Mr. Tower to Mr. Sherman.
Vienna, July 6, 1897. (Received July 23.)
Sir: Referring to the dispatch No. 274, addressed under date of the 16th of December, 1896, by the Hon. Richard Olney, Secretary of State, to my predecessor, the Hon. Bartlett Tripp, upon the subject of a complaint made at the State Department by Mr. Leopold Rieder, of Newark, N. J., in regard to the seizure of his passport by the local authorities during a visit which he made to Galicia, his native country, in the summer of 1896, I have the honor to inclose to you herewith copies of the correspondence which has taken place between the minister of the United States and the Imperial and Royal ministry of foreign affairs.
Upon receipt of the dispatch from the Secretary of State, Mr. Tripp addressed a note to Count Goluchowsky, Imperial and Royal minister of foreign affairs, dated the 29th day of December, 1896, a copy of which is inclosed herewith, calling his attention to the complaint of Mr. Rieder, and requesting him to cause investigation to be made as to the facts of the case, and if no sufficient cause were found for the detention of the passport in question, to have such instructions given to the local officials of Galicia as should prevent the recurrence of such conduct in the future.
I have received from the Imperial and Royal foreign office a reply to this communication, dated the 22d of June, 1897, a translation of which is also inclosed herewith.
It appears therefrom that the attention of the local authorities was attracted to Mr. Rieder during his stay in Galicia, as they would naturally [Page 6]be to a returned emigrant, and that by reason of a request made at that time by his sister for a permit to go to America he was suspected of carrying on an illicit emigration agency. It is more than likely that the police sought also to test his liability to perform military service. He was summoned to appear before the magistrate and give an account of himself. To this summons he paid no attention, however, but gave up his American passport, saying that that would explain the situation. Thereupon an official inquiry was begun, which was delayed by the transfer of the proceedings from the court of origin to another, established in the meantime, which had jurisdiction of the case. The decision having been reached by the magistrate, after due examination, that no cause of action lay against Mr. Rieder, his passport was ordered to be given back to him. But before that time Mr. Rieder had left Galicia upon his return to America, and could not be found. The passport, which is numbered 12722, and was issued to Leopold Rieder by the Hon. Richard Olney on the 3d day of June, 1896, has been returned to this legation, and is now inclosed to you herewith. It seems probable that if Mr. Rieder had consented to appear and make a statement to the magistrate when he was summoned he would have saved himself much annoyance, and would have had his passport given back to him without delay.
I have, etc.,