Statement of Paul H. Bray, in re expulsion from Madagascar of ex-Consul Waller.
Questioned by Acting Secretary of State, Mr. Uhl, and Solicitor Dabney:
Q. I would like to have you go on and tell, in your own way, the occurrences there in Madagascar that you are familiar with, connected with the arrest and trial of Mr. Waller; what preceded the arrest, that is known to you, and all the circumstances connected with it, in order that the Department may have from you the very best information and all the facts within your knowledge?—A. Do you wish me to give any statement of things that are liable to have prejudiced his cause in any way with the French authorities previous to his arrest?
Q. I want you to tell all the facts, no matter what they may be, and withhold nothing and venture nothing that is not the simple fact, whatever might be its effect one way or the other; let that have no control—we want the information.—A. Of course. As regards Mr. Waller’s [Page 336] position in Madagascar, his position there has been very peculiar on account of the position which he had taken upon the exequatur question when he arrived there several years ago. That created, of course, the bitter enmity of the French authorities there, and he was constantly in hot water with them at all times. After he was succeeded by United States Consul Wetter he went to Antananarivo, about 225 miles from Tamatave, west. He was at the capital about a year ago, engaged with the government for the land, and soon after his arrival there I closed the negotiations and our contract was signed by the government, and the very next day after the concession was granted, the French resident called upon the prime minister and made a vigorous protest against his signing this concession to Mr. Waller, and intimated that the concession was prejudicial to the interests of France, and he construed this grant being made to Mr. Waller as a direct blow at the French interests in the island, and he wanted to know if it had any political significance, or was it merely a commercial matter; whether it would be prejudicial to the interests of French traders in the island, and the prime minister assured him that it was purely a commercial venture to an American citizen.
Q. What was the prime minister’s name?—A. Rainilaiarivony was the prime minister’s name. This concession was granted on the 15th day of March, 1894. The French papers there—the resident’s paper—immediately began an attack upon Mr. Waller and his concession, and at Tamatave as well, and they did all they could to coerce the government into refusing to ratify the contract that bad been made. Afterward Mr. Waller sent me to Mauritius. I left Antananarivo on the 2d of May, 1894, to enter into negotiations with some commercial firms there (Mauritius) to develop the concession which had been granted. Immediately the French authorities sent emissaries over there after me. They followed me. They (the French authorities) sent instructions to the consul—the French consul at Mauritius—to handicap me, and the very week that I left Madagascar the French paper published there—it is an official organ of the residency—published a very long article denunciatory of Mr. Waller, and making a grand attack on the land grant, and so on, and they sent several hundred copies of this paper to the French consul at Mauritius, who distributed them around among the papers there, and such articles were published in the Mauritius papers as would throw a damper over my prospects there. Everywhere I went in the community among business men I found that I had been forestalled by the French authorities, and they said they would be quite glad to take an interest in the concession; they believed that it was a valuable one, and would be a valuable one, but that upon the uncertainty of the French recognizing the legality of the grant from the Hova government, they feared to have anything to do with it. Different merchants made these statements.
Q. Why were you endeavoring to interest them?—A. I wanted them to capitalize it.
Q. What were these merchants?—A. Some were English—they were English and French extractions, or Creoles—all residents there. I consulted one of the leading attorneys there in the place—Mr. Newton—and he told me that in his opinion our concession was all right, but at the same time, in view of the position of the French authorities toward our interests, there would be no possibility of my succeeding in Mauritius, and the merchants also, who were desirous of taking up the matter, told me virtually the same thing. I returned then to Madagascar after failing, on the 26th of November, 1894, to Tamatave, where Mr. Waller [Page 337] had gone from the capital awaiting my arrival at Tamatave, from whence he would leave for America. I went and arrived there—it was just a few days, of course, after that. I was then to have gone to the capital, while he came on to America. But the French occupation took place on the 12th. They gave about one hour’s notice to the consular authorities at Tamatave. They notified the consuls in the morning about 7 o’clock, and just at the hour that the bombardment began we received official notice to that effect. That was on the 12th of December. They bombarded the town. The Hovas, of course, had already left the day before because they anticipated this movement on the part of the Frenchmen. Every one of them left except the governor. He remained until the very last hour in the morning. A few days after that, on or about the 16th of December, some gendarmes came to the house where we were living and placed me under arrest as a Hova and took me, I insisting that I was an American. They refused, of course, to believe me, and said that I must go to prison. I then begged them to take me to the United States consulate before taking me to prison, and there I would prove my identity. They did so, and of course upon my arrival at the consulate Mr. Wetter informed them that I was an American and they permitted me to go at liberty. It was rumored in the community that Mr. Waller and myself were under suspicion and were being watched, and the French soldiers were daily insulting us on the street and everything—they didn’t do any violence, but made insulting remarks, and so on, to which we paid no attention. They came to our doors sometime in the night and would interrupt us and disturb us, but we gave them no satisfaction, nor would we have anything to do with them. Things went on that way until on or about the 5th of March. We remained at Tamatave, because no one was permitted to go out; no one was permitted to go out by sea unless they had passed the medium of the French military authorities. You had to make your application and let them know where you were going, who you were, etc.
Pending some business arrangements at home—we had written home, having failed at Mauritius—waiting for that, it was during this time that Mr. Waller was arrested. It was on or about the 4th of March. Six gendarmes came and surrounded the house along about 4 or 4.30 in the afternoon, and they asked for Mr. Waller. He was absent at the time, and I informed them that Mr. Waller was in the neighborhood, and I would try to find him. So, in company with two of the gendarmes, I went to a neighbor’s house and found Mr. Waller. We returned to the house. The leader said he had an order from the colonel commanding the troops to confiscate all the papers belonging to Mr. Waller, and his person—to arrest him. Mr. Waller demanded to know the reasons for it. He said that he would know that later on. He pulled the order out, and Mr. Waller asked for a translation, and he said never mind, to come along to the prison, where they were going to take him, and he would find out there. He asked also that he be permitted to go to the United States consul, and there to explain matters. They refused to go by there. They took all his letters and papers, and then, finding that I was rooming with him, they took all of mine as well. I asked them by what right they took my papers. They said they had no order to take them, but, notwithstanding, they would do so, because I lived, in the same place, and of my relations with Mr. Waller. But they did not arrest me.
Q. Did they speak English to you?—A. They spoke in French, but they had an interpreter along with them. So they took Mr. Waller to prison and I immediately went to the consulate and reported the arrest [Page 338] to Consul Wetter, and he immediately wrote an official letter to the colonel commanding the place, demanding an explanation why Mr. Waller was arrested and incarcerated, and upon what charges. The colonel commanding the troops and the admiral both sent him an official letter, and they stated that Mr. Waller was arrested upon two charges: First, for violation of article 3 of the order of place issued on or about the 18th of January, 1895, which prohibited the sending out of any letters, any communications whatever, without first passing through the hands of the military authorities.
Q. Did they state what he had done?—A. They stated that in the latter part of January he had dispatched a letter to Antananarivo addressed to Mr. George E. Tessier, via Natal and Vatromandry; that the letter had miscarried and returned to Tamatave, and there the authorities, attracted by the bulkiness of the letter, had opened it and found therein communications to the enemy giving information to the Hova authorities in Antananarivo; that was the gist of their charge.
