection with the Peninsular and Oriental Company’s mail steamship [vide the accompanying number of 5th April, 1886, of the “Baca via Handelsblad” newspaper, under the heading “Aangekomen passageers” (passengers arrived)], to assist Mr. McCreery at first in the capacity of a clerk.
It never appeared that his stay here was of a more temporary character than that of any other Dutchman or foreigner engaged in business in Batavia. His assertion that it should be so, finds itself entirely upset by the undisputed facts that on the 21st of May, 1886, general power of attorney was granted him by Mr. McCreery, as per circular included, signed by Mr. E. R. Connell himself, and in this capacity he is still engaged in business at this very moment.
I think that more conclusive evidence of Mr. Connell being a permanent instead of a temporary resident can scarcely be produced.[Page 1320]
Semi-weekly drills is an absolute misrepresentation. According to accompanying order No. 2, issued under your sanction, the recruits, to which Mr. Connell belongs, have only to attend drill on every Monday and on two Wednesdays of every month from the 1st of April to the 30th September, which makes thirty-eight drills in all, whereas semi-weekly drills means forty-eight drills during this period or one hundred and four tor the whole year, when it is omitted to mention that there are no drills at all from the 1st of October to the end of March.
The character of the “subchetty” may be found described in section the 32d and 34th as above, as also in—
“Section the 35th: The ‘schuttery’ (when being called upon to turn out) is not to have anything in common with the military garrison in the course of the ordinary daily service;” and—
“Section the 36th: The ‘schuttery’ is to be selected by preference for guards of honor and it is to be avoided as much as possible to have both members of the ‘schuttery’ and troops from the standing army to mount guard combinedly.”
And by a mere reference to these provisions it becomes perfectly evident that Mr. Connell’s allegations as to the preparation for permanent military service of those subjected to it will not bear even superficial examination.
Mr. Connell had to appear before the court-martial on the 25th November, and was duly enlisted, having no occasion to plead bodily incapacity either permanent or temporary. He did not raise any objection on account of his citizenship of the United States nor on account of his temporary residence in the place. Of course with a view to the date of Mr. Connell’s arrival here and to the situation he then held and is now still holding in business, the latter assertion would never for a moment have held good.
A reference to the date of his arrival and the date of his enlistment may further show that Mr. Connell has had no reason to complain of having been seized upon before he could have made up his mind as to the probable duration of his residence in Batavia.
He was attached to No. 6 company, two officers of which, as also the drill sergeant, speak excellent English.
I should observe that on the 30th December last Mr. McCreery left for New York whence he has not yet returned, leaving Mr. Connell alone in charge, without any assistance.
The business of the firm is chiefly conducted by telegrams, and as a rule telegrams from the United States and Europe are being delivered here at about 10 to 10.30 a.m., so as to be acted upon and replied to in the course of the day.
Most export houses, and Mr. McCreery’s in particular, close at 4–4.30 p.m. So long as he is a recruit Mr. Connell has to leave town at 3.30 p.m. six times (four Mondays and two Wednesdays) a month and only four times as soon as he will be efficient.
Besides, there is never any battalion nor recruit drill on mail days, Fridays, nor even on Thursdays, the day immediately preceding the closing of the mails, as will be shown by a reference to the accompanying order No. 2 and the mail tables. Only the No. 4 company is subject to rifle practice on two Fridays of the month, but these being mail days such members of that company as belong to the commercial community are allowed to join another company on another day of the week.
Knowing that the whole business had to be conducted by Mr. Connell alone, he has been verbally allowed by me to turn out a little later, or even not at all whenever any urgent business, which could not well be postponed till the next day, should turn up late in the afternoon, provided he gave me his word as a gentleman that in such cases he could not act otherwise. Besides, in the event of any telegrams or letters reaching his office after he should have left for the drill ground he has been authorized to have such communications immediately sent up to him, and at once to leave the drill ground whenever such letters or telegrams might require immediate action.
