Mr. Peirce to Mr. Olney.
St. Petersburg , October 10, 1895 . (Received Oct. 25.)
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith copies of documents in the case of one Anton Yablkowski, who appears to be under arrest in Warsaw awaiting trial under the criminal code for becoming a naturalized American citizen without first obtaining the consent of the Imperial Government.
The legation’s first knowledge of this case was received from the letter of the consul at Warsaw of September 11, marked 1 in the inclosures, [Page 1097] in which the minister was informed that the consul had been summoned to testify as to whether such a passport as that taken from Yablkowski is issued by the Department of State to a native or to a naturalized American citizen. A copy of the reply of the minister, September 17 (marked 2), is inclosed. On September 24 the consul wrote informing the legation that Yablkowski was under detention, copy (marked 3) inclosed. To this letter the minister replied September 28 (inclosure 4), and on the same date addressed a note to the foreign office (inclosure 5) asking to be informed as to the cause of detention.
On October 4 a note was received from Mr. Chichkine, copy and translation (marked 6) inclosed, informing the legation that Yablkowski was arrested and was to be tried for becoming a “naturalized foreign subject without previous permission from his Government.”
Believing that the question of whether the man had secured a proper visa from competent Russian authority upon his passport before entering the Empire had an important bearing on the case, I communicated with the consul at Warsaw by telegraph on October 5, confirming by letter (inclosure 7), and later, on the 7th and 10th, inquiring upon this point. Copies of these telegrams in the order sent and received are given on sheet marked “Inclosure 8.”
Meantime the letter of October 4 of the consul was received (inclosure 9), corroborating the information received from the foreign office.
Copies of the consul’s letters, three in number, and one of mine to him confirming telegrams and explaining a mistake in transmission are inclosed (marked 10,11, and 12) to complete the files.
In the absence of instructions, I felt it to be more prudent to make a protest against the continuance of these proceedings based simply upon the principles of international law as laid down by Vatel, Book II, Chapter VIII, sections 100 to 104, inclusive, and by other authorities. I hesitated to touch upon the stipulations of our treaty with Russia of 1832, Article X, far as this action seems to be from the spirit of that compact, lest it should be claimed that this case came within the limitations covered by the closing sentence of that article. I shall forward Mr. Chichkine’s reply to my note of this date (inclosure 14) as soon as received, for instruction.
I believe I have not gone too far in claiming for this man immunity from prosecution upon this charge, in view of the sentiments expressed in your No. 79, of June 15, regarding the case of John Ginzberg, and the very clear enunciation of the principles governing the international law regarding protection to be accorded foreigners given in the eminent authority cited, from which I quote as follows:
The sovereign ought not to grant an entrance into his State for the purpose of drawing foreigners into a snare. As soon as he admits them he engages to protect them as his own subjects, and to afford them perfect security, as far as depends on him.
If the sovereign annexes any particular condition to the permission to enter his territory he ought to take measures to make foreigners acquainted with it when they present themselves on the frontier.
Submitting all the correspondence in this case for your approval,
I have, etc.
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.