Q. The first charge?—A. Yes. Of course, the second charge was violation of the—I forget the number of the section of the French penal code—for carrying on illicit correspondence with the enemy. For a few days Mr. Waller was not permitted to see anyone.
Q. Where was he kept?—A. He was kept in a house—a temporary prison they had established. We supplied him with his food during the time, and bed, and so on. The trial was set for the 16th of March, but it was on the 14th—until the 14th—before he was permitted to see anyone.
Q. He was taken there on what day?—A. He was taken there on the 5th of March.
Q. Taken to prison?—A. Yes; on the 5th of March. On the morning of the 14th—I do not like to say that positively, because my memory is not exact—on or about the 14th—I am not quite positive—it was along about the 14th of March that Consul Wetter called upon him in company with an attorney, Mr. Girandeau.
Q. Were you present?—A. I was permitted to be present at the interview.
Q. You called there with them?—A. Yes. Afterwards the attorney went to the colonel’s office at the old British consulate, and there perused the charges against Mr. Waller and the statements which he had made, etc.
Q. Who had made?—A. Mr. Waller; that is to say, the examination. He had been examined by the French authorities, but without any counsel, representing himself, being present. They examined him themselves.
Q. That was immediately after his arrest?—A. Yes; they examined him several times; twice to my knowledge.
Q. Do you know whether that was taken stenographically?—A. No; it was not taken stenographically; only by an interpreter who does not understand English well at all. I was examined myself.
Q. During this time?—A. During this time.
Q. At the first examination?—A. Not at the first; between his arrest and his trial.
Q. Between the 5th and 15th?—A. Between the 5th and 15th. I have not my notebook here, or I could tell the exact date. It was between the 5th and 15th that I was taken to the captain’s office.
Q. Before we go to that examination, just go on with what you were saying as to what this attorney did in the examination; you were on that point.—A. All he did was simply to confer with Mr. Waller, and [Page 339] lie decided that he would try Mr. Waller’s case for $500—defend Mr. Waller for $500. At the time Mr. Waller did not have the $500 to advance to Mr. Girandeau, but during the day it seemed that they were trying to make some arrangements to that effect—have him proceed with the defense.
Q. Who was trying to make arrangements?—A. Mr. Waller and Mr. Wetter. Up to the very last minute, you may say, to the very morning—no, the evening before the trial—there had been no arrangements made satisfactory to the attorney, and he threw up the case. The French authorities then chose a French lawyer to defend him, Mr. Girandeau having refused to defend him unless he received this fee in advance. He refused to make any private arrangements and threw it up. The French lawyer took the case, and it was postponed until the 18th—Monday—at 7 o’clock.
Q. In the meantime, between the 15th and 18th, did he confer with this lawyer who was assigned to defend him?—A. Yes; he had a conference with this lawyer, the French lawyer, who was to try his case.
Q. Did you, in the meantime, see Waller at all?—A. No; I never did see him.
Q. Not permitted to?—A. I was not permitted to see him at any time except just the day we were being sent away.
Q. That was after his trial?—A. After his trial we were permitted to see each other in the presence of the officers, and say “Good-bye.”
Q. The trial was set for the morning of the 18th?—A. Yes; the French tribunal held it, and it lasted up until about 10.30.
Q. Were you present?—A. Yes.
Q. Mr. Waller was present at the trial?—A. Yes.
Q. Just give as much in detail as you can — who constituted the tribunal, where it was held, and what were the proceedings.—A. The tribunal was constituted of, I think, seven military authorities from the army—French army—and the proceedings were in French, entirely in French, with the exception that they had this same interpreter put questions to myself who was called by the French authorities as a witness, and put also to Mr. Waller as to whether he had any objections to this or that statement which was made by one or two witnesses that were called.
Q. Who were called as witnesses?—A. There was a miner by the name of Mullen and a gentleman by the name of Poupard.
Q. Who else?—A. The captain of the place—of the troops. I forget what position he really occupied, but he was the one who had supervision of all the military; he was called as a witness.
Q. And you were called?—A. Yes; myself, and that was all.
Q. Now, was there a prosecuting officer, or anyone taking the position of prosecuting officer?—A. There was a reporter of the court-martial; he was the prosecuting attorney.
Q. Mr. Bray, was a written statement of the charges against Mr. Waller presented, and a copy of the statement given to him or his counsel?—A. No; they were only shown to him, and were read at the trial in French.
Q. Now, what did that statement specify—those charges that you mentioned a little while ago?—A. Well, I can not state, because they were not interpreted. They were simply read in French. I do not know in detail what the charges were, except from only the official letter which the colonel commanding the place sent to United States Consul Wetter, and from the interpretation that Mr. Wetter gave me of the letter at the time.[Page 340]
Q. But was there at the trial a written statement read which purported to be the statement of charges against Mr. Waller?—A. Yes; it was in French and not translated.
Q. In what language was this testimony given?—A. The language was given by the captain in French.
Q. Was it interpreted?—A. No; it was not interpreted into English; but the language, of course, of Mr. Poupard, was in English.
Q. Was that translated into French?—A. “Yes; it was translated into French by the interpreter; and also that of Mr. Mullen, it was in English.
Q. And yourself?—A. And myself.
Q. That was interpreted—translated into French?—A. Into French.
Q. And there was only one witness who testified in the French language?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. That was not translated?—A. No.
Q. But Mr. Waller’s counsel, being a Frenchman, understood it?—A. Yes.
Q. Did he speak English?—A. Yes, he spoke a little English; not much.
Q. Well, now, in brief, what did these men testify to; each one who spoke in English?—A. Mr. Mullen testified as to whether he knew two miners by the name of Draper and Purdy, mentioned in Mr. Waller’s statement as to the identity of the persons mentioned in his communication to his wife.
Q. To Waller’s wife?—A. Yes; in the communication to his wife, my mother, he had said D. and P.
Q. That letter had been intercepted?—A. Yes; on its way to Antananarivo.
Q. Where was she?—A. She was at Antananarivo. In his statement (Waller’s) he had said that those initials meant Draper and Mr. Purdy. This miner was called to testify whether he knew any such persons.
Q. What do you mean by miner?—A. A man whose occupation is a miner—a gold digger. Mr. Poupard was also called for the same purpose.
Q. Were they brought from this place?—A. No; they were in Tamatave, but Mr. Mullen had been at the capital. He had been up through that country. Mr. Poupard had, of course, lived a long time in Madagascar, living at Tamatave. They were simply called to testify as to the identity of those persons and who they were.
Q. What did they say as to who they were?—A. They stated that they did not know any such persons as these. That was all their testimony consisted of, excepting that Mr. Poupard stated that Mr. Waller had tried to have him expelled from the country while he was consul of the United States.
Q. Mr. Waller was consul?—A. Yes. Mr. Poupard was an American, and it was supposed that the persons indicated in the letter—Mr. Waller’s letter—were Mr. Poupard and another American by the name of Duder; that was the supposition.
Q. By the French authorities?—A. Yes; and it was for that purpose that they called Mr. Poupard to give his opinion, or give his testimony in that respect.