Now, it is not to be inferred from what precedes that business in general is in the least interfered with or hampered by strict compliance with the schuttery regulations. In any house there are one or more managers and clerks, some of which are exempted from personal service on account of age, ill-health, or for other legal reasons, whereas in such few exceptional cases where the whole staff of clerks is to serve, drill is attended by rotation with a due regard to the requirements of business.
If, however, for reasons, which 1 have not to appreciate, any firm, either Dutch or foreign, wishes to save the expense of paying for a staff and thereby run the risk of leaving both business and property altogether in jeopardy in case of sudden death or any other unforeseen accident befalling the only man left in charge, they have to take the consequences of economy being pushed to extremes for the sake of profit, and not to consider themselves released from unconditional submission to the laws of the country in which, by their own free will they have thought fit to earn their livelihood.
The strongest proof of Mr. Connell’s allegations being entirely unfounded, as if by [Page 1321] his attendance at drill his firm should he exposed to vexatious losses and commerce in general be hampered and interfered with is that one Mr. T. C. Kraft, a German by birth and nationality, manages the agency of Messrs. Hills, Menke & Co., of Birmingham, in this place, just as Mr. Connell, without any assistance whatever.
In this capacity he is conducting a most extensive import business, thus having to go through many more details than exports ever should require, and this gentleman has always most punctually discharged his “schuttery” duties, at first as a corporal, then as a sergeant, and now as a sub-lieutenant.
Any assertion therefore that Mr. Connell’s firm should be exposed to vexatious losses and seriously inconvenienced, or commerce in general be hampered and interfered with by strict compliance with the existing “schuttery” regulations, can only be met by a most emphatic and positive denial.
The very same laws of which he so loudly complains indiscriminately apply to Germans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Swiss, and Dutchmen, who are all performing their “schuttery” duties in exactly the same way as Mr. Connell has been desired to do without asking their respective Governments to interfere.
Only one instance has come to my knowledge, and even this by mere hearsay, of an Englishman in Soerabaya having appealed to his Government, alleging to have been unlawfully compelled to serve in the “schuttery” some years ago. The reply from the foreign office was to the effect that if any British subject, not acting under orders from Her Majesty’s Government, but by his own free will, chose to reside in a foreign country, he had only to comply with the laws and regulations existing in such country and not to depend upon the support of his Government in case of willful infringement of such laws on his part.
It is rather strange that Mr. Connell wishes to obtain some security as to his future, as this leads to the inference, instead of his short temporary stay here he intends to take a residence of at least some length, if not permanently. In conclusion, I may add that Mr. Connell, being a foreigner, has been treated with the utmost kindness both by the officers of his company and by myself. He has repeatedly applied to me for information about service which has been always readily afforded; also, by doing so before having seen the captain commanding his company he had made himself punishable according to law.
For any similar minor breaches of discipline he has never been fined or punished, as I am fully aware of the difficulty to foreigners minutely to observe laws, regulations, and customs, written and described in a language which they do not understand and which thoroughly to learn they have scarcely any occasion. The “schuttery” numbers about 900 of all ranks, and I dare say that no man has ever met with greater kindness and leniency than Mr. Connell on account of his foreign nationality.
By summing up the following conclusions are arrived at: Firstly, that there are no exemptions from “schuttery” duties made by law in favor of American citizens. Secondly, that there are neither any reasons not to consider Mr. Connell as a permanent resident, and that formerly, presently, and in future many members of the “schuttery” have been residing and will, reside here for a shorter period than this gentleman. Thirdly, that the nature and the object of the “schuttery” as defined by law, are entirely different from the definition given in the United States minister resident’s letter, dated The Hague, 17th April, 1887. Fourthly, that I never heard of any losses having been incurred neither by Mr. Connell’s or any other firm resulting from the members or clerks having to attend “schuttery” drills, and that in consequence thereof any such firm should ever be exposed to loss, whereas in my private capacity of secretary to the Batavia Exchange any such occurrences or probability could not have failed to come to my knowledge. Fifthly, that the regular course of business is not hampered or interfered with by attendance to “schuttery” drills.
Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Batavia Schuttery.