Duke de Arcos to Mr. Hay .


Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of the note of your department dated the 5th instant by which you advise me that the Government of the United States accepts the proposition of that of H. M. to the effect that, as regards Porto Rico and the Philippines, the authentication of the signatures of the officials who intervene in the execution of letters rogatory passing between Spain and the said countries and vice versa, through the diplomatic channel, be hereafter dispensed with.

I transcribe hereinbelow the memorandum that I had the honor of sending to your excellency on the 18th of April last, and the reply, dated June 5, that I received from the department.


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 and Spain were transmitted through the diplomatic channel, 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 [Page 19] 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.

In conformity with your excellency’s statement in the note which I have the honor to answer, I agree, in the name of the Government of His Majesty, to consider the proposed arrangement as completed by the present exchange of notes, but I must give you notice that it can not go into effect in Spain until it shall have been published in the “Gaceta de Madrid,” that is to say, after the time required for the transmission to Spain and the subsequent printing of the text.

I avail, etc.,



The undersigned, on behalf of their respective Governments and in accordance with the notes they exchanged on the 5th and 7th of August last, have agreed upon the following declaration:

The signatures of officials who officiate in the execution of rogatory commissions addressed by the courts of Porto Rico and the Philippine Islands to those of Spain, or by the Spanish courts to those of Porto Rico and the Philippine Islands, transmitted through the diplomatic channel, will not require authentication.

  • John Hay,
  • El Duque de Arcos.