Q. Well, what was the reference in the letter to those initials?—A. In Mr. Waller’s letter?
Q. Yes.—A. I have here extracts from correspondence of Mr. Waller made by his attorney.
Q. You mean extracts from this correspondence of which the French [Page 341] authorities complain?—A. Yes, upon which the charges were based. These extracts cover entirely the main points of the letter; anything else in the correspondence is solely of a private and personal nature, as well as some portions of this; but in these extracts they found the whole substance of the charges of corresponding with the enemy.
Q. These extracts, you say, were made by the French attorney who defended him, and made from the letters themselves; and those letters were in the possession of the French authorities there at Tamatave?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is this the handwriting of the French attorney?—A. Yes. Some in French and some in English. The quotations from the letter are in English.
Q. The letter quoted was written in English?—A. Yes; and he quotes exactly the words of Mr. Waller in correspondence. [Reads.] “December, 1894. Tamatave is now under military law, and as no one is allowed to leave here for the capital, I can not therefore tell when we shall meet again, but I hope that our separation will be brief. Let me caution you, my dear, to have nothing to do in the trouble between Hova and French Governments, as such would only tend to embarrass you. Of course this does not prevent you from keeping up our friendly relations with our friends among the missionaries and Hovas, being careful always to refrain from any discussion on the present difficulty.” Here is where the French authorities base their connection between the names of Mr. Duder and Mr. Poupard and Mr. D. and P. [Reads.] “Duder and Poupard are as thick now as three in a bed, and Wetter is their god. I will inform you that D. and P. are on their way for Antananarivo, and they will likely reach there long before this letter leaves Tamatave. Please inform Mr. Tessier and our friends that both of these men have been sent up there by the French to find out secretly all the movements of the Hova Government, which they will send to the French authorities from time to time. Therefore the Government had better keep a strict watch of these men, and order them from the capital as soon as possible. Both of them are for French. I shall slip this letter out by English steamer via Natal. Then it will not be read by the French, as all letters are here at this time. I shall be anxious to learn that you have received this letter. Therefore, when you get it do not mention anything you find in it, but simply say, ‘Your number 44 received,’ and please destroy it as soon as you and Mr. Tessier have read it, and do not mention to anyone but Mr. Tessier and the secretary about the information which I send you.”
Q. Who did you say Mr. Tessier was?—A. He was the manager of the Fikambanna. He is a merchant. That is all that is said in regard to the French. He speaks in the letter of the case of Mr. Geldart and another man, but of course that had no bearing upon the case, and that was not copied.
Q. You stated just now that Mr. Waller in his first examination explained whom he meant by D. and P. Who was it he said he meant?—A. He said he meant Mr. Draper and Purdy, two miners he knew there and who were going up to the capital. That was what he explained in his examination.
Q. Now, right in this connection, before you go to that, would it not be well to read all the extracts from the letter? I would like to have you just read the extracts from the letter. They are taken, I suppose, out of different parts of the letter. It is not the entire letter?—A. These are extracts from the letter which was inclosed in this letter to [Page 342] Mr. Tessier, and comprise the main points which have any relation to the case at all.
Q. How many letters did the French intercept?—A. There was only one letter with several inclosures seemingly that he had written. For instance, a letter to-day to his wife and the mail had not yet arrived and in a day or two he would sit down and write another one and, of course, when the time came for the mail to depart he put them all under one cover.
Q. Those were all to his wife?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were there in closures to other people?—A. There was an inclosure to one other and an inclosure to Mr. Tessier, but the French did not produce that against him.
Q. Did they produce the letter to that Malagasy, Ratsimanana?—A. In the first place they produced the letter which they found among his effects from Ratsimanana to Mr. Waller.
Q. They found that letter when they arrested him?—A. Yes; and then they produced the letter from Mr. Waller to Ratsimanana.
Q. That was included in those inclosures to his wife?—A. Yes; first is the letter from Ratsimanana to Mr. Waller. That was written from the capital, dated the 29th.
Q. Just one moment. The letters which were in evidence before the court-martial to sustain the charges against Mr. Waller were those from Mr. Waller to his wife, a number of them, and one from Mr. Waller to this Ratsimanana?—A. And the letter from Ratsimanana to Mr. Waller.
Q. Which had been discovered on Mr. Waller’s premises when they arrested him?—A. Yes; those comprise the entire correspondence, and these are extracts.
Q. Now, the extract which you are about to read is what?—A. From the letter of Ratsimanana to Mr. Waller. After going on his letter speaking of different affairs connected with the concession, and so on, Mr. Waller speaks of the Hovas having the intervention of England to resist the protectorate.
Q. You are now just giving this French lawyer’s extracts?—A. Yes.
Q. By the way, in what language was that letter written?—A. It was written in English.
Q. And you have not extracts in English?—A. But that which is here translated is just exactly what involved the point of the correspondence.
Q. As you have it here it is in French?—A. That part of it; but there are others here that are in English; this is only one; the lawyer seems to have put it all in French. This was the letter written by the Hova to Mr. Waller. This Mr. Waller writes to his wife—
Q. One moment. Is there any other extract there from this letter of the Hova?—A. No.
Q. Now, perhaps it would be better to read the reply of Mr. Waller to the Hova next.—A. The Hova writes Mr. Waller and speaks of the hopes of the Government receiving the intervention of England to resist the protectorate of France over Madagascar; then Mr. Waller replies.
Q. There were two letters, then, from the Malagassy to Mr. Waller?—A. Yes; one the 29th and the other 30th, sent down by the same mail. He says [reads]: “30 Xber, 1894. Now, as you will be off to London and America, I beg to remind you of those things which I ordered, of which list I here inclose for fear that you will not find my [Page 343] first letter. As to the revolver you promised to my father, he will be very glad indeed to have it as soon as possible. I also beg you to send me five more, if possible, for me and my brothers.” Here is the extract of Mr. Waller’s letter to this young man. He says [reads]: “I will remember my friends who have stood by me in this trouble. I dare not write you on matters about the French and Hovas, and when you write do not mention any matter as to the war, but only friendly and business matters, as all letters are opened and read by an officer in the French army here. Therefore be very careful what you write. I will send you the things you ask for as soon as I arrive.” That is all. That was the main point of his correspondence with any Hova. That was all the correspondence he had had and that they found on him of any nature in any way relating to any arms. They found nothing in the correspondence giving any explanation or discussing in any way the French situation with any Hova, when he referred in this letter to those revolvers which he had promised these boys out there.
Q. Now read the extracts from the letter of Mr. Waller to his wife.—A. I have already read the first extract and here is the second letter [reads]: “20th January, 1895. It was a Godsend that they did not get open Ratsimanana’s letter. If they had Paul would have been shot on suspicion. Let me warn you to be careful.” Paul means myself.
