Mr. Taylor to Mr. Olney.

No. 588.]

Sir: In reference to Department’s No. 517 of the 5th of June last, relative to the arrest on the coast of Cuba of the American citizen, Bert S. Skiller, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy, with translation, of a note received from the minister of state upon the subject.

I am, etc.,

Hannis Taylor.
[Inclosure in No. 588.—Translation.]

The Duke of Tetuan to Mr. Taylor.

Excellency: As I had the honor to inform you in my note dated the 23d of June last, I duly asked for information regarding the American subject, Bert S. Skiller, who was detained on the 8th of April last on board a skiff on the coast of Cuba by the Spanish torpedo boat Galicia. My colleague, the minister of Ultramar, has just sent me a [Page 648] certified copy of the proceedings in the case, from which it appears that on the 8th of last June the court of naval jurisdiction abandoned the case in conformity with the dispositions of the protocol of January 12, 1877. Therefore, when your excellency saw fit to address to me your kind note of the 18th of said June, the cause was already in the hands of the criminal court of Santiago de Cuba. No investigation whatever was necessary—as soon as the American citizenship of Bert S. Skiller was proved, and after the indispensable legal steps were taken—for the Cuban authorities to comply with the dispositions of the international agreements in force in our two countries.

The case belonged to the criminal court of Baracoa, the act forming the subject of the proceedings having taken place at La Caleta, a bay situated within the territory of the jurisdiction of that court, and on July 31, that being the latest date of the news received, the prisoner was expected at Baracoa, having been until then in the jail of Santiago de Cuba. The president of the court had ordered the greatest diligence in the proceedings, and had requested the judge instructor to report upon the state of the case every eight days.

I take great pleasure in being able to again assure your excellency of the accuracy and loyalty with which the dispositions of the protocol of January 12, 1877, are complied with in Cuba. As soon as I receive news in regard to the prisoner Skiller I will take great pleasure in transmitting it to you.

I avail myself, etc.,

The Duke of Tetuan.