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Mr. Déjardin states that the claim in question is based upon facts which occurred at Matamoros, while, in fact, that city has never been comprised within French territory or its colonial dependencies, and he adds the suggestion that he does not conceive a claim of that character to be within the letter or spirit of the convention of January, 1880, between the two Governments.

The view thus entertained by the Government of France is in accord with that held by this Government as to the true interpretation of the first article of the convention referred to.

The injuries upon which the claim is founded did not occur on the high seas por in France; and the only remaining question being whether Mexico was a colony or a dependency of France, I find no difficulty in determining that it never was. I am, &c.,


No. 72.

Mr. Boutroell to Mr. Blaine.

WASHINGTON, May 2, 1881. (Received May 3.) SIR: In the defense of the cases pending against the United States before the French and American Claims Commission, it will be convenient occasionally to employ district attorneys of the United States to take testimony, and as the First Comptroller of the Treasury informs me that payment will be allowed for such services rendered by them only apon the approval in writing of the Secretary of State, I have the honor to request your authority for the employment of United States district attorneys as occasion may require, at a compensation of $20 per day and traveling expenses for the time actually employed. I have, &c.,

GEORGE S. BOUTWELL, Agent and Counsel for the United States.

No. 73.

Mr. Boutwell to Mr. Blaine.

WASHINGTON, May 6, 1881. SIR : You are aware that most of the claims against the United States before this Commission arise from losses inflicted in Louisiana, where the claims must be investigated, and the witnesses found and examined.

Some time since, by the authority of the Secretary of State, I sent to New Orleans Mr. W. 0. Dénégre, who was instructed to act there and throughout Louisiana, onder my directions, in the investigation and defense of these claims. He was retained for sixty days at a fee of $100

per week and traveling expenses. The sixty days are about to expire, and Mr. Dénègre requests that he be hereafter paid $200 per week and traveling expenses. While this latter fee is not larger than is usually paid by clients to lawyers of similar standing for like services, still it is large in proportion to the fees usually paid by the Government, and although I deem it for the advantage of the Government to retain Mr. Dénégre in its service, I request your instructions before acting in the matter.

It is necessary that the United States should be represented in Lonisiana in these cases by a lawyer of energy, familiar with the people and customs, and speaking fluently both the French and English languages. He should also give bis entire time to the Government.

Mr. Dénégre fultills all these demands, and his services so far have been satisfactory.

Mr. Davis, assistant counsel on the part of the United States, has just returned froin New Orleans, where he bas been examining the manner in which these claims should be defended, and he reports that it will be difficult to find a lawyer fitted for the duty who can give up his practice and devote bis undivided attention to these cases. Lawyers competent for this service are in active practice, and would give the Government only such time as they could spare from their other pursuits, while Mr. Dénègre has retired from practice and gives his entire service to the business.

He is required not only to examine witnesses, but also to iuvestigate the claims, and to search for and prepare evidence in defense, duties which require energy and activity and which can only be intrusted to a man of perfect integrity.

Mr. Dévègre's practice of thirty years at the bar of Louisiana (where for some time he was the partner of the Honorable William H. Hunt), his long residence in New Orleans, his extensive acquaintance there and familiarity with the class of people who appear here as claimants, render his services peculiarly valuable.

It is necessary also that the investigations should go forward without delay, requiring continuous residence during the summer months in the State of Louisiana.

If the suggestion here made for the retention of M. Dénègre should be accepted by you, I should reserve the right, in any arrangement I might make with him, to reduce bis pay or to substitute another person whenever the return of cooler weather or the prosecution of the business should justify it. I have, &c.,

GEORGE S. BOUTWELL, Agent and Counsel for the United States.

No. 74.

Mr. Blaine to Mr. Boutwell.


Washington, May 17, 1881. SIR: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter which was addressed by Stephen S. Phillpott, of New Orleans, to the Treasury Department, and which has been by that Department referred to me. Mr. Phillpott states that nine-tenths of the claimants who went before a certain notary public in New Orleans to verify their claim for presentation to the French and American Claims Comunission, were advised by that offi or to increase their claims so as to inake them five or ten times greate than their real losses, and that these fraudulent claims amount to about the sum of $400,000.

In view of the serious charge made by Mr. Phillpott, I will thank you to give his communication such attention as may be necessary to ascertain whether or not the allegations he makes are well founded. I am, &c.,


No. 75.
Mr. Boutwell to Mr. Blaine.

WASHINGTON, May 18, 1881. (Received May 19.) SIR: Among the memorials filed by the counsel for the Republic of France making claims upon the United States under the treaty of January 15, 1880, and now pending before the Commission constituted under that treaty, there are several in which, after an averment by the claim. ant that he was a French citizen at the time when the loss occurred out of which the claim arose, is a statement that since the 20th day of August, 1866, and previons to the 15th day of January, 1880, the claimant has been naturalized under the laws of the United States, and is now a citizen of the United States. In all these cases I have interposed demurrers on behalf of the United States upon the ground that the matters stated in such memorials are not sufficient under the treaty nor in law for the claimant to have or maintain his claim against the United States.

The first of these cases is that of Joseph Napoleon Perché, No. 3 on the docket of the Commission, and I have the honor to transmit herewith the memorial of said claimant, together with the demurrer, the opening brief of the counsel for the United States, the brief of the counsel for the Republic of France in reply, and in rejoinder the final brief of the counsel for the United States.