Q. Is that the letter that they did afterwards get?—A. No; this is a reference to that portion of the letter which they found in his possession, that had a portion of it cut out. It was cut out by him. The portion of the letter which referred to me was cut out, and the French observed that; but they were unable to know what was in that portion of the paper cut out, and only knew that it had some reference to me by the letter Mr. Waller had written to his wife. What that something was they did not know. Now, as a matter of fact, of course, I did not tell them what that something was; but all that it was was simply that some time previous to my departure from the capital for Mauritius, and when there were rumors of pending war, several of the officials—friends of mine—had advised me, or rather had suggested to me, that if I wanted a position with the Hovas in their coming trouble that I could have it, and knowing my sympathies for them, and so on, they would be glad to do anything they could for me in that direction; and one of these men was the father of this young man, and, of course, he then, in writing to Mr. Waller, said he was glad that I was for them and hoped that I would soon march to the capital and join them in the matter, and also that I would get the revolvers that he had requested of Mr. Waller—that I would get them in Mauritius if I could. That was all that was in this letter in this clipping that was cut out. Mr. Waller had cut it out thinking that it might bring trouble, but the rest of the letter there was nothing in.
Q. And when the French seized Mr. Waller’s letters they found this particular one with this particular passage, the substance of which you have recited, cut out?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And further than that was the reference in Mr. Waller’s letter to his wife, which they intercepted and that excited their suspicion as to what it may have been?—A. Yes. They thought it was something very grave, of course. In another letter to his wife he says [reads]: “Let me know whether you received the passports or not, as it is very important matter. They were sent through the French admiral here, and I want to know whether you got them or not.” In his letter to Mr. Tessier—that was one of the inclosures—he says [reads]: “I send an important letter under your cover to my wife, which I will be pleased to have [Page 344] you hand her in person on account of its importance. I need not inform you that she will call your attention to a certain matter therein contained, the importance of which will at once challenge your most careful attention and place our friends on their guard. This matter is strictly confidential, and I can assure you that our friends can not afford to lose any time in attending to it.” That is all the extracts.
Q. That is all the lawyer copied?—A. The lawyer took all the extracts from the letter which had any bearing at all upon the charge which the French made, out of the letters which they produced against him. Those extracts were taken exclusively from those letters, and that is the whole of Mr. Waller’s case. There are some extracts here from the examination of Mr. Waller and of Mr. Poupard and myself.
Q. You are now referring to the trial, or the preliminary examination, which?—A. The preliminary examination of Mr. Waller, and the evidence of Mr. Poupard at the examination and of myself at the examination. This is in French. It is written in French, but I wish to call attention to the fact that at my examination this interpreter, the same interpreter that they got in Mr. Waller’s case—he does not understand English well, sufficiently to understand it. He is a Creole. I do not know whether he is a French citizen. I think so, but I would not be quite sure of that. He might be a British subject. At any rate, I understand French sufficiently to be able to say positively in reporting my replies to the questions which were put to me that they were altered to suit their own tastes; they put them down as they pleased. The interpreter would put the question to me in English, and I would give my reply in English. He would then give my reply to-the reporter, the same officer who conducted the prosecution against Mr. Waller, and he would then put my reply down in French, and construed it to suit himself. It was not a correct translation.
Q. You understand French well enough to know that?—A. Yes; and for that reason, after the testimony was over, they tried to force me to sign my testimony, and I refused.
Q. You are referring to your preliminary examination?—A. Yes; and I refused to sign it, because I knew it was incorrect; and, secondly, because it was written in a foreign language, and I refused to sign anything that was not in my own language. They tried to make me do so, but I did not do it. Even in the extract which the French attorney has here made, they tried to make it appear in my preliminary examination that I refused to state when Mr. Waller sent his letters away, when he mailed his letters, where, as a matter of fact, I did not refuse to state that. I did not know when he sent them. That is only illustrative of what had happened in several instances.
Q. You were going on, when you began to read these extracts, to give the substance of the testimony that occurred on the trial, and you had stated what the miner and Mr. Poupard had testified to, and as I remember your statement, that was merely confined to an identity. Well, now, give anything else that you remember of the testimony.—A. There was nothing else given; that was all.
Q. You were examined. What did they ask you and what did you testify to?—A. They asked me if I knew Mr. Waller. If I knew anybody by the name of Draper and Purdy. I told them that I did not know anyone by that name. They asked me if I knew Ratsimanana, and I told them that I did. That was all.
Q. That was all of your examination?—A. That was all that they asked me at the trial.
Q. Those are the only questions asked you?—A. Yes.[Page 345]
Q. Did Mr. Waller’s counsel put any questions to you?—A. No.
Q. Did he put any to any of the other witnesses?—A. Not in my presence.
Q. Were you there during the entire trial?—A. Yes. In the examination by the captain—I did not hear that, but I was at the trial. I was standing at the door, but I was inside when they examined the other witnesses.
Q. Did the counsel for Mr. Waller cross-examine any of the witnesses?—A. I do not know that he did. I am sure of myself that he did not.
Q. He was permitted to?—A. Yes; he was permitted to.
Q. They did not prevent him from cross-examining them?—A. As I understand it, all that the captain, the military captain, was called upon to testify was as regards Mr. Waller sending the letter and as regards to the rules governing the sending out of correspondence.
Q. Did you hear his testimony?—A. I did not hear it. This of course was told me afterwards, who heard it in French.
Q. Were any witnesses called in behalf of Mr. Waller?—A. None were called.
Q. He had the right to call them?—A. I do not know whether he had or not.
Q. Was he examined?—A. At the trial?
Q. Yes.—A. No, sir.
Q. He was not examined?—A. No, sir. All that was said to him at the trial was, he was asked if he had anything to say regarding the testimony which was given, and he said that all he had to say in regard to Mr. Poupard’s testimony—that he had tried to have him expelled from the country as consul—was, that if he did so, there must certainly be some record in the United States consulate to show his reasons for so doing.
Q. He was not examined as a witness in his own behalf?—A. No; he was not examined.
Q. Do you know whether his counsel requested that he should be?—A. No; I do not.
Q. How large was this room where these proceedings were had?—A. The room was a little larger than this [indicating the office of the Secretary of State].
Q. Were many people present?—A. Yes.
Q. Was it open to the public?—A. Yes.
Q. Did they ask Mr. Waller or his counsel whether he had any objection to anyone who composed the court?—A. No; they made no such remark. The attorney for Mr. Waller argued that the court had no jurisdiction over Mr. Waller, and quoted French law. Of course, they overruled his objection, and brought in a verdict which was very lengthy, and which recited the laws of France.
Q. It was in writing?—A. Yes; it was; section after section of different laws bearing upon illicit correspondence, and so forth. I did not understand it, because it was in French and was very rapidly read. I could not keep up with him.
Q. When was that rendered?—A. That was rendered immediately after the trial.
Q. The same day?—A. Just at the same moment. The trial commenced at 7, and at 10 o’clock the court went out to bring in their verdict, and they came back in about twenty minutes.
Q. Then the document was already prepared and signed?—A. Yes; it must have been prepared before they went in. It was so very [Page 346] lengthy that it would have taken a stenographer at least an hour to have prepared it and the papers they read. It covered, I should judge, at least eight or ten pages of large foolscap.
Q. Did they undertake to give the history of the entire offense charged against Mr. Waller?—A. Yes; they certainly did, and itemized the points, and so on.
Q. Was there any oral testimony given on the trial at all of any act or thing asserted or claimed to have been done by Mr. Waller?—A. No, sir.
Q. According to your understanding, that was entirely confined to what was contained in the letters to his wife and to this Mr. Tessier, and the letters to that other man?—A. Yes, sir; of course, except the argument of the prosecuting attorney.
