File No. 711.5221.

The Secretary of State to the Minister of Spain.

No. 87.]

Sir: Referring to the Department’s note to you of October 21, 1911, relative to the bond required of the Spanish consul general in New York by the probate court of that city in the administration of the estate of the late José Pérez Suárez and to subsequent oral communications on the same subject, I have the honor to call your attention to article 27 of the treaty of July 3, 1902, which provides in substance that the effects and property of deceased citizens or subjects shall be retained within the consular district for 12 months by the consular officer, legal representative, or heirs of the deceased person, during which time the creditors, if any, of the deceased shall have the right to present their claims against the deceased’s estate. The main purpose of this stipulation is clearly to safeguard the interests of possible creditors having demands against the effects or property of the deceased, and the New York law requiring the customary bond in cases of administration, as understood by the Department, has the same purpose and is therefore not inconsistent with this article of the treaty. Moreover, this requirement of the New York law has no specific relation to the representative character in which the consul [Page 716] general in this case is acting in behalf of the heirs of the deceased as well as of their duly appointed attorney-in-fact. In view of the above stipulations of article 27 of the treaty, and of the requirement of New York practice consistent therewith, the Department believes that the demand of the court for a bond in the case in question will be found to be not an unusual or unreasonable procedure in such cases.

The Department is of the opinion that this matter may be satisfactorily arranged by the Spanish consul general taking out a bond through the agency of some bonding or security company, of which there are many in New York City. It is believed that the charge for this service will be found moderate and may, if the usual custom is followed, be paid out of the estate in question.

If you will inform the Department should any further difficulties be experienced in this matter, it will be glad to render you every possible assistance.

Accept, etc.,

P. C. Knox.