The Consul at Jerusalem ( Southard ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 16.]
Sir: I have the honor to state that on or about August 3, 1921, the Palestine police arrested at the town of Ludd, Palestine, an American citizen named Abraham Chaikin. Mr. Chaikin was charged with carrying a revolver contrary to local law and was tried and sentenced by the District Governor at Ramleh to imprisonment for thirty days.
In accordance with standing instructions this Consulate demanded—a week later when informed of the occurence—that Mr. Chaikin be turned over to it for trial in the American Consular Court in accordance with the Capitulations. The Civil Secretary of the Palestine government informed this Consulate verbally that there were two reasons why he thought Mr. Chaikin was not subject to American Consular Court jurisdiction. The first reason was that the accused had been apprehended in a military zone by military police, and the second reason was that the accused had been tried and sentenced without claiming American citizenship or American protection.
After some verbal discussion extending over a few days, and upon the insistence of the undersigned the Civil Secretary abandoned his first reason and waived the second upon a promise that this Consulate would secure a legal ruling on the two questions from the Department of State. The accused has therefore been ordered turned into the custody of this Consulate, and he will be tried in this Consular Court and a full report of the result of such trial made to the Department. The trial will probably be held within the next two weeks.
In the meantime the Department’s ruling or opinion upon the two points raised by the Civil Secretary of the Palestine Government—the first having to do with the exercise of Capitulatory rights in favor of an American citizen arrested in a military zone by military police, and the second having to do with the exercise of Capitulatory rights in favor of an American citizen who has been arrested by the Palestine police and has submitted to trial in a Palestine court without asserting his citizenship or claiming Consular protection—is respectfully requested.
I have [etc.]