Q. Did he refer to any evidence that was produced against him?—A. There was no evidence produced against him except these letters which are referred to and these extracts. That was all.
Q. There has been some statement made in the papers that he was giving valuable information as to the movements of the French troops, etc.?—A. I saw them. That was all newspaper talk. There was no ground for them at all.
Q. Was there any claim of that kind made on the trial?—A. No.
Q. And no witness gave any evidence as to any action on his part which they claimed was in sympathy with the Hovas?—A. No witness at all.
Q. You spoke of an examination—a preliminary examination—of Mr. Waller before the trial, and I am not sure whether you said that was reduced to writing?—A. Yes; it was.
Q. Do you remember whether it is a part of the records of the case?—A. Yes; it was made a part of it.
Q. Did they claim anything from that, do you remember?—A. No; because Mr. Waller did not commit himself in any way. Of course, he acknowledged that he had sent these letters away. Of course, that was in violation of this article 3 of the order of place, but he admitted his guilt in that respect. That was a question of a nominal fine.
Q. That would apply, as I infer from your remarks, to any correspondence, regardless of the contents of it?—A. Yes.
Q. That would be the gist of the offense, regardless of its contents?—A. Yes; you must not send anything out unless they see it first.
Q. Was there any stress laid upon the fact that Mr. Waller, at his preliminary examination, had explained these initials D. and P. as referring to two other men than those whose names beginning with the same initials had been mentioned at the trial?—A. They did point that out, and there was no question but what Mr. Waller meant Mr. Duder and Mr. Poupard in his letters. That was what the prosecuting attorney argued in that respect, and they claimed in substance that he was writing to the Hova authorities that these men were spies of the French Government.
Q. And to be on the lookout for them?—A. Yes.
Q. Now, what took place at this examination of yourself that you have referred to? I do not refer to your testimony at the trial, but the preliminary examination. You said they examined you. You have given something of that already. You were examined before whom?—A. I was examined before this prosecuting attorney, the military reporter of the court-martial.
Q. He was an officer attached to that military tribunal?—A. Yes; I was in his presence and his secretary and the interpreter.[Page 347]
Q. Were you sworn?—A. Yes.
Q. The oath was administered to you?—A. Yes.
Q. By whom?—A. By the prosecuting attorney.
Q. Do you know whether he exercises that function in connection with military trials?—A. No, sir; I do not. He put that question to me in my examination.
Q. Put what question?—A. He asked me if I did not know that I was under oath, and if I did not state the whole truth and nothing but the truth that I would be liable to prosecution. I replied to him that that question was one for a lawyer to discuss; that I did not know upon what authority I was called there. I did not know whether I was liable for prosecution or not.
Q. Did they send for you?—A. They issued a summons.
Q. What, substantially, were the questions that were asked you?—A. First, they asked me regarding my family, if I was connected with Mr. Waller; my name; if he was my stepfather. Then they asked me if I knew anything about Mr. Waller’s correspondence. I told them that generally I did. He asked me several unimportant questions about his family, what they were doing, etc., what support they had, etc. Then he asked me if I knew different persons at the capital. They called the names of a dozen or more persons; asked me if I knew them. I told them that I did. They asked me if I knew Draper and Purdy; if I knew Mr. Tessier; if I knew Ratsimanana. They asked me if I knew when Mr. Waller wrote his last letters to his family. I told them the last I remembered was in the latter part of December or the early part of January, and they asked me if I knew when he sent those letters, if he did not send them along about the latter part of January. I told them that I did not know when he sent those letters.
Q. Was this the reply you say they interpreted as your refusing to answer?—A. Yes; then they asked me what was in that portion of the letter that was cut out. I told them that I did not remember what was in that portion of the letter.
Q. Did they have the letter there?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Showed it to you?—A. Yes; they showed Mr. Waller’s letters and asked me if I recognized those letters.
Q. The letters written by him?—A. Yes, sir; they asked me if I recognized them—knew their contents. I told them that I did not. I had never seen them before, did not know anything about them. They also asked me if I knew anything about Mr. Waller’s correspondence with any of the Hova officials at the capital. I told them that I did not know of any correspondence of his of that nature. That was the substance of the examination. They, of course, asked me many other questions, but they had no bearing. I do not remember them.
Q. This is the pith of it?—A. Yes. I have got them all taken down in my notes exactly what they asked me, but there is nothing of importance in their examination.
Q. You have that? Who took it?—A. I took it afterwards from my memory the same day. There is nothing of importance. All they wanted to find out was as regards to the time he sent the letters, with whom he was corresponding, and as to the contents of that letter that had the clipping cut out. That was the main object of their examination.
Q. After the judgment was rendered by this military tribunal then what was done with Mr. Waller, and what was done by him or his counsel?—A. He was sent to prison. He sent for his counsel, and an appeal was then made to a higher court—to a different court.[Page 348]
Q. In Tamatave?—A. Yes; they formed a military court, a higher court, of different officials from those who had sat in the case, to hear the appeal, and they refused it.
Q. Was there such a tribunal then existing?—A. No; this was especially called to decide this case.
Q. Did he make his appeal in writing?—A. I did not see the appeal. It was made just the day before I left there in the afternoon, made by the lawyer, and of course the lawyer consulted with Mr. Waller, and the lawyer told me the points upon which he was going to base his appeal, but did not show me his notes.
Q. Then there was nothing further done so far as any pleading before any tribunal is concerned?—A. No.
Q. What was the judgment of this military tribunal before which he was tried and by which he was condemned?—A. The judgment was that he be confined for twenty years in prison.
Q. This application for appeal was made the same day of his conviction?—A. Yes; the application was made and the appeal was heard the following Saturday.
Q. What day of the week was this trial?—A. The trial was on Saturday.
Q. Before whom was this application for appeal heard?—A. It was heard before a higher military court, a higher one than the other one.
Q. Was that different and higher military court formed for the purpose of receiving the application for the appeal, and did they grant the application?—A. No; they did not; they denied the application.
Q. The higher court actually heard the application, and after hearing it declined to grant it?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was this higher court to which you refer a court constituted for the purpose of hearing appeals, or was it a court especially assigned for this particular case?—A. A court especially formed for this particular case.
Q. By whom was it designated?—A. It was designated by the commander of the fleet. The commander was absent, but the next in command did it. Anyway, he was acting commander at the time.
Q. Who was the chief officer of the French forces there, the naval officer or the land officer?—A. The naval officer.
Q. He was superior to the officer who was on land?—A. Colonel Colonna, he was the commander of the land forces, and Mr. Kiesel, he was the commander of the naval forces.
Q. Which of them had the higher authority, the naval or the land officer?—A. Colonel Colonna had command of the land forces.
Q. You spoke of this court of appeals being organized under the direction of the naval officer?—A. Yes; it was under the direction of the naval officer, but it was composed of members of the land force, land and naval as well. I do not know how that was. Of course the particular construction of the court I did not observe closely; only observed that it was the military court, but was not particular to observe how they formed that court; but I know that Colonel Kiesel is in command of the naval forces and Colonel Colonna in command of the land forces. This tribunal and, in fact, all military orders, must receive the sanction of the commander of the naval forces, because the whole expedition at the present time is under the command of the naval officer. I think the land colonel is subordinate to him.
