The Belgian Minister to the Secretary of State.


The Belgian minister acknowledges receipt of the memorandum of the State Department dated February 15 relative to the claim of the Belgian Company El Oriente at Manila, in the Saturnus case.

The minister regrets to learn that, for the present, the State Department does not find the claim substantiated.

He has just heard that Mr. Michener, counsel for the German firm of Baer, senior, of Manila, has now filed with the State Department a brief presenting new arguments in favor of the German and Belgian firms, which have suffered through the plundering of the Saturnus.

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Furthermore the Belgian minister notes that the memorandum of the State Department does not seem to have considered some very important points made in two letters written by the Belgian consul at Manila to Governor Wright.

These letters dispute the findings of the various “claim boards” in the Philippines, which rejected the claim of the El Oriente Company.

The Belgian minister had furnished copies of these letters to Judge Magoon, when this official had the Saturnus case under consideration in the War Department, but he is afraid that these copies may not have been transmitted, together with the other papers, when the case was referred from the War Department to the State Department.

The minister therefore has the honor to appeal to the Secretary of State’s usual kindness, with the request that the State Department make a new examination of this claim, which is of the highest importance for the Belgian firm in the case.