Mr. McCormick to Mr. Hay.
St. Petersburg, August 10, 1904.
Sir: Immediately after my arrival here, as already indicated in my dispatch of August 2, I expressed to Count Lamsdorff the great desirability of furnishing me with official information as to the decision of the prize court in the matter of the cargo of the Arabia; acquainting him as well with the contents of the Department’s cable of August 3, transmitting the manifest of that ship with the information concerning the destination and consignees of that cargo.
As late as yesterday afternoon I was informed through Count Lamsdorff’s private secretary that the foreign office had no information as to the decision of the court, but a few hours later, in the course of the evening, received a note conveying the information as cabled to you to-day.
Briefly, as you will observe, this note stated that considering that the steamship Arabia was seized regularly, that the cargo, composed of railway material and flour, destined for Japanese ports and addressed to different commercial houses in said ports, constituted contraband of war, no mention was made of the 66 pieces of machinery or four packages of cleansing powder, or of the four pieces of structural iron or four packages of blinds, although the tribunal decided that the freight, apparently including these, must be confiscated as being proper prize.
I addressed a note to Count Lamsdorff, stating that I would like to [Page 756]be informed whether these articles were actually confiscated, although not specifically mentioned, as were the flour and railway material.
It is possible that the telegraphic report of the court’s decision is incomplete, and that its full tenor will not be known here until all the papers have been received at the admiralty.
I will advise you of Count Lamsdorff’s reply to my inquiry for fuller information as soon as received.
I have, etc.,