Mr. MacVeagh to Mr. Olney.

No. 220.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatches No. 209, of October 22, 1896, and No. 212, of October 26, 1896, and your replies No. 207, of November 6, 1896, and No. 210, of November 12, 1896, you will be glad, I am sure, to know that I have succeeded in securing the release of Vittorio Gardella from military service here. His discharge is in the form of a grant of unlimited leave, and of course does not formally waive the [Page 426] contention so strenuously insisted upon heretofore by this Government, but it releases a citizen of the United States who, according to our view of the present public law of civilized nations, is not liable to compulsory military service in the Italian army, and is, therefore, so far as the present case is concerned, entirely satisfactory.

The dispatch of the Marquis Visconte Venosta, minister of foreign affairs, is as follows:

The soldier, Vittorio Gardella, to whom your excellency’s esteemed note of the 19th October, 1896, makes reference, was born in 1861 in Neirone-Chiavari, of Italian father, and acquired the American citizenship in 1884—that is, after he had reached manhood.

Under the circumstances he has no doubt lost his Italian citizenship by virtue of article 11, second paragraph, of the Italian civil code, but he remains nevertheless liable to military service in the Kingdom, according to the peremptory provisions of the following article 12. He was therefore regularly enlisted and sent to the service.

I have the honor, however, to inform your excellency that, in view of his exceptional condition of the privileges which by the amendments which are expected to be made to the law regulating the levy applicable to persons residing abroad when enlisted, and of the interest which your excellency takes in Mr. Gardella, the royal minister of war has provided that in an exceptional way Mr. Gardella be sent on an unlimited leave in advance.

I have, etc.,

Wayne MacVeagh.