The Secretary of State to Chargé Boutell.

No. 46.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 116, of the 15th ultimo, submitting a question raised in the case of Consular Agent Schild, at Padang, whose exequatur was directly transmitted to him by the Netherlands Government, that Government claiming that this procedure is required by the convention of 1855 between the United States and the Netherlands, which it considers as still in force.

In this connection you point out that both in the publication entitled “Treaties and Conventions Concluded between the United States of America and other Powers, 1776–1887,” and in the “Compilation of Treaties in Force, 1904,” it is stated that the convention of 1855 “was abrogated August 20, 1879, being superseded by the convention of 1878.”

A search of the department’s records fails to show that any notification of the abrogation of the convention of 1855 was made by either Government; and since the convention of 1855 especially covers the rights and privileges of consular officers of the United States in [Page 1168] Dutch colonies, while the treaty of 1878, in its Article XVI, specifically states “the present conventions shall not be applicable to the colonies of either of the high contracting parties,” there would seem not to have been any established foundation for the statement that the convention of 1878 abrogates or supersedes the convention of 1855; and it seems clear that both conventions are now in force.

The department is therefore of the opinion that the contention of the Netherlands Government that the treaty of 1855 is in force is correct, and that the matter of exequaturs for American consular officers in colonies of the Netherlands is governed by the convention of 1855.

The department will hereafter send the commissions of consular officers in the Netherlands colonies to the legation at The Hague, to be by it presented to the Netherlands Government with the request that an exequatur be issued and sent directly to the governor-general of the colony for his counter signature, and to be thereupon transmitted by him to the consular officer concerned.

This action will accord with the procedure required by Article III of the convention of 1855.

I am, sir, etc.,

Elihu Root.