File No. 294.11Ei5/36.
The Secretary of State to the Attorney General of Massachusetts.
Washington, February 1, 1915.
Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your letters of November 24 and December 23, 1914, in regard to possible action by this Department looking towards the return to this country from Japan of the minor daughter of Harriet and John Eills.
After careful consideration of the matter the Department has reached the conclusion that it is without authority to take action at the present time.
As Mr. R. S. Hoar of counsel for Mrs. Eills was informed by telegrams of October 20 and 27, 1913, it appears that the question of the custody of the Eills child is for the determination of the courts and it would seem necessary for Mrs. Eills to employ an attorney in Japan in the event that she desires to bring the matter before the courts.[Page 593]
As the Department added in its said telegram of October 27, 1913, it “can not assume in advance that the question will not be justly decided by the Japanese courts. In the event of an unfavorable decision in the lower courts, before there would be any grounds for diplomatic intervention it would be necessary to show that the case had been carried to the Japanese court of last resort and that a denial of justice had resulted.”
So far as the Department is informed, Mrs. Eills has instituted no such legal proceedings in the Japanese courts.
I am [etc.]