File No. 319.1123L25/10.
Minister Price to the Secretary of State.
Panama, July 9, 1915.
Sir: I have the honor to report further with reference to the matter of the prosecution of the Panaman policeman whose arrest, as heretofore reported by me, was accomplished at the instigation of our military authorities shortly after the riot between our soldiers and Panaman policemen and civilians in Colon on April 2 last.
Referring to my despatch No. 469 of April 10, 1915, and the Department’s cables followed by instructions No. 134 of April 23, I enclose a copy of a note and its translation from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Panama notifying me that he felt obligated to release said policeman from further custody. This note bore date of June 26, but was not delivered to this Legation until the afternoon of June 28 during the absence of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Panama in Colon and while I happened to be away from the Legation in conference with Acting Governor Harding of the Panama Canal.
As soon as I translated said note after its receipt I went at once to the Panaman Foreign Office, and though not finding Señor Lefevre in, I protested to the Subsecretary against the contemplated release of the policeman, and had them call police headquarters. They reported him still in custody. I communicated the matter to Brigadier General Edwards as promptly as possible by telephone, and later again visited the Foreign Office, this time finding Señor Lefevre. I protested to him vigorously against releasing [Page 1204]said policeman. He assured me he was still under arrest, and asked me to withhold a formal note until he could look further into the matter, and promised me that he would continue to be detained and that he would transmit, to me another note to that effect. On June 30 the subsequent note came, stating that his detention would be continued. A copy of same and its translation are also enclosed.
I enclose further a copy of a formal note sent by me in the matter, after consideration. This sets forth at length matters involved herein, and I refer to same and make it a part hereof rather than summarizing its contents.
It seems that the evidence connecting said policeman with the murder of Corporal Langdon is somewhat meager, but that accusing him of the shooting of Private Deloughery and wounding him is quite sufficient to justify not only a prosecution, but to uphold a conviction.
I have [etc.]