File No. 10388/10–20.

Chargé Fletcher to the Secretary of State.

No. 818.]

Sir: In compliance with the department’s telegram of December [13] 14 last, acknowledged in my unnumbered dispatch of December 20, 1907, to report whether the claims of American citizens for damages suffered in the mixed court riots of 1905 have been carefully substantiated, and to forward them to the department for approval, I have the honor to transmit herewith the original statements of claim filed with the American consul general at Shanghai, together with the findings of the consul general with regard to each, transmitted in his No. 40 of the 13th instant to the legation (copy inclosed).

Each claim has been carefully investigated by the consul general, and I concur in his findings and recommend that they be adopted by the department.

Should the legation be instructed to ask the Chinese Government for indemnity in the amount recommended, viz, $889.73 United States currency, I do not anticipate that it would encounter serious objection in view of the recent payment to Germany and Great Britain of indemnity for losses suffered on this occasion.

I have, etc.,

Henry P. Fletcher.

Consul General Denby to Chargé Fletcher.

No. 40.]

Sir: In conformity with your instruction, Con. 1474, of the 14th December, I have the honor to submit herewith a tabular statement of the claims by American citizens for losses in the riots of December 18, 1905.

The statement shows the names of the claimants, the character of their claims, the amount claimed, the date of original making of the claim (in all cases they were immediately after the riots) as shown by the records of this consulate general, the date on which they were examined before the undersigned, and the conclusion reached concerning the merits thereof.

There were originally filed in this consulate general in this connection nine claims. One for $982 Mexican was found to have been filed by a British subject and, at the request of the British consul general, was transmitted to his consulate general. Another, of a certain Woolf, for $1,292.30 Mexican was at the time of presentation rejected by the then consul general, as on its face it was for losses incurred after the date of the riot.

Of the above claims, No. 7, that of George Henley, has not been supported by personal appearances of the claimant at this consulate. Said claimant is not in this jurisdiction, and the date of his return thereto is uncertain. It does not seem necessary, however, to delay the report on account thereof. The said claim is for 5,000 taels for “attempt on life and permanent injuries” and 63 taels for injuries to clothing and doctor’s bill, which has been proven satisfactorily by the doctor without the presence of the claimant. The doctor’s certificate is appended to the claimant’s statement.

Claims 1 to 6 have received careful examination. Claimants have been asked to appear before me in person and have been cross-examined under oath with regard thereto, the United States district attorney aiding in the cross-examination.

The details of the finding in each case are as follows:

  • Claim No. 1: The destruction of the automobile and its value were proved beyond question and the claim is entirely fair.
  • Claim No. 2: The loss and the value were fully proved, but the clothing not being entirely new, a deduction of 25 per cent would be equitable.
  • Claim No. 3: The value placed upon the articles lost seems to be excessive, and a deduction of 65 taels would be equitable.
  • Claim No. 4: In this claim it appeared that the destroyed bicycle belonged to claimant’s employer, not of American nationality, and that the claimant had suffered no personal loss by its destruction. The amount claimed for bicycle would therefore be deducted.
  • Claim No. 5: This claim was satisfactorily proved in full.
  • Claim No. 6: This claim was satisfactorily proved in full.
  • Claim No. 7: Commented on above.

I am satisfied that substantial basis exists for all these claims, subject to the deductions recommended by me. I recommend that in case action is to be taken on these claims the amount of charge for affidavits in each case, $2 gold, should be added to claims 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, the makers whereof have paid for the stamps affixed thereto.

Detailed statements of claims 1 to 6 on forms prepared by this consulate and duly filled up by claimants are inclosed herewith, supported by such vouchers as were submitted. The form in which claim 7 is submitted is above explained.

The total amount of the seven claims was $4,857.23 gold, as presented by the claimants, of which there seems reason to consider only $889.73 gold.

Claimants have been informed that these claims were examined by me under instructions of the legation and that I have no knowledge as to what further steps, if any, will be taken in connection therewith by the United States Government.

I have, etc.,

Charles Denby.