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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902

Belgium,   pp. 73-100 PDF (2.0 MB)

Page 78

license, the fault is his and he is lawfully required to sustain the penalty.
This is the rule applied to licensees in time of peace, and is manifestly
just under the conditions existing in the Philippines. 
 There is apparently no controversy over the fact that the Bclqtka called
at the unequipped and closed ports, Hindan and Matalun, "without special
permission of the military governor or department or district niilitary commander."
 To excuse the failure to secure the special permission of any of the military
conirnanders nientioned, the company presents the statenient of the charterers
that "as the captain of the port of Bay-Bay (BagBag) authorized us to send
the vessel to the ports referred to, we fail to see how any responsibility
can have been incurred by the steamer." (Letter dated April 11, 1900, from
Mendoza & Co. to Major-General Otis.) 
 The offense committed by the steamship Belgika was investigated arid the
amount of fine determined pursuant to the provisions of General Order No.
69 (1899), as follows: 
 ART. 10. The fines and forfeitures which shall be incurred by virtue of
these regulations shall be a(llninistratively adjudicated by the collectors
at the principal ports of time islamids, fromn whose (lecisiOns appeal may
be taken to the collector of customs at Manila for final determination. 
 The collector of customs at Manila determined the matter as follows: 
 This vessel has, by imposing upon an inspector of customs (who probably
not having beeii properly posted as to his duties), violated all the orders
of the governorgeneral, and has for the gain of those interested in her made
money out of illicit trade with the insurgents * * * I recommend that a fine
of $50,000 Mexican be imposed upon time ship and that she be held until such
fine be paid * * * 
 This finding being reviewed by Major-General Otis, the amount of the fine
was reduced to ~30,000 Mexican, which amount was paid by the company owning
the vessel. 
 in view of the above this Government is unable to entertain the claim of
the conlpany for the refundment of the fine. 
 In conclusion, permit me to call your attention to the fact that Belgian
interests in the Philippines, in common with those of other nations, enjoy
the protection of the United States afforded by an army of nearly 50,000
men and a squadron of our national war vessels; that to promote the commerce
of the world the United States relaxes the rule respecting hostile territory
and permits commercial intercourse with such portions of the archipelago
as military exigencies permit, and to enable Belgian and other interests
to carry on commerce the United States has garrisoned nearly 500 towns and
stations in the islands, amid opened to commerce more than 100 ports. 
 Trusting that the Government of Belgium will recognize the fairness of the
conclusions embodied in this note, I avail, etc., 
BaronY 2J[oncheur to hr. flay. 
Washington, April 8, 190g. 
 Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: I nave transmitted to my Government the communication
that your excellency was pleased to address to me 

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