Report of the Secretary of State.

The President:

Referring to a resolution of the Senate of the United States of February 2, 1897, in the terms following—

Resolved, That the Secretary of State he requested to send to the Senate any information that he may have in regard to the killing, by Spanish soldiers, of the son of M. F. Lopez, an American citizen, at Sagua la Grande, in Cuba, and any report or letter from the American consul at that point relating to the subject—

I have the honor to make the following report, with a view to its transmission to the Senate if deemed not incompatible with the public interests:

It is claimed that Segundo N. Lopez, son of M. F. Lopez and a native of Cuba, was an American citizen—a claim which is supported by the fact that he was registered as such by the United States consul at Cienfuegos. On the other hand, his name is not to be found in the register of American citizens kept by the consul-general at Habana. The ex parte evidence in the possession of the Department tends to show that Lopez, in the middle of April last, was visiting relatives in a [Page 847] district of Cuba which he had been accustomed to frequent as an agent and interpreter of American buyers of tobacco for export; that he was not connected with the insurrection; that on the 11th of said April he was arrested by Spanish troops, being at the time wholly unarmed; that on being asked who he was by the officer in command, he at first replied that he was a “pacifico,” and presently declared that he was an American citizen and produced papers which the officers looked at and returned to him; and that within a short time thereafter he was killed by the troops either by or without orders on the part of the officer in command, but so far as known without charges, process, or trial of any sort.

The above brief summary of evidence on file in the Department is submitted because the same was communicated in strict confidence and on the express understanding that no clew should be given to the identity of the witness.

Upon the receipt of the evidence above referred to the consul-general of the United States at Habana was instructed, August 21, 1896, to call upon the Captain-General of Cuba for an investigation of the facts respecting the death of Lopez, and for due punishment of all persons criminally connected therewith. The Captain-General promptly acceded to the request for an examination, and stated that the results when reached would be reported to this Government. Thus far, however, no report on the subject has been received, the last communication from the office of the Captain-General being to the effect that the inquiry was still pending, so that no definite conclusion could be given.

Notice of a demand by the father of Lopez for indemnity for the injuries sustained by him through the death of his son has been duly presented to the Spanish Government through our minister at Madrid.

Respectfully submitted.

Richard Olney.