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These treaty provisions clearly show the paramount rights of the United States in Panama when the maintenance of order, or the safety or protection of the Canal is at stake. It is believed that if, in the end, this Government should find it necessary to assume the entire responsibility of the apprehension and detention of these interns as American interns it could find sufficient justification therefor in its broad powers under the treaty to preserve order on the Isthmus and to protect and maintain the Panama Canal.

(c) The foregoing discussion renders it scarcely necessary to advert to the propriety of the removal of the persons in question from Panama territory to the United States under international law and practice. If these men are to be regarded as civil interns, which it appears is their status, it is difficult to find in international practice in previous wars exact precedent for the transfer of their custody from one ally to another. There are, however, precedents for the transfer of prisoners of war between allies. On analogy and in principle, there seems to be no reason why civil interns, in the absence of treaty stipulation with the enemy, should not be transferred from one ally to another in the interest of the common cause while retaining their original status. In the present case the political ties between the United States and Panama, which are much closer and stronger than between allies in ordinary circumstances, would tend to justify even greater freedom of transfer of interns.

By reason of the special arrangement between the two countries, regarding the transfer of these interns, the peculiar protective relation of the United States to Panama under the treaty of 1903 on account of the Canal, and the analogy and principle of international practice in respect to prisoners of war, I am clearly of the view that the action of the United States in this matter is justified.

I am [etc.]


File No. 763.72114/4183

The Attorney General (Gregory) to the Secretary of State

A.B. 6278-7

WASHINGTON, November 19, 1918.
[Received November 22.]

SIR: I have the honor, in response to your communication of October 28, 1918, dealing with the subject of internment of alien enemies of the Republic of Panama, to state that the immediate problem before this Department is one which is not covered in or solved by your communication.

It may be that international law permits the custody of an interned alien enemy to be transferred from the government of his residence to an allied government and that, therefore, there is no

breach of international law when the Republic of Panama transfers to the United States Government the custody of an alien enemy interned by it. Our difficulty, however, arises from the question of whether this Government, under its own laws, namely section 4067 of the Revised Statutes, has the power to intern an alien enemy resident in the Republic of Panama and brought into this country against his own will.

The Department has come to the conclusion that section 4067 does not apply to such residents of the Republic of Panama and that there is no authority to issue a presidential order of internment in such a case.

It is our intention, therefore, to cancel the orders of internment made in these particular cases, and leave the question of the disposition of these alien enemies to be dealt with by the War Department.


For the Attorney General,

The Special Assistant to the
Attorney General for War Work


File No. 763.72115/3086

The Ambassador in Austria-Hungary (Penfield) to the Secretary of



VIENNA, April 7, 1917. [Received April 9, 12.30 p. m.]

1817. Foreign Office makes following proposal for reciprocal agreement regarding treatment of American citizens in Austria-Hungary and Austro-Hungarian subjects in the United States, in case of a breach of diplomatic relations. Please rush immediate reply whether acceptable to our Government.

In case of a breach of diplomatic relations between AustriaHungary and the United States of America, the Imperial and Royal Government would be willing on the presumption of complete reciprocity to act according to the following principles towards the American citizens at present in the Monarchy:

(1) All American citizens without distinction of sex or age who are desirous of leaving the Monarchy can depart for Switzerland within four weeks of the day on which diplomatic relations are broken off.

(2) As a rule American citizens who remain in Austria-Hungary after this period will no longer be able to leave the Monarchy. Exceptions to this rule are admissible if in specific cases a longer sojourn in the Monarchy be recognized as justified.

(3) American citizens who remain in the Monarchy will be neither interned nor confined and will be unmolested in so far as individuals do not personally render themselves guilty of misdemeanor.

Vienna, April 6, 1917.


File No. 762.72115/3102

The Chargé in Austria-Hungary (Grew) to the Secretary of State


VIENNA, April 14, 1917. [Received April 15, 5.30 a. m.]

1836. Foreign Office requests reply through Spanish Embassy to proposal contained in Ambassador's telegram 1817 for reciprocal agreement regarding treatment American citizens in AustriaHungary and Austro-Hungarian subjects in United States.


File No. 763.72115/3086

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Stovall)

520. [For Grew 1]:


WASHINGTON, April 16, 1917, 5 p. m.

Your 1817, 7th, and 1836, 14th. If the Austro-Hungarian Government will eliminate the restriction of four weeks for the departure of American citizens mentioned in paragraph 1 and will add to paragraph 3 the words "or a menace to the national safety," this Government will accept the proposed reciprocal arrangement. It will be observed that paragraph 2 is unnecessary and should be eliminated.


