Mr. Patenôtre to Mr. Olney.


Mr. Secretary of State: The minister of foreign affairs of the French Republic informs me that instructions have been sent by our department of the colonies to the resident-general of France at Madagascar with a view to organize the extension of the jurisdiction of our courts over foreign citizens established in the African island. In regard to the United States you were kind enough to acquaint me under date of May 2 that your agent at Tamatave has been requested by telegraph “to suspend until further order the exercise of consular judicial functions in all cases where a French court regularly established may be made use of for the trial of suits affecting American citizens or interests.”

I suppose that these instructions are sufficient to insure henceforth the regular transmission of the judicial powers of your consulate to the French courts. In the contrary case my Government would be much obliged to you to be kind enough to urgently confirm them by new instructions so as to avoid all ulterior misunderstanding.

I thank you in advance, and beg you to accept, etc.,