Q. This application for appeal was heard on Saturday following his conviction, and the order refusing the application was made on or about the same day?—A. The application was made on the same day.[Page 349]
Q. The application was presented on Saturday?—A. Yes; and it was refused the same day.
Q. Was there a hearing at that time by counsel held privately?—A. Yes.
Q. Mr. Waller’s counsel presented the application and made an argument?—A. Yes.
Q. It was not published?—A. No, sir.
Q. What were the grounds upon which Mr. Waller’s counsel applied for the appeal?—A. Jurisdiction. He claimed that the military court that tried Mr. Waller had no jurisdiction over him; according to the French code, the French law, that they had no jurisdiction over him.
Q. You mean he claimed the case was not a proper one for the court-martial?—A. Yes; it was something of that nature, that that authority had no jurisdiction, or else it was not one for their consideration.
Q. After the appeal was refused, after the application was refused, then what was done?—A. Nothing was done then, only preparation for sending him off to France, and then it was just about this time, in fact I think it was the very day that this application was refused, that I was served with this order.
Q. Just a moment. When was Mr. Waller sent away?—A. He was sent away on the 25th. The trial was on the 18th, on Monday. The steamer left the 25th. No; it was on Saturday, the 23d, the paper was served on me—yes; it was the 23d.
Q. Is this the original paper you have here now?—A. Yes. I am mistaken, my order was served on March 21, a few days before that.
Q. That was handed to you by whom?—A. By a French gendarme.
Q. You have none of this French copy of the order?—A. Yes; the original copy.
Q. That purports to be a copy of the original?—A. Yes; they did not give the original to me, but a copy of it.
Q. What was done except to hand you that order by the French officers; were you arrested?—A. They attempted to arrest me, but I eluded them and got inside the consulate grounds, remained there for two or three days and slept there until the day of the departure of the ship. Of course in the meantime we were considering the advisability of whether I should remain and run my chances, remain inside the consulate yard and resist their order, or whether I should go. And the consul had written a letter to the colonel commanding the place demanding what right he had to expel me, to bring definite charges against me, and he said that I protested against going. The colonel replied that the military authorities were determined that I should go out of the country, and they would not entertain any interference on the part of civil authorities in the matter.
Q. When this order of expulsion was delivered to you by the officer you took refuge in the consulate grounds?—A. Yes.
Q. And there you remained until Monday?—A. Yes.
Q. And in the meantime Consul Wetter addressed a communication to the military authorities which you have referred to?—A. Yes.
Q. And the reply was received by Consul Wetter that—. Have you a copy of that reply?—A. No; I have not a copy.
Q. What was the substance of the reply?—A. It was, as I stated a moment ago, the military authorities were decided that I should be sent out of the country, and that they would not entertain any interference on the part of the civil authorities.
Q. This order of expulsion is in French. I would like to have you leave it here.—A. All right.[Page 350]
(Order of expulsion marked Exhibit B, and forms a part of this statement.)
Q. Did you have counsel?—A. No; I had no counsel.
Q. Did you finally reach the conclusion that you would depart?—A. Yes; I wrote this letter to Consul Wetter, after carefully considering the subject.
Q. Just read the letter.—A. [Here Mr. Bray reads letter marked Exhibit C] I received a reply from the consul, which is as follows: [Here Mr. Bray reads letter marked Exhibit D.]
Q. When did this ship arrive at Tamatave?—A. It arrived there on the 24th.
Q. That was Sunday?—A. Yes; it arrived on Sunday.
Q. She laid there how long?—A. No; she did not arrive on the 24th; she arrived Monday morning and left Monday evening, the 25th.
Q. When did you see Mr. Waller after the day of his trial and conviction?—A. I saw him on the day of our departure to the steamer.
Q. Where did you see him?—A. I saw him at the prison where he was confined.
Q. Before he was taken aboard the ship?—A. Yes; they sent for me to come and see him the day they were preparing to take him aboard the ship.
Q. Who sent for you?—A. He had requested to be permitted to see me the day before, and they had refused him, but for some reason or another, I don’t know why, the next day this reporter, the captain, sent one of his orderlies over to the consulate.
Q. That was on Monday or Sunday?—A. That was on Monday.
Q. The day you left?—A. Yes—no, it was on a Sunday evening, the day before we left. He sent word to the consulate to come over and see him. I did so.
Q. You had an interview with him?—A. Yes.
Q. Anyone present?—A. The officer, the captain, and his orderly were present.
Q. They remained present?—A. Yes; and permitted us only to speak of family matters and personal matters, and say good-bye to each other; that is all.
Q. Then you went back to the consulate?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. How was he imprisoned there?—A. In a large room.
Q. Any guard?—A. There were three or four guards always on duty.
Q. You spoke here at one time of sending him in food, did you not?—A. Yes.
Q. Did they furnish him with food?—A. No food.
Q. No food all the time?—A. They did not furnish him with food until after he was convicted.
Q. Did they fail to provide him because you did provide him?—A. That of course I was not able to get from him. On the day of his arrest he sent word he had no supper and wanted something to eat and that he had no bed. Of course writing a note passing through the hands of the captain going to us—it must be inferred that they were not going to furnish it to him, because if they were they should have provided it themselves.
Q. After you saw him on this Sunday evening when and where did you next see him?—A. I have not seen him since.
Q. What time of the day did you leave Tamatave on this steamer on Monday?—A. We left about 6 o’clock in the evening.
Q. Did Mr. Waller go on the same steamer?—A. Yes.
Q. When did you go on the steamer?—A. They arrested me forcibly [Page 351] on the street. I was in the consulate yard before the time of the departure of the steamer, when I was attempting to go to my home to prepare my baggage. They arrested me on the street and did not permit me to go to my house to get any of my things, but they took me on board and they went to the house themselves and got just what they saw; they got my trunk, which I have with me, and one box. My things were around in the wardrobe and left behind me.
Q. When you went to see Mr. Waller on Sunday an officer accompanied you from the consulate. Did he accompany you back to the consulate?—A. No, sir.
Q. On the day following, do I understand you to say, when from the consulate you started to go to your home for the purpose of getting your personal effects to take the steamer, you were arrested?—A. Yes; they feared, perhaps, that I was going to try to escape them. In fact, it was time for the steamer or nearly time for the steamer to depart, and they were very angry that I had not put in appearance.
Q. By whom were you arrested?—A. By the captain—this same captain who was a witness in Mr. Waller’s trial; he arrested me with the assistance of two gendarmes who were there; they took me on board the ship.
Q. Did they ask you about your effects which you wanted?—A. I told them I wanted my things, and they said never mind; that if I could get them I could get them, and if I could not I would have to go without them; and, as I told you, they managed to get what things they found already prepared and brought them on board.
Q. After you went on board the ship were you under any restraint there?—A. I was not under any particular restraint; only I was not allowed to go aft, where Mr. Waller was.
Q. Where did you understand Mr. Waller was?—A. He was in the fourth class; he was in the hold below, and I was not permitted to see him at all on the voyage.
