Mr. Harris to Mr. Hay.
Vienna , September 1, 1899 .
Sir: In reply to your dispatch, No. 25, of the 24th of June, 1899, in the matter of Efraim Rubin, I have the honor to submit the following statement:
Mr. Efraim Rubin was born in Kolbuszowa, Galicia, on June 10, 1863. On April 11, 1886, he emigrated to the United States. He was naturalized in New York on October 23, 1891, his permanent residence being No. 45 Clinton street, New York City. By occupation he is an insurance agent. In September, 1895, he left the United States and came to his native city, where he remained some five or six months. He then went to South America for a year and returned to Europe and took a passport, No. 706, issued by the embassy at Berlin on June 10, 1897. He then returned to Kolbuszowa. A few days later, being informed privately that he was about to be arrested for failure to perform his military duties, he went to the “Bezirkshauptmann” and exhibited his passport and certificate of naturalization, and also, at the request of such officer, on July 7, 1897, made a written statement touching his citizenship, leaving his papers with the officer.
Five days later Rubin called for his papers and stated he wanted to return to America. The papers were withheld, although, Rubin says, the “Bezirkshauptmann” assured him of “his perfect freedom.” He was then arrested by a gendarme and delivered to the civil court of that district and held in confinement for a time, when the district attorney decided that the district court had no jurisdiction, and Rubin was turned back to the Bezirkshauptmann, who ordered him to appear before the military board at Rzeszow; which board, for some reason, at once turned him back to the Bezirkshauptmannschaft, who then released him because, under the provisions of the treaty of September 20, 1870, he was not subject to render military service. Mr. Rubin has written and visited the legation, insisting that I shall in his behalf make a claim upon the Austrian Government for damages.
He states he was imprisoned for nine days, for which he desires a demand be made of $9,000, to which shall be added $3,000 by way of solatium. I beg leave to ask instructions in this behalf.
His insistence is that, upon exhibiting his papers to the Bezirkshauptmann, he said that Rubin was not subject to military service; that he was the highest authority in that district; yet after that the inferior officers subjected him to arrest. And for this reason he claims damages.
I have, etc.,