Mr. Whitehouse to Mr. Bayard.
Mexico, November 16, 1889. (Received November 25.)
Sir: In answer to request from Mr. Mariscal, I called on him this afternoon.
In referring to the case of Captain Stilpen, of the schooner Robert Ruff (see my No. 164 of yesterday), who was arrested on his return to Coatzacoalcos for aiding the escape from justice of Patton, Mr. Mariscal stated that he had been asked at the time by the authorities as to whether it was possible to demand Patton’s extradition after the occurrence, but had discountenanced such a step, advising, however, the captain’s arrest should he return to Coatzacoalcos.
I represented to Mr. Mariscal the difficulty of proving that the vessel was within the territorial waters of Mexico when the demand for the surrender of Patton was made; and also that even had he picked Patton up inside that limit, there was at that time no reason why he (the captain) should take it for granted Patton was a fugitive from justice, and that by the time he had an opportunity of being convinced of this fact, his vessel was, according to his own statement, some 9 miles from land.
At the end of our conversation Mr. Mariscal offered to telegraph that the matter be quickly investigated in order to cause the least possible prejudice to the captain’s interests.
I informed Mr. Mariscal at the beginning of our conversation that I had stated in referring the case to you yesterday that I should take no official action until I had received your instructions.
I am, etc.,