Q. Was he in charge of anybody?—A. Oh, yes; he was under guard all the time.
Q. How many?—A. Two. There was a number of them. I think there were half a dozen. They were on different watches. There was another man on board; his name is Watts. He was on board the ship, and without knowing me, but he knew I was from Madagascar; but he did not know that I had any relation with Mr. Waller at all. He said he understood that I was from Madagascar. Of course, he was also fourth class, and did not see me, but was with Mr. Waller, and he said: “You are an American, I understand. I want to tell you concerning the outrageous treatment that they accorded to that man Waller, who was consul to Madagascar, whom they have got as prisoner on board the ship.” He said he saw them bring him nothing but rice, a little curry and water, and not even a spoon or a fork or anything to eat with. He said they treated him like a dog. He offered to buy a little wine or a little lemonade, because he could not stand the change of water, and they absolutely refused to give him anything except the rice, curry, water, and bread. He said that he was going to write to the Department.
Q. Did you get off at Zanzibar or did they put you off?—A. They put me off. They turned me over to the consul. They took my baggage.
Q. Who did?—A. The steward of the ship. He landed my baggage. I protested that there was no consul there, and on arrival I found that the consulate had been closed, so I pointed that out to the commander [Page 352] of the ship and he said that he could not help that, that he had orders to land me there.
Q. Was it a French ship?—A. Yes.
Q. Where was she bound for?—A. Bound for Marseilles. I was put off there, and the French consul did not come to take me or see after me or anything, and when I landed it was about half-past four in the afternoon. I went to the French consul and told him who I was. He simply said: “Go where you please, you are at liberty.” And I told him that I had no friends there and I had no means, and I said I wanted to go on, and I asked him to assist me on to Marseilles and to request the commander of the ship to send me on. But he refused to have anything to do with me. He said all he would do was to send me to the British authorities. He gave me a letter to Mr. Harding, the British consul-general. I went there, but he was absent. I wrote a letter then to the prime minister of the Sultan’s court, protesting against being landed in Zanzibar, as I was in destitution, and asked his interference, and he sent his secretary around to the hotel where I stopped and sent me to the resident general about 10 o’clock at night. I went there, and the resident general, after I explained my case to him, said he was sorry, but he could not do anything for me because the United States Government had made no arrangement.
Q. Who was the resident-general?—A. Harding.
Q. The present resident-general?—A. Yes. They had not yet given him any instructions as to what to do with American citizens, and he could not interfere, although he felt it a case that justified interference, but he could not do so. He said he would cable to the consul at Aden to get instructions in the matter. He did so at his expense, and the consul at Aden telegraphed to him that he could give no advice in the matter; that he would have to correspond with the minister at Cairo or at Paris. I had a sufficient amount of funds to barely pay my passage to Marseilles, and the consul-general advised me that the best thing to do was to go on to Marseilles and manage to get to Paris and lay my case before Ambassador Eustis, rather than spend what little money I had by remaining there in Zanzibar waiting for instructions.
Q. You got back on the same ship?—A. I came on another.
Q. Where did she land you?—A. She landed at Marseilles. When I landed there I found the acting consul. He assisted me on to Paris, where I called upon Ambassador Eustis and told him my situation.
Q. How long were you in Paris?—A. I was there six days.
Q. Had you any funds when you reached Paris?—A. No; I had no funds at all. I would not have gotten to Paris had it not been for the consul at Marseilles.
Q. And Mr. Eustis paid your expenses in Paris?—A. Yes.
Q. Where is Mrs. Waller now?—A. She is at Antananarivo.
Q. What family has she?—A. There are six of us, three daughters and one son.
Q. How many by Mr. Waller?—A. Three by Mr. Waller.
Q. Where do you understand Mr. Waller is now?—A. He is at Marseilles. I forget the name of the prison there.
Q. Had the consul seen him?—A. No; he had not seen him.
Q. What is the situation there now from a military point of view; what was it when you left?—A. When I left the French were just simply occupying Tamatave, as they have been since the 12th of December. They have made no further advances, although they have made five different attempts to storm Farafati, the Hova stronghold.[Page 353]
Q. Where is that?—A. It is situated 6 miles back from Tamatave.
Q. Have they not pretty good fortifications at this place?—A. Yes, it is very strong. The French were repulsed there in the last war. They have been defeated five times already in Tamatave endeavoring to take it.
Q. That was during this period that you and Mr. Waller were kept confined in Tamatave that they had made the attempt to take this fort and been repulsed?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. It is considered on both sides that the actual state of war is existing between the Hovas and the French?—A. Yes, sir. Of course while there has been no real official declaration of war, simply the French coming there and landing their troops. First, they requested permission to land their troops peaceably there and put them in the hospital, a day or two before they opened up the bombardment. The governor refused, and then they landed their troops. The Hovas all retired to their fort; of course there was nothing done there; the French were only landing their arms and munitions and troops, getting themselves in position.
Q. What was the amount of the French force?—A. Only about seven or eight hundred.
Q. Are they occupying any part of the island except Tamatave?—A. Tamatave and Mojanga.
Q. And they have been endeavoring, from Tamatave as a base, to penetrate into the interior and have not made any progress?—A. They have made no progress. These are the only places in Madagascar where the French have possession.
Q. In taking possession of Tamatave what have they done except to land their forces?—A. They have taken possession of all the houses and valuable buildings. Any house they wanted they simply went and took possession of it.
Q. They took possession of them for occupation?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. They were willing to pay for that occupation?—A. Sometimes they were. I suppose they intended to do so. They did not ask how much you wanted for your house, but told you to get out. Of course what you get for it will be considered hereafter in whatever indemnity they may choose to pay them.
Q. Aside from that what are they doing?—A. Well, the soldiers have been conducting themselves very badly, stealing—
Q. I was not referring to depredations in any way, but their asserting or exercising authority?—A. In regard to that they have taken complete jurisdiction over the place, and they have issued a notification to the consular authorities that the civil authorities have nothing whatever to do.
Q. Before they occupied what were the courts there?—A. The courts were consular, under the exclusive consular jurisdiction.
Q. Were there any local courts?—A. No local courts.
Q. Mr. Bray, between two Malagasy subjects, how would the court have been constituted?—A. That would have been before a Malagasy court.
Q. What was the nature of that tribunal?—A. That was a local court composed of Malagasy.
Q. Since this occupation by the French, of course the local courts have ceased to exercise their judicial power?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you understand, Mr. Bray, or did you say that for instance a controversy should arise between two foreigners in Tamatave, the consular court would still exercise jurisdiction, would it not? The French [Page 354] would not claim to exercise jurisdiction between two foreigners?—A. As I understand it, if there is anything contrary to the order and discipline of the place under seige it comes under military jurisdiction—that is what the consul informed me; but if anything else, it comes under consular jurisdiction the same as before. A criminal case or civil case comes under the jurisdiction of the consul. Any violation of the orders they have issued there governing the place in seige; well, it is very hard to understand what position consular authorities do hold.
Q. What do you understand France has tried to make the Hova Government agree to by remaining there with the army?—A. They simply want the country. That is all there is to it. They want the country; that is all there is—nothing more. If they can get it they get it.
Q. Did they assert any grievance?—A. They have asserted grievances, but they are so absurd. They claim that they want to enforce the treaty of 1885, and they themselves are of course the ones that have violated the treaty and who are not keeping it. The first trouble was their attempt to extend their boundary. Under the treaty the boundary limits were fixed a certain number of miles, and since that time they have just simply been encroaching farther in on the Hova territory.
