File No. 211.52L89/2.

The Minister of Spain to the Secretary of State.


Mr. Secretary: In your excellency’s note of the 6th instant1 I had the honor to receive the warrant of provisional arrest which I had asked for of your excellency against Tómas Loscesta and Lazareto Calvo, under trial before the Spanish courts for the unlawful taking possession of property, in accordance with article 536 of the Spanish penal code, this crime being extraditable according to section 20 of article 11 of the treaty of extradition between the two countries.

Without losing a moment I transmitted it to the consul general of Spain at New York, with a copy of your excellency’s note of the 3d instant, in order that, in accordance with its text and with the provisions of the extradition treaty, he might appear before the proper magistrate and, taking the oath prescribed in said international document, request the provisional arrest of the fugitives.

The consul general of Spain at New York has just informed me that Judge Shields, in charge of extradition matters, has refused to recognize the competence of the consul general of Spain for the request in question and requires that he make it through an attorney.

I call your excellency’s attention to the attitude of Judge Shields because, besides the fact that this requirement is not contained either in the treaty or in the instruction of your Department, given in your excellency’s note of the 3d instant, the loss of time in consequence of the formalities required, in my opinion unduly, by the aforementioned judge, may result in the fugitives frustrating justice.

Judge Shields has moreover demanded particulars connected with the case which the consul general can not furnish and which will be thoroughly explained in the proper document which the Spanish [Page 718] courts will transmit within a period of two months, as stipulated by the treaty between Spain and this country.

I therefore appeal to your excellency’s courtesy touching the disregard of rights stipulated in an international treaty, which seems to be made subordinate to the procedure and routine of a local law.

I avail, etc.,

Juan Riaño.
  1. Not printed.