File No. 763.72111/2452

The Secretary of State to the Russian Ambassador (Bakhméteff)

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: In compliance with your request regarding the arrest of certain Montenegrins for alleged violation of the Federal criminal law I beg to submit to you the following information on the subject: [Page 766]

indictment, and the telegram from About the 1st of July, the Department of Justice received information that a band of Montenegrins, upwards of 200, had assembled in Chicago, marched through the streets of Chicago in a body, with flags flying and bugles, and under charge of officers, and were boarding a train to go to Canada, and thence to be transported by the British Government for service in the Montenegrin Army. From further evidence produced to the Department of Justice, it became satisfied that the operations of Jovo Matanovitch, Anto V. Seferovitch, Savo Gjourashkovich, P. M. Luburich, and B. Martinovich, in hiring and retaining men in this country to go abroad for the purpose of service in the Montenegrin Army, were in violation of the provisions of Section 10 of the Federal Penal Code.

Accordingly, the Department of Justice instructed the United States attorney to present the evidence to the grand jury, and to ask for the return of indictments, if in his opinion the evidence warranted.

The Attorney General is in receipt of a report from the United States attorney that an indictment, charging conspiracy under Section 37 of the Penal Code to violate the provisions of Section 10 of the Penal Code, has been returned in Chicago against the five men above named, and that they have been apprehended—Matanovitch and Luburich in Portland, Oregon, Gjourashkovich and Martinovich in Bisbee, Arizona, and Seferovitch in New York; that Matanovitch and Luburich have furnished bail at Portland, Oregon, in the sum of $10,000, conditioned upon their appearance in Chicago on July 26; and that up to date of July 12 he had not received advice as to what further steps had been taken to the end of securing the presence of the other three persons to answer the indictment in his district.

So far as the Department of Justice is aware, the evidence before the United States attorney warrants the finding of the indictment, and the telegram from J. Matanovitch, practically admits the recruiting of American citizens by him, although he states that it was unintentional.

The above information was received from the Attorney General who has also informed this Department that the Department of Justice has never been furnished with any copy of any law of Montenegro relative to requirements for service in the army of that nation, if any such statute exists.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing