Mr. Eustis to Mr. Olney.

No. 339.]

Sir: Upon receipt of your dispatch No. 422, with reference to the consular rights of Mr. Chapelié in Tunis, I addressed a note to Mr. Hanotaux, a copy of which I inclose herewith.

I have, etc.,

J. B. Eustis
[Inclosure in No. 339.]

Mr. Eustis to Mr. Hanotaux.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have received a dispatch from my Government with reference to the consular rights of Mr. Chapelié in Tunis which were withdrawn by the French minister resident. The considerations which were submitted by Mr. Patenôtre at Washington with reference to this matter are considered by my Government wholly unsatisfactory.

[Page 421]

The consular privileges of the American vice-consul are guaranteed by treaty which my Government made with Tunis, dated August, 1797, article 17 of which reads as follows:

Each of the contracting parties shall be at liberty to establish a consul in the dependencies of the other, and if such consul does not act in conformity with the usages of the country, like others, the Government of the place shall inform his Government of it, to the end that he may be changed and replaced; but he shall enjoy, as well for himself as his family and suite, the protection of the Government, and he may import for his own use all his provisions and furniture without paying any duty; and if he shall import merchandise (which it shall be lawful for him to do) he shall pay duty for it.

It is very clear from this provision that the above-quoted treaty makes no distinction between salaried and unsalaried officers. My Government takes the position that these consular privileges being conventional, it is not in the power of the authorities at Tunis to ignore them, and still less arbitrarily set them aside, and that the question of salary is inapplicable and can not be considered, and that the French minister resident in Tunis has no power to modify or change the treaty existing between the United States and Tunis.

If there is any cause of complaint against Mr. Chapelié for any reason whatsoever my Government is ready to promptly investigate it. If he be persona non grata, the French Government, if it deems such course justifiable, can withdraw his exequatur, otherwise in such a clear case my Government has a right to confidently expect that the French Government will take immediate means to insure to the vice-consul of the United States at Tunis all rights and privileges guaranteed to him by treaty.

I avail, etc.,

J. B. Eustis