Mr. Muruaga to Mr. Gresham.
Washington, March 20, 1895.
With reference to the note of Her Majesty’s legation of the 15th instant, the consul of Spain advises the undersigned that the arms stored in the warehouse of the Pennsylvania Railroad have disappeared, and that the Attorney-General had refused the detention “attachment” of the same until evidence was adduced that they belonged to a local military organization formed to wage hostilities against Spain.
In the note of the Department of State of the 12th of February last, the honorable Secretary of State stated that the embargo of arms held as suspicious at Fernandina had been raised because charges of the supposed offense were not preferred in due time.
Now, then, in the present instance the judicial authorities will not be able to allege the same reasons. The supposed offense having been notified, and the necessary proceedings having been officially instituted, it was evident that the obligation of proving that the said arms were part of the Lagonda’s cargo rested on the consul of Spain; but while the proceedings were in course of execution, it is to be presumed that the consignee, Mr. Rubens, would be privately and confidentially informed of what was being done, and the corpus delicti was removed to a place of safety.
What could give better evidence of the “criminal character of the contents of the 241 boxes”? How, then, can it be wondered, in view of the facilities afforded to the filibusters to export arms to Cuba and of the difficulties opposed to the Spanish Government to detain them, that the Spanish cruisers endeavor to intercept on the Cuban coasts what is declared by Spanish law to be contraband of war?
The undersigned avails, etc.,