Mr. MacVeagh to Mr. Olney.

No. 209.]

Sir: I beg to inclose for your information and such instructions as you think proper to send me on the subject a copy of a letter I have addressed to the minister of foreign affairs under date of the 19th instant, respecting the case of Vittorio Gardella.

I have discovered in the files of the embassy a case in some of its facts very similar, which is presented and discussed at length by Mr. Blaine in dispatch No. 55 of May 3, 1890, to Governor Porter, the minister here. The reply of the Italian ministry of foreign affairs was sent to the Department by Secretary Dougherty in dispatch No. 114 of September 1, 1890.

Some further correspondence followed, but at this writing I have discovered nothing of importance upon our files here, though I will continue the search until I have exhausted it.

As you may be aware, efforts have been made upon several occasions to obtain a new treaty with Italy making satisfactory provisions with respect not only to the question of the military service of those of our naturalized citizens who, having been born here, naturally desire to revisit their native land, but also with respect to the question of the extradition of Italian subjects who commit crimes while domiciled in the United States and then return here to escape punishment therefor. I would be very glad to be informed as to the views you entertain as to our right to insist upon the release of Gardella, as I apprehend it will probably be refused, and also as to the desirableness of endeavoring once more to secure very promptly a brief treaty dealing with the two questions I have stated on the same principles as are embodied in our more recent treaties on those subjects with other nations.

I have, etc.,

Wayne MacVeagh.
[Page 423]
[Inclosure in No. 209.]

Mr. MacVeagh to Marquis Visconte Venosta.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to bring to the attention of your excellency the case of a citizen of the United States, named Vittorio Gardella, who is now reforming military service under compulsion of the military authorities of Italy in the Fourth Sanitary Company, at the Military Hospital at Parma.

The circumstances of the case are such that I can not doubt your excellency will take such measures as will result in his release.

Gardella was born August 5, 1861, in the village of Neloue, about 18 miles distant from Chiarari, in the district of Genoa, and was taken to the United States as his future home when only 6 years of age. He was duly naturalized as a citizen of the United States on October 18, 1884. He resided continuously within the United States from 1877 to 1895. His present home is the city of New York, at 123 Baxter street in that city, where his wife and family still remain.

On returning temporarily to Italy last year he was drafted into the military service December 10, 1895, and is still retained in it. I beg to repeat that in view of the fact that Gardella having left Italy so long before any duty of military service had arisen; of his naturalization in the United States so soon after he reached manhood; of his long-continued residence there of seventeen years, and of his leaving his wife and children at his established home in New York, I trust your excellency will appreciate the exceptional character of this application, and will feel able to obtain his discharge without delay.

I have, etc.,

Wayne MacVeagh.