Mr. Butler to Mr. Olney.

No. 115.]

Sir: In continuation to my No. 112, of the 23d instant, I beg to inclose, in copy and translation, another note received from Minister Mariscal in regard to the case of Chester W. Rowe.

I am, sir, etc.,

E. C. Butler.
[Inclosure in No. 115—Translation.]

Mr. Mariscal to Mr. Butler.

Mr. Chargé: I had the honor to receive your note, dated the 31st of December last, under cover whereof you were pleased to inclose copy of a dispatch from the Department of State of your Government and copy of a memorandum presented by Mr. Lacey touching the case of Chester W. Rowe.

[Page 1011]

In the first of those inclosures the Honorable Secretary of State, after setting forth certain considerations designed to call into question the application of our laws on naturalization to the case aforesaid, suggests the idea of soliciting the judgment of the courts upon the interpretation which has been given to said laws to invest Chester W. Rowe with Mexican citizenship, and in virtue thereof to waive the obligation to deliver him to the United States under the treaty on extradition in force between the two countries.

The Government of Mexico would have been pleased had the Government of the United States advanced the judicial declaration which it solicits before a competent Mexican court, when through the medium of your legation it was advised that Chester W. Rowe had been committed to the trial judge and it was invited to assist in the prosecution of the case. At that time, instead of advancing the judicial declaration to-day solicited, the agent of the State of Iowa consented to substantiate the accusation formulated by the public prosecution and constituted himself a party in curia, under civil proceedings, before a judge of this federal district whose jurisdiction he thus recognized. He, therefore, recognized likewise the international effect of the naturalization of Rowe which invested the said judge with authorization to try him (Rowe).

The naturalization of Chester W. Rowe, being declared by the President, in compliance with the constitution of the country which grants Mexican citizenship to a foreigner upon the acquisition of any real estate in the Republic, without reservation of his original nationality,1 the department in my charge can not call into doubt the efficacy of such naturalization, even in its international bearings. Furthermore, among its faculties, the Executive is not authorized to introduce any revision of proceedings pending before a legal tribunal, being solely obliged to explain or defend its acts before a competent court, at the instance of a legitimate party in interest, as undoubtedly the Government of the United States is in the present case.

In view of the foregoing, I find myself under the necessity of stating that it does not lie within the faculties of this Government to institute the declaration of judicial interpretation indicated by the Honorable Secretary of State of the United States. However, your Government will find the Mexican courts prepared to pass in due legal form upon such interpretation, if it be deemed expedient.

I reiterate to you, etc.

Igno. Mariscal.
  1. See Paragraph X, article 1, of Mexican law on naturalization, page 1013.