Mr. Breckinridge to Mr. Olney.
St. Petersburg, November 29, 1895. (Received Dec. 16.)
Sir: Your dispatch No. 138, of the 4th instant, relating to the case of Mr. Anton Yablkowski and to the question of expatriation was duly received.
Heretofore it has been thought that it was best to proceed quietly with cases of this kind in the interest of the unfortunate men, and that the Russian Government was disposed to deal gently with such as came from the United States. That was the policy at the time I came to this legation.
In accordance with this, the legation has always looked for extenuating circumstances to afford ground for the exercise of the supposed desire for clemency. The Russian Government also seemed indisposed to squarely assert its real ground of action.
The foregoing has clearly come to an end on both sides. We see, after long and varied tests, that the Russian Government is resolute to punish our people as well as others, and it no longer hesitates to state its law and avow its policy.
There is no hope, then, for any man guilty as charged except to attack the principle upon which all such charges are founded.
In accordance with the dispatch now under consideration, and the foregoing conviction as to the impolicy of further delay, I to-day addressed a note to Prince Lobanow upon the general question of expatriation. A copy of this note is inclosed. In that I express the Government’s desire for a settlement by a convention or some sort of an agreement. This action is respectfully submitted.[Page 1109]
In order to complete your record to date upon this subject, which promises to be a long one, I herewith inclose copies of the following communications:
Note from Mr. Peirce, while chargé, on October 16, to Prince Lobanow; reply of Prince Lobanow to that note, dated October 28/November 9, and addressed to me; letter from Mr. Joseph Rawicz, our consul at Warsaw, of November 7, and also of November 14.
In his first letter the consul says it is proven that Yablkowski was born in Russia. That seems to dispose of his claim, as shown in his application for a passport, that he is a native of Prussia.
In his second letter he makes some suggestions about warning our citizens subject to this trouble of the difficulties they are likely to encounter. This, I was verbally informed by Baron Sacken, of the foreign office, extends to their descendants born abroad, without any limit as to degree of descent. I warmly approve of the consul’s suggestions as greatly needed by such persons who may contemplate visiting this country.
In regard to Prince Lobanow’s note to me in reply to the note of the chargé, previously referred to, I think his excellency is lacking in courtesy. I formally acknowledged its receipt, but have made no further response to it, referring to a previous note from the ministry stating the case in my note to him to-day.
I have, etc.,