Mr. Olney to Mr. Smythe.
Washington, February 18, 1896.
Sir: I have received your No. 180, of the 3d instant, reporting that on the previous day one Dahlgren Lindor, a political refugee, had resorted to your legation for protection, that you had notified the Haitien foreign office, and requested the “usual courtesy” to be allowed to place him on an outgoing vessel.
In reply I have to say that this Government’s uniform and emphatic discouragement of the practice of political asylum has been made known to your legation by repeated instructions. No right to protect such persons, by harboring them or withdrawing them from the territorial jurisdiction of their sovereign, is or can be claimed on behalf of the diplomatic agencies of this Government. It was proper for you to notify the foreign office of the fact of Mr. Dahlgren Lindor’s uninvited resort to your legation, but your request for the “usual courtesy” to permit you to place him on board some outgoing vessel is not understood. If the departure of this or any other Haitien subject is voluntarily permitted by his Government, no propriety in your intervention to put him on board an outgoing vessel is discernible. If the Haitien Government should exercise its evident right to refuse you such permission, you would be placed in a wholly indefensible position. The “usual courtesy” of which you speak appears to be only another name for the practice of that form of alien protection of the citizens or subjects of the State which this Government condemns. Whatever the result of your request, you should at once notify Mr. Dahlgren Lindor that you can no longer extend to him your personal hospitality. You can most certainly, under your standing instructions, accord him nothing more.
I am, etc.,