Mr. Harris to Mr. Hay .
Vienna , September 30, 1899 .
Sir: I beg to supplement dispatch No. 44, concerning John Wilson, by stating:
The legal authorities at Lemberg write that they desire the legation to turn over to them the papers on file here, in order that they may prosecute Wilson under the Austrian law for fraud.
By the law of the monarchy it is a crime to have a document fraudulently obtained for use in one’s possession.
I have no doubt that Wilson might be put on trial in some district court of the United States under section 1750, Revised Statutes United States, as the application at Paris, or here, is perjury, and perhaps both are. It will be noticed in his application for a passport in Paris he stated he took a former one at Cairo. It might be well to examine that application.
The Austrian authorities do not claim that they have jurisdiction to punish perjury committed in this legation, but that the crime is for having a passport in possession fraudulently obtained.
I hesitate to give the papers over without direction to do so, especially as they will be needed if you determine to proceed under section 1750.
I have, etc.,