Mr. Olney to Mr. Dupuy de Lôme.

No. 95.]

Sir: Referring to my note of February 14 last in relation to the expropriation of stock and other property of United States citizens in Cuba for military use, in contravention of the provisions of Article VII of the treaty of 1795 between the United States and Spain, I have now the honor to invite attention to a case which has been reported recently [Page 672] to this Department by the United States consulate at Sagua la Grande, which serves to illustrate the character of such seizures. In some of these it appears that even the ordinary procedures of expropriation have not been followed, and the property has been taken without compensation or acknowledgment of indebtedness.

Mr. Francisco J. Cazanas, a citizen of the United States, owning and residing upon a plantation known as Santa Ana, near the city and in the district of Sagua, avers under oath that on the 28th of January last a column of Spanish troops visited his inclosed stock fields and took therefrom 16 horses and 2 head of mules, producing no authority for so acting and giving no receipt or other acknowledgment. Upon application for the restoration of his property, made through the consul at Sagua, the military commandant gave a memorandum stating that any stock taken and found to be unfitted for military purposes could be returned. As the animals taken were either brood mares or young colts and unfitted for cavalry service, efforts for their return have been prosecuted, the only result being a statement that the animals are somewhere in the military district and can not be found. So far, no redress whatever has been obtained in favor of Mr. Cazanas.

The consul has been informed as to the proper course to be pursued by him in bringing this grievance to the knowledge of the Spanish authorities in his district, and appears to have faithfully fulfilled those instructions. My object in bringing the case to your attention is not to make independent reclamation in this regard through the diplomatic channel, but to emphasize the position taken in my previous note of February 14 by citing another clear instance of contravention of the treaty rights of American citizens and disregard of their interest. The assurances you have heretofore given me that the Spanish authorities in Cuba invite statements from the consuls of all grievances affecting American citizens and will take due steps to relieve them lead me to hope that this vexatious class of incidents will not longer be the subject of diplomatic complaint like the present.

Accept, etc.,

Richard Olney.