File No. 763.72111/4970

The Secretary of State to the Swedish Minister (Ekengren)


The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Minister of Sweden, representing Austro-Hungarian interests in the United States, and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the copy of the petition 2 received by the Minister from a committee com

1J. C. Grew, Chargé in Austria-Hungary from Apr. 7 to 14, departed on the latter date for Berne, Switzerland, accompanied by the entire Embassy staff. Not printed.


posed of the officers and crews of the Austrian steamers Martha Washington, Dora, Ida, and Himalaia, in which they pray for liberty and reimbursement for certain property losses alleged to have been caused in connection with their arrest and detention at Ellis Island. In handing the petition to the Department the Minister inquired as to the intentions of this Government regarding these persons.1

The Secretary of State has been pleased to communicate to the Secretary of Labor, whose Department has charge of the matter in question, the substance of the petition referred to and has suggested to him that in view of the feeling of friendship at present existing between the United States and Austria-Hungary, notwithstanding the severance of diplomatic relations, as little inconvenience as possible should be occasioned to the officers and crews of the vessels named above, in order that this friendly feeling may be maintained. WASHINGTON, April 20, 1917.

File No. 367.11/2023a

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Sweden (Morris)


WASHINGTON, April 25, 1917. 171. Request Swedish Government to forward following message to American Embassy, Constantinople:

Numerous telegrams received by Department exhibit great anxiety as to situation of Americans in Turkey. Send as full and prompt report as possible on condition of these Americans and opportunities for them to leave Turkey.


File No. 701.6711/134

The Spanish Ambassador (Riaño) to the Secretary of State


WASHINGTON, May 2, 1917. MR. SECRETARY: I have, as guardian of the interests of Turkey in the United States, the honor to apply to Your Excellency with a request that you be pleased to use your good offices with the Allied Powers in obtaining a safe-conduct for Constantin Mavroudi Effendi,

1 These officers and crewmen were detained in accordance with instructions given in the following telegram from the Department of Labor to immigration officers Apr. 8, 1917, 11 p. m.: "Lay all plans to take charge of and detain in immigration station or best and safest available quarters every officer and crewman of Austrian vessels your port or district, but take no actual step until receipt of telegram reading Proceed.' United States marshals and customs officers will cooperate. Extreme caution necessary to perfect plans so that action can occur instantly upon receiving further orders and to prevent destruction property or loss life." On Apr. 9, 1917, at 1 p. m. the follow-up message," Proceed instantly," was sent. (File No. 763.72115/3860.)

late Second Secretary of the Imperial Ottoman Embassy at Washington, Djélal Bey, Ottoman ex-Consul General at New York and Madame Djélal Bey, his wife, on their trip from the United States to Constantinople.

I should also be extremely obliged to Your Excellency if you would procure like guarantees for four Turkish students of the Columbia University of New York, who wish to return to their native land. They are: Abdullah Hamdi, his wife and son; Ahmed Chukri and wife; Djevad Eyoub, and Nicholas Aghnides.

I avail myself [etc.]

File No. 763.72111/4971


The Assistant Secretary of Labor (Post) to the Secretary of State

No. 54274/8-B

WASHINGTON, May 2, 1917.

[Received May 4.]

SIR: Alluding to your letter of the 20th ultimo,1 with which you transmitted copy of a petition addressed to the Swedish Minister by a committee of the officers and crew of the Austrian steamers Martha Washington, Dora, Ida, and Himalaia, I beg to state (merely for the purpose of completing your record, the fact, of course, already being known to you), that as soon as it became apparent that Austrians were not likely to become alien enemies, in the immediate future at any rate, instructions were given by this Department to handle the cases of all officers and crewmen taken from Austrian vessels simply under the provisions of the immigration law. This course has been followed and as a result all those who could pass the immigration examination, comprising the vast majority of those taken into custody, have been released and admitted to the country.



File No. 367.11/2035

The Minister in Sweden (Morris) to the Secretary of State


334. From Constantinople: 2

STOCKHOLM, May 6, 1917.
[Received 6.15 p. m.]

There is now strong hope that about 60 Americans will leave tomorrow, May 4, and about 20 consular officers on May 9. Minister of War says that the order against departure of men between 18 and 45

1 Not printed.

2 Although the Swedish Legation at Constantinople assumed charge of American interests in Turkey on Apr. 26, 1917, the American Ambassador and staff did not leave Turkey until May 30. This telegram appears to have been written by a member of the staff of the American Embassy.

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