Mr. Olney to Mr. Taylor.

No. 504.]

Sir: From correspondence with our consul at Cienfuegos and with the consul-general at Habana, it appears that Eugene S. Pelletier, a [Page 632] citizen of the United States, was arrested December 5, 1895, in Cienfuegos, by the Spanish military authorities, upon the charge of recruiting for the insurgent forces. As this man was arrested without arms in hand, his case is clearly within the protocol of January 12, 1877, and he was entitled to be turned over at once to the civil authorities for trial upon the charges against him in the ordinary courts of the country. Prompt and continuous efforts were made by the consul at Cienfuegos and the consul-general at Havana to obtain for the prisoner his rights under the treaty and protocol. But, as the Department was advised by cable from the consul general on the 9th instant, he still languishes in the military prison and there is no hope of effecting his transfer to civil jurisdiction by the appeals of our consuls to the Spanish authorities in Cuba, although his right to trial by the civil jurisdiction is acknowledged by the Spanish officials in the correspondence with the consul-general.

You are therefore directed to bring this case to the attention of the Spanish Government, and to ask that measures be taken at once to accord Mr. Pelletier his rights under the treaty and protocol.

I am, etc.,

Richard Olney.