The Acting Secretary of State to the Mexican Chargé.
Washington , April 13, 1908 .
Sir: Referring to your note, No. 47, of October 5, 1907, communicating the reply of the Mexican Government relative to the claim of the owners of the Mexican ship Tabasqueño against the United States, I have the honor to say that the department has noted that the Mexican Government accepts on behalf of the claimants the department’s calculations of $11,200 and $1,500 which is proposed to recommend to Congress as the sum to be paid for cargo and demurrage, respectively.
As regards the item of $650 for attorney’s fees at Key West, which is enumerated in the department’s note of July 2 as duly covered by voucher, the claimants have correctly understood the department as believing that this item should be included in the amount which the department will recommend to Congress for reimbursement.
The department notes the statement of the embassy that the claimants believe that their outlay in coal, cablegrams, hotel bills, etc., is sufficiently proved by vouchers which have already been submitted by them. Another careful examination has been made of all the inclosures transmitted with the embassy’s note, No. 335, dated March 11, 1903, which were thought to contain evidence of expenditures for these items, but no such papers can be found. There is a statement from the captain of the vessel to the effect that these expenditures were made, but this statement is not accompanied by vouchers. It would appear, therefore, that vouchers should be submitted to cover these items of loss before they can properly be included in the department’s recommendation to Congress.
With regard to the item of “court costs and charges, $160.90,” which the claimants say has not yet been refunded to them, in spite [Page 620] of their efforts, the department is in receipt of a recent communication from the Attorney General, in which he says that the records of the district court of the United States for the southern district of Florida show that the above-mentioned sum has been on deposit in the registry of the court since May, 1898, being entered as “costs ordered refunded owners Tabasqueño, which they refused to receive.” The United States attorney for the southern district of Florida advised that a warrant may be drawn for this amount under order of the district judge in favor of the proper person or persons entitled thereto upon petition to the court, setting up such facts under oath as would satisfy the court of the rightful ownership of the funds by the petitioner. The department, therefore, believes that it will not be necessary to recommend a reimbursement of this item by Congress, inasmuch as it would seem that the claimants can obtain this refundment upon proper application to the court.
Upon receipt of the embassy’s reply respecting the items of “coal, hotel bills, telegrams, etc.,” above referred to, the department will be in a position to transmit the papers to Congress.
Accept, sir, the renewed assurance of my high consideration.