Q. At what place is that where they have been encroaching on the Hova territory?—A. At Diego Suarez.
Q. What part of the island is that?—A. It is the northeast coast.
Q. Above Tamatave?—A. Yes. The extreme northeast coast. They have been encroaching upon the Hova territory, and the Hovas of course I objected to that and demanded that the French remove the buildings that they had erected upon their land over the boundary limit, and also to take away their flags that they had put up. The French governor at Diego Suarez told the Hova governor that he could take the flags down if he liked and do what he pleased, but if he did it would be considered as an act of hostility toward France, etc.
Q. This is just the common rumor?—A. This is a fact; it is not rumor, but it is real fact. I know it to be a fact, because the governor there—and I know him personally, and he was at the capital when I arrived there.
Q. The French governor?—A. No; the Hova governor. It has been published in the official red book. They have been encroaching upon them, and of course these difficulties have been growing more and more in many ways, and also the fact that the resident general has been all along, ever since Mr. Waller’s exequatur difficulty and the arrival also of Consul Wetter, urging and doing all he could to press the prime minister into a recognition of the right of France to issue exequaturs to American consuls and all consular representatives. The French have only exercised jurisdiction in the two towns under military control, Tamatave and Mojanga. Since the last war they have had control of the customs in certain ports for the payment of the indemnity, but they had no further powers than simply to collect this money and oversee it. The Bay of Diego Suarez has been ceded to France by Madagascar by the treaty of 1885.
Q. How large is that settlement?—A. It comprises about 16 square miles.
Q. Where was this concession of Mr. Waller’s?—A. It was on the southeast coast.
Q. How far from the capital?—A. It was about 380 miles from the capital.[Page 355]
Q. His wife is now at the capital?—A. Yes.
Q. Which is the nearest to the capital Tamatave or Mojanga?—A. Tamatave.
Q. How far is that?—A. It is about 225 miles and Mojanga is 300. Mojanga is on the west and Tamatave is on the east.
Q. Is it a pretty good road from Tamatave back to the capital?—A. No; there is just what you might call a footpath.
Q. That is the only means of communication?—A. Yes.
Q. No telegraph?—A. Yes; there is a telegraph.
Q. Are the native Hovas experts in managing the telegraph?—A. Yes.
Q. Are they pretty well educated?—A. Yes; very well educated.
Q. Is the language reduced to writing and capable of expressing ideas?—A. Oh, yes.
Q. Do you speak it?—A. Yes.
Q. When did you go out there?—A. I went out in 1892—the spring of 1892.
Q. That was after Mr. Waller was appointed consul?—A. Yes.
Q. And you went from what State?—A. Kansas.
Q. Were you with him in any official capacity while he was consul?—A. I was in the consulate all the time until, of course, I went to the capital to look after this concession.
Q. What has Mr. Waller been doing there since Mr. Wetter succeeded him?—A. He is simply waiting some action of some business men in regard to the concession. We had been negotiating with some parties in regard to it.
Q. When did he obtain that concession?—A. March 15, 1894.
Q. When did Mr. Wetter succeed him?—A. On the 26th of January, 1894.
Q. This is a concession from the Hova Government?—A. Yes.
Q. The rubber industry is the one contemplated?—A. Yes; rubber and timber.
Q. How near the coast is the concession?—A. It is 15 miles from the coast.
Q. It touches the coast?—A. One strip touches the coast.
Q. Which coast?—A. The east coast.
Q. By what authority was this concession granted?—A. It was granted by authority of the Queen and prime minister.
Q. No legislative body?—A. No.
Q. Have they any legislative body there?—A. Yes; they have a Parliament. It is not a representative Parliament like we have. The Queen and prime minister are supreme.
Q. How is that concession evidenced? Of course, by written instrument?—A. Yes. A contract drawn up in English and Malagasy, two texts, and signed simply by the Hova authorities and the translations certified to by the author of the Malagasy-English Dictionary, and visaed properly before the British consul and our own consul, and registered there.
Q. There is a system of recording there?—A. Yes. It is recorded at Tamatave.
Q. There is no local system under the Hovas of registering like there is in the United States?—A. They are registered at their own foreign office. The grant has been registered in their foreign office.
Q. The French Government, as soon as they had obtained information of Mr. Waller’s grant, remonstrated with the Hova Government, did they not?—A. They had a very stormy meeting.[Page 356]
Q. What is the seat of the French resident?—A. At the capital the French resident heard of the grant and he protested against the grant being made.
Q. Did he protest in writing?—A. No; verbally. He said that it was prejudicial to the interests of France, and that he considered that it was impolitic for the prime minister to give such a large grant of land to an American citizen—to a foreigner. Of course they tried to add some political significance to the grant; that is, the French believed that. They labored under the impression that there was some scheme on foot between Mr. Waller and the Hova authorities in regard to it, and stated as much in their paper.
Q. Was there any written communication or protest by the French resident?—A. No; all that he did was after he found that the concession had actually been granted and he could not prevent it; he then issued a note, just a memorandum to his papers—they have two papers there, one at the capital and one at Tamatave—to the effect that no concessions granted by the Hova authorities would be recognized by the French Government unless they had been visaed by the French resident-general. Of course those instructions did not come from Paris to him, so we saw by the newspaper reports. He acted upon his own responsibility in that matter.
Q. His action has not been disclaimed, has it?—A. No; not publicly disclaimed. Of course it looks as though his acting has really been indorsed, because in the claims of the French Government to the Hovas, in their ultimatum, they demanded the right to visa all concessions of land granted to foreigners; that is to say, that all of these concessions must be registered.
Q. They have made a written demand to that effect?—A. Yes.
Q. It is one of the pending controversies?—A. Yes; one of their five demands.
Q. What did the Hova Government say to the remonstrance against that grant?—A. The prime minister assured him that it was only a commercial enterprise, and that he had no intention to throw any obstacles in the way of France.
Q. Did he disclaim the right of the French Government to interfere?—A. Yes, he did; and he further said that he could not entertain any interference on the part of the resident in that respect. He absolutely refused to recognize the protest which the resident made.
Q. What are the five demands? You mentioned one of them. Do you remember them?—A. I can not remember them all. I have them with me, but I do not remember them. I have those demands, and I have the reply also of the Hova Government to their demands. I will give you those also as soon as I get into my trunk. Of course the sum and substance of it is that, they want the country—that is all.
Q. They did not say that?—A. No; but that is what it means.
Q. You stated that the order or the judgment of this military court did not direct where Mr. Waller would be imprisoned. What was the order that was made under which he was taken to Marseilles? Was there a subsequent order; if not, who determined where he was to be taken?—A. Since I come to think of it, the judgment stated that he was to be confined in France—I think the presiding colonel said in France. The place where, I suppose, was to be decided upon later by the military authorities. At least at the time of the trial no one knew just where he was to be sent, only that he was to go to France; we all knew that.
Q. So they put him on board this ship?—A. Yes.[Page 357]
Q. Are there any actual hostilities there now going on—were there when you left?—A. There were not when I left, although since I left they claim that there have been some hostilities on the west coast.
Q. The hostilities while you were there consisted in the attempt of the French forces at Tamatave to carry this fort of the Hