Mr. Adee to Duke de Arcos.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your personal note of the 30th ultimo to Doctor Hill, Assistant Secretary of State, in which you advise him that your Government is disposed to conclude by an exchange of notes the agreement (suggested in your memorandum of April 18 last and this department’s of June 5 last) for the purpose of dispensing with the authentication of signatures affixed to letters rogatory issuing from Spanish courts to those of Porto Rico and the Philippines, and from the courts of Porto Rico and the Philippines to those of Spain, if the letters rogatory shall be transmitted through the diplomatic channel.

In reply I have the honor to quote the memoranda exchanged as follows:


The Spanish Government does not require the signatures of United States authorities intervening in the execution of rogatory commissions issued from Spain to be authenticated; and in reciprocity of this measure, is anxious that the United States Government should not in the future require the authentication of signatures of Spanish officials who execute American rogatory commissions in Spain.

As all these documents are transmitted from the two Governments through the diplomatic channel, the Spanish Government considers that this fact should alone guarantee their authenticity.


The Department of State submitted to the Secretary of War and the governor of Porto Rico the memorandum of the Spanish minister, dated April 18 last, suggesting that, as letters rogatory passing between the courts of the United States [Page 18] and Spain were transmitted through the diplomatic channels, the authentication of the officials executing the letters might be dispensed with.

Copies of letters from the officers above mentioned are inclosed, from which it appears that in Cuba, the Philippines, and Porto Rico the authentications will be dispensed with, so long as the letters pass through the diplomatic channel. The vast majority of the letters rogatory transmitted between the two Governments will thus be relieved from the burden of authentication. As regards the letters, however, exchanged between the courts of the United States, of the States of the Union, and of the organized Territories, it will not be possible for this department to make any such arrangement, as the execution of the letters must take place in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the United States, of the State or Territory, respectively, and in compliance with the rules of the executing court.

The Department of State would be glad to know whether the arrangement offered is satisfactory to the Spanish Government.

An acknowledgment by you of the present note, acquiescing in the arrangement proposed, so far as Porto Rico, the Philippines, and Spain are concerned, will be regarded by this Government as completing the agreement.

Accept, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.