File No. 20362/20.

The Secretary of State to the German Ambassador.

No. 219.]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 4th ultimo in which you inclose certified copies in two civil suits brought at Dresden against Mr. Alfred C. Johnson, vice consul general of the United States at that city. You further advise the department that Mr. Johnson declined to accept service in these cases, and that the Royal Saxon minister of foreign affairs had therefore requested you to have the papers served through diplomatic channels.

In reply I have the honor to advise you that the department, on the 11th instant, forwarded the papers to the American consul general at Dresden, and instructed him to deliver them to Mr. Johnson, along with an instruction from this department to that officer.

In the latter instruction Mr. Johnson was advised that the department did not approve his action in refusing to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the Dresden court for the adjustment of matters growing out of his private business relations.

It further advised him that it was of opinion that, under the treaty of December 11, 1871, between the United States and Germany, unclassified vice consular officers were liable to the jurisdiction of the courts of that State of the Empire in which they were located.

Mr. Johnson was also instructed to submit himself forthwith to the jurisdiction of the court in order that the controversy might be adjusted.

Accept, etc.,

P. C. Knox.