Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.
There is reason to apprehend that in future applications for the extradition of British fugitives from justice grave difficulties of procedure will arise in consequence of a decision recently given by Commissioner Edmunds, at Philadelphia, in the case of one Thomas Barton, whose surrender had been applied for by Her Majesty’s Government on charges of forgery. It will be seen on referring to the proceedings in that case, which are no doubt in the hands of the State Department, that the form of certificate of authentication of documents which has been in use since passing of the act of Congress of August, 1882, was held by the Commissioner to be defective. That form was settled between the foreign office in London and the United States minister in 1883.
The undersigned has therefore the honor to draw the attention of the Secretary of State to the decision in Barton’s case, in the hope that the difficulty which it has created may receive his early consideration, with a view to the adoption of a new form of certificate, which, if possible, may meet the requirements of section 5 of the act of 1882, and yet may not be inconsistent with the statement of British law contained in the certificate of authentication now issued by the under secretary of state for the home department in London.