The issue as set forth in these several papers is, Can a claimant who, at the date of the treaty establishing the Commission, was a citizen of the United States, and who was such for some time prior to that date, and has remained such ever siuce, recover compensation for a loss alleged to have been caused by the authorities of the United States when such claimant was a citizen of France?

The briefs referred to have not yet been filed in the case. I have with held them, it having occurred to me since their preparation that you might consider it within the scope of diplomatic proceedings to call the attention of the representatives of the French Government to the cir. cumstances, and upon the ground that the claims of American citizens were so clearly outside the jurisdiction of the Commission that the agent and counsel of the French Government might very properly be instructed by that Government to decline the presentation of them. I have, &c.,


Counsel for the United States.

No. 76.
Mr. Boutwell to Mr. Blaine.

WASHINGTON, May 18, 1881. (Received May 19.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose a translation of a letter from the it agent of the French Republic in referenee to a class of cases pending

before the French and American Claims Commission, known as "prize cases."

The facts in the several cases pending are materially different, and I see no reason why the Commission may not with propriety pass upon the cases as they arise, and dispose of them, respectively, upon the law and the facts applicable to each.

I may add, properly, that the exception in the letter of Mr. Déjardin appears to be framed in order to furnish ground for presenting and enforcing certain claims against the United States now pending before the Commission. I have, &c.,

GEO. S. BOUTWELL, Agent and Counsel for the United States.


Mr. Déjardin to Mr. Boutwell.

WASHINGTON, May 18, 1881. Sir: The second article of the convention of the 15th of January, 1880, excludes from the jurisdiction of the Commission matters which have been already diplomatically, judicially, or otherwise by competent authorities disposed of by either Goversment. The Government of the French Republic understands that this disposition excludes prize cases which have been judicially or otherwise settled by either Government.

In order that such cases should be sustained before the Commission there must have been at least, I believe, at some time after the final decision, an express understanding between the two Governments that the case should be submitted to a new examipation. This is not so with the claim of Isaac Taylor relating to the "Magdalene." Consequently, in conformity with the instructions of my Government, I beg you, sir, to have the kindness to withdraw from the Secretary's office the said claim of Isaac Taylor against France.

I hope that the request which I have the honor to submit to you upon this subject will be received in tủe spirit of impartiality and of justice, which appeared in the answer which you were kind enough to make me on the 21st of last month to my observations relative to the claim of Peter Piaggo for damages sustained on Mexican territory. Accept, &c.,


No. 77.

Mr. Boutwell to Mr. Blaine.

WASHINGTON, June 18, 1881. (Received June 21.) SIR: Referring to your letters of May 17 and of June 14, with their inclosures relative to the charge made by Stephen S. Phillpott, to the effect that a certain notary public in New Orleans had advised claimants to increase their claims, I have the honor to inform you that immediately after the receipt of your first letter we communicated with our special connsel in New Orleans and instructed him to see Phillpott and obtain euch information as he might have. The counsel discovered that Phillpott was employed in a soap factory at some distance in the rear of New Orleans. After one or two efforts he succeeded in finding him. Phillpott, however, declined to give the name of the notary, or any information whatever, unless he was taken into the employ of the Gop. ernment.

The impression created upon tbe mind of our counsel in New Orleans and also upon my own, is that Phillpott's object is simply to obtain em

ployment from the Government, and that he really has no information of value.

While it is undoubtedly true that many of the claims now pending before this Commission are greatly exaggerated, I do not believe that Phillpott could be of any material assistance in proving it. With great respect, &c.,


Counsel, doo

No. 78.

Mr. Blaine to Mr. Boutwell.


Washington, August 5, 1881. SIR: Referring lo my letter bearing date of June 20, 1881, in which the compensation of Mr. W. V. Dénègre was fixed at $150 per week, I have to say that, from representations sivce made, it would seem to be just that the necessary expenses incurred by Mr. Dénègre, in the collection of evidence and the other duties assigned him, should be borne by the Commission.

You are therefore hereby authorized to reimburse Mr. Dénégre for personal expenses necessarily incurred; and should it, in your judgment, be deemed adrisable, such allowance may be reckoned from the beginning of Mr. Dénègre's employment by the Government. I am, &c.,


No. 79.

Mr. Blaine to Mr. Boutiell.


Washington, December 17, 1881. Sir: Referring to recent correspondence in relation to the claim of Isaac Taylor, a citizen of the United States, against France, proceed. ings in regard to which it is understood were instituted before the Mixed Commission in February last, and which is still pending before that tribunal, I have to state that after careful consideration I have reached the conclusion that that claim, because of the antecedent proceedings by the competent authorities of France, of which it has been the subject, is not properly within the cognizance of the Commission established under the provisions of the convention of the 15th of January, 1880, between the United States and France.

I have been led to this view of the matter from a careful perusal of the provisions of the second article of the convention, with such consideration as I have been able to the negotiations preceding its conclusion between my predecessor, Mr. Evarts, and Mr. Outrey, the representatives of their Governments, respectively, in negotiating the convention; and feeling, as I do, well assured of the disposition of this Government to give full effect to every stipulation of that convention in spirit no less than in letter, it is not doubted that this feeling will be fully reciprocated by the French Government, and that a similar course will be adopted by it

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