Baron von Thielmann to Mr. Olney.
Washington, June 24, 1896.
Mr. Secretary of State: Referring to the case of the insane seaman, Jacob Franck, to which your excellency’s note of the 11th ultimo, No. 152, had reference, I have the honor to inform you that the Imperial Government is unable to regard Article XIV of the German-American treaty of December 17, 1871, as imposing any obligation upon our consuls to take charge of seamen who are deserters. That article simply gives consuls the right to apply to the competent authorities for assistance in apprehending seamen who have deserted their vessels.
I also have the honor to call your excellency’s attention to the fact that three years ago the United States legation at Berlin expressly informed the foreign office that it declined, on principle, to send home at the expense of the United States destitute Americans who were in German insane asylums.