Mr. Tripp to Mr. Olney.
Vienna , December 18, 1896 . (Received Jan. 4, 1897.)
Sir: I have the honor to herewith submit for your consideration copies of the correspondence between this legation and the Imperial and Royal ministry for foreign affairs of Austria-Hungary in reference to the case of Franz Holasek, a native of Bohemia, who, having served four years in the Austrian army, and while his name yet remained upon the retired list, emigrated to America, and became a naturalized citizen of the United States, and who, upon his return to his native country, was arrested upon the charge of desertion.
The case was submitted to the Imperial and Royal ministry for foreign affairs by this legation as coming within the rule established in the case of Ladislao Sedivy, reported to you in my dispatch No. 208,1 of date October 1 last; and in accordance with the precedent established in that case Mr. Holasek has been discharged from arrest and his name stricken from the rolls of the Austrian army.
I am further pleased to inform you that the other cases of arrest made about the same time with that of Sedivy and Holasek, based upon the theory that a soldier of the Austro-Hungarian army, who has performed the three years of active service required, but whose name still remains upon the retired list, and who remains liable to be called at any time into active service, and who, during such existing liability, emigrates to and becomes a citizen of the United States, is liable to arrest and punishment as a deserter upon his return to his native country, have been all of them discharged without further application to or correspondence with the foreign office of Austria Hungary; so that the rule laid down in the case of Sedivy may be regarded as the admitted interpretation of the treaty of 1870 as to the question therein involved, and which must govern all future cases coming within its terms.
I have, etc.,