Mr. Tree to Mr. Bayard.

No. 406.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on the 20th instant, at 10 o’clock in the evening, I received the following cablegram:

Upon application authorities State of New York, yon are instructed to request de tention Adolph Sambolino, now under arrest at Antwerp, pending arrival extradition papers charging forgery.


[Page 47]

The same evening, and immediately after the receipt of the cablegram, I addressed a note to the minister of foreign affairs, requesting the Government of His Majesty, the King, to cause the proper authorities at Antwerp to be instructed to detain Sambolino pending the arrival of the extradition papers. A copy of my note is herewith inclosed.

The next day being Sunday, the Foreign Office was closed, but on Monday morning, the 22d instant, I called there personally, and saw the director-general of the department, Mr. Leopold Orban, to whom I repeated orally the request, showing him at the same time the cablegram. He said the request would be complied with, and that my note of the 20th instant, on the subject, had been already sent to the Department of Justice. At the same time he remarked it was going further than the stipulations of the extradition treaty between the United States and Belgium, though in 1886 Count d’Arschot, then chargé d’affaires ad interim of Belgium, had in accordance with instructions from the Belgian minister of foreign affairs, proposed to our Government, the addition of a clause to the treaty providing for temporary arrests on information by telegraph received through the diplomatic representative pending the arrival of the necessary documents, but that the negotiations were not successful by reason of objections on the part of our Government.

He said, also, that all other treaties concluded by Belgium contained such a clause.

I expressed the desire to know the precise points on which the negotiations with our Government had turned, and also the language of the clause which he said was contained in other extradition treaties concluded by Belgium. He said he would give me the information in a few days in writing and, accordingly, on the 27th instant, I received from the minister of foreign affairs the note which I herewith inclose.

Although the conversation took place which I have detailed, there was not the slightest hesitation manifested in granting my request for the detention of Sambolino, who, I understand, has been under arrest at Antwerp since the 19th instant.

I have also the honor to acknowledge the receipt of cablegram of the 24th instant, reading as follows:

Sambolino papers forwarded.


I am, etc.,

Lambert Tree.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 406.]

Mr. Tree to the Prince de Chimay.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to inform your excellency that I have just this moment received a cable from my Government directing me, on the application of the authorities of the State of New York, to request the Government of His Majesty the King to cause the detention of one Adolph Sambolino, now under arrest at Antwerp, pending the arrival of extradition papers charging said Sambolino with the crime of forgery.

I will therefore be extremely thankful if your excellency will cause the proper authorities of the Government at Antwerp to be instructed as soon as possible to this effect.

I avail, etc.,

Lambert Tree.
[Page 48]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 406.—Translation.]

Prince de Chimay to Mr. Tree.

Mr. Minister: The consul of the United States at Antwerp has himself solicited the temporary arrest of the man Adolph Sambolino on the subject of which your excellency has done mo the honor to write to me the 20th of this month.

This individual has been detained at Antwerp since the 19th instant.

Without doubt it will not have escaped your excellency that the convention of the 30th of June, 1882, does not contain any stipulation determining the conditions under which a temporary arrest may be claimed from the Belgian Government and reciprocally from the Government of the United States.

Until now no demand for temporary arrest or extradition had been formulated by the cabinet of Washington, but it is not the same on our side.

Until in 1886 all our requests for arrest formulated by way of the telegraph had been welcomed by the Secretary of State at Washington and the American judicial authorities.

A change took place then. The Belgian Government having solicited the temporary arrest of the men, Mandelius and Edelhausen, Mr. Bayard informed the legation of the King at Washington, on the 2d of August, 1886, that in spite of the fact that the Department of State had in some preceding cases issued a warrant with a view of arresting fugitive criminals without waiting for the presentation of the necessary papers to corroborate the accusation, this manner of proceeding would not be followed henceforth unless they were expressly specified in the stipulations of the treaties.

Mr. Bayard added, however:

“The clauses of the article 5270 of the Revised Statutes of the United States are sufficient (in the absence of similar special stipulations of the treaty between the United States and Belgium) to cover the case which we are considering,”

The judge at New York decided otherwise about it.

It was under these conditions that on the 16th of September, 1886, the Count d’Arschott, then chargé d’affaires ad interim, of Belgium, proposed, conformably to my instructions, to regulate the question of temporary arrest by a clause thus conceived:

“On information by telegraph received through a diplomatic source that a warrant has been issued by a competent authority for the arrest of a criminal fugitive charged with one of the crimes, misdemeanors, provided in article 2 of the convention of the 13th of June, 1882, and to the article * * * of present additional convention, and on the assurance coming from the same source, that a demand for the extradition of the fugitive is on the point of being made conformably to the stipulations of these conventions each Government will make efforts to procure the temporary arrest of the individual, and shall hold him during a reasonable time, which may not exceed two months, to await the production of the documents on which the request of extradition is founded.”

The 30th of December, 1886, Mr. Bayard, by a letter of which I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy to your excellency, expressed to the minister of His Majesty at Washington the desire to suspend the negotiations.

Since then the situation has not changed. I am pleased to hope that the preceding explanation responds to the expectation of your excellency, who has kindly sought to obtain oral information in the offices of my department on the rules which regulate temporarily arrest between Belgium and the United States.

I will add that all other treaties concluded by Belgium contain a clause touching the temporary arrest, and provide a delay varying from fifteen days” to three months during which the detention may be maintained while awaiting the demand of extradition, transmitted through the diplomatic source.

“In case of urgency,” Article 6 of the convention of the 15th of August, 1874, between Belgium and France, provides that “temporary arrest will be effected on notice transmitted by mail or telegraph of the existence of a warrant of arrest, on the condition, however, that this notice shall be regularly given through diplomatic source to the minister of foreign affairs of the country where the culprit has taken refuge. The arrest of the foreigner will take place under the forms and following the established rules of law of the Government upon which the demand has been made.”

Article 7 adds “that the foreigner temporarily arrested will be discharged if within a delay of fifteen days after his arrest he does not receive notification of one of the documents mentioned in article 5 of the convention;”

Accept, etc.,

Prince de Chimay.
[Page 49]
[Inclosure 3 in No. 406.]

Mr. Bayard to Mr. de Bounder de Melsbroeck.


Sir: Referring to the note of the Count d’Arschot of the 16th of September last, proposing certain additional articles to the convention of extradition between the United States and Belgium, I now have the honor to inform you of the opinion of the Department upon the modifications and additions suggested.

The first proposal in the note referred to was the substitution for Article VII of the present treaty of a provision for the arrest of alleged fugitives on a telegraphic requisition. The proposed substitute, as you have doubtless observed, is substantially identical with Article VI of the recently proclaimed extradition treaty with Japan, with the exception that the article proposed in the note of Count d’Arschot binds each Government, without any qualifications, to endeavor, upon the receipt of a requisition by telegraph, to cause the preliminary arrest of the alleged fugitive, while the treaty with Japan requires this to be done by each Government “so far as it lawfully may.”

In the United States as well as in Belgium, procedure in extradition is in great part regulated by statute. At present there is no provision in the statutory law of the United States for the arrest of alleged fugitives on telegraphic requisitions; and in view of this fact, it is not deemed advisable to make, for that purpose, unqualified conventional engagements whose execution might be attended with inconvenience and uncertainty. For the present, therefore, it may be expedient to postpone consideration of the proposed substitute for Article VII of the existing convention.

Accept, etc.,

T. F. Bayard