Mr. Springer to Mr. Rockhill.

No. 205.]

Sir: With reference to previous dispatches, Nos. 122, 127, and 131, of September 10, 12, and 16, respectively, relative to the case of Oscar Cespedes, I have now the honor to transmit copy of a communication from the secretary of the general government, who states that the Captain-General informs the Governor-General that he has inhibited cognizance in the proceedings of summary trial commenced against Cespedes, and has ordered the case to the ordinary jurisdiction of the court of instruction of Alfonso XII, the accused remaining in confinement at San Severino Fort, in Matanzas, at the disposition of said court.

It will be observed from said communication that the governor of Matanzas is ordered to transmit to the said court copies of the parts [Page 665] corresponding (of the proceedings) presumedly of the already initiated military proceedings.

Against similar action in the case of Sanguily, when transferred to the civil jurisdiction, as reported by me in No. 2502, of May 7, 1895, the Department of State instructed me by telegram dated May 21 to file a protest declining to recognize the validity of the military jurisdiction in preliminary stage or at any stage of the proceedings.

As the communication received with respect to Cespedes is not quite explicit upon this point, I will wait for your instructions in the premises.

I am, etc.,

Joseph A. Springer.
[Inclosure in No. 205.—Translation.]

The Marques de Palmerola to Mr. Springer.

Sir: His Excellency the Captain-General in a communication dated October 31 last says to His Excellency the Governor-General, as follows:

Excellency: In reply to the polite communication of your excellency dated the 24th instant, relative to the prisoner of war, Mr. Oscar Cespedes y Figueredo, an American subject (citizen), I have the honor to inform you that by a decree duly passed upon of the 19th instant I have inhibited with respect to this individual cognizance of the summary court-martial which was begun against him and one other in favor of the ordinary jurisdiction and court of instruction of Alfonso XII, and under the same date, and for the sake of brevity, the military governor of Mantanzas was ordered to transmit to said court copies of corresponding parts (of the proceedings) (testimonio de lugares correspondientes) placing the accused at its disposition in San Severino Fort, where he is at present.

By order of his excellency I have the honor to transmit the foregoing to you for your information and in answer to your communication of the 23d of said month of October upon the subject.

God guard you many years.

Marques de Palmerola.