File No. 763.72112/1261
The Consul General at London (Skinner) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 22.]
Sir: Referring to my No. 396, dated April 13, 1915, and to the Department’s cabled instructions of May 5 and 7, directing me to obtain the opinion of counsel on the above subject,1 I have the honor to report that Messrs. Charles Russell and Company have submitted to me the opinion of Mr. Leslie Scott, K. C., on the points raised in the Department’s inquiries. The opinion as submitted is enclosed herewith.
Upon the receipt of the opinion of Mr. Leslie Scott, I drew his attention to the first sentence therein, according to which the indemnity is intended to indemnify the Crown and all other official persons mentioned against all claims and proceedings within its scope instituted against any of those persons whoever may be the claimant, and I remarked that this view seemed to be negatived by Mr. Scott’s answer to the inquiry “Does this indemnity constitute a bar to prosecution in British courts of claims for damages?” Upon this particular point I have received a supplementary opinion, a copy of which is also enclosed as No. 2.
The Department will not fail to note from this correspondence that while the procurator general holds that the indemnity covers only possible claims of third parties, it is the opinion of Mr. Leslie Scott that taken by itself the indemnity debars the party giving the indemnity from claiming against the procurator general or any other official persons in respect of the goods released.
I have [etc.]