Mr. Sepulveda to Mr. Sherman.

No. 268.]

Sir: Referring to Department’s No. 356, of the 10th instant, relative to the imprisonment of the American citizen, R. H. Doane, in Monclova, Mexico, I have the honor to state that in obedience to your instructions I addressed a note to the foreign office here, calling its attention to the failure of the judge to reply to the perfectly proper inquiry made of him by the consul for information in the case.

Replying to my note Mr. Mariscal states that he would obtain from the governor of the State of Coahuila a report as to the status of the case of Doane, and would inform this legation of the result.

Mr. Mariscal, it will be observed, adds that the mere fact that the judge did not give any answer to the consul’s inquiry does not justify any complaint against the official conduct of the judge, because Mexican judges are not compelled to give foreign consuls any information, nor have the latter the right to ask it, pursuant to Mexican consular law.

On receipt of further information about the Doane case I will report to the Department.

With high regards, etc.

y. Sepulveda.
[Inclosure in No. 268—Translation.]

Mr. Mariscal to Mr. Sepulveda.

Mr. Chargé d’affaires: I have received your note of to-day’s date, in which you set forth that Mr. R. H. Doane, who claims to be an American citizen, was arrested in the month of December, 1896, at Monclova, State of Coahuila, under the accusation of complicity in a robbery, and that in March of the current year the consul of the United States at Piedras Negras addressed two communications to the judge of that place, asking him for information as to Doane’s case, and that he received no answer, to which fact you call this department’s attention under instructions from the Department of State.

In answer I have the honor to inform you that the governor of the State of Coahuila will be asked to report as to the status of the proceedings in the case of Doane, so as to communicate the same to that legation. I must observe, however, that the simple fact that the judge did not answer the questions which the consul might have made in his letters does not justify any complaint against the official conduct of said judge, for the reason that the Mexican judges are not obliged to give any information to foreign consuls, neither have the latter a right to ask it, as may be seen in the law of the 26th of November, 1859, which is always sent to said officials when they are furnished with their exequatur.

I renew, etc.,

Igno. Mariscal.