File No. 24203.
The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador.
Washington , May 19, 1910 .
Excellency: The department has received your note of March 26, 1910, in which you inquire whether there is any objection to British consular officers taking evidence in the United States (1) of American citizens; (2) of subjects or citizens of other States when within the limits of the United States; and (3) of British subjects within the limits of the United States.
It is understood by this department that an American consular officer in British dominions may take evidence of American citizens within his consular district either in his ordinary consular capacity or by virtue of a commission issued to him by an American court. If this understanding is correct, this Government is entirely agreeable, subject to any special legislation of the States, to the exercise of similar functions by British consular officers in the United States in respect to taking testimony of British subjects, provided, of course, that the testimony be given voluntarily. This Government, subject to special state legislation and the other conditions already mentioned, is equally ready to accord to British consular officers in the United States the privilege of taking testimony of American citizens and of subjects or citizens of other nations residing within the territory of the United States, upon assurance that American consular officers are authorized to take testimony of British subjects and foreign subjects or citizens residing in British dominions.
I have, etc.,