Mr. Olney to Baron von Thielmann.
Washington, May 11, 1896.
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 4th instant, in further relation to the case of Jacob Franck, the insane deserting German seaman, and I note your reference of the case to the Imperial Government for its views in the premises.
Meanwhile I observe your comments upon Article XIV of the treaty of December 11, 1871, and your statement that the treaty article is not applicable because it does not make a demand for the surrender of deserting seamen obligatory upon the Government under whose flag [Page 205]they serve. Permit me to say that in my note of April 27 ultimo, I was careful to remark that the article in question “is in form permissive as to the surrender of such a deserting seaman,” and any view of mine touching an obligation thereunder rested on the natural proposition that each contracting party might be expected to avail itself of its right in the proper contingency. Article XIV is unquestionably applicable to the present case in so far that it stipulates for the return of deserting seamen and because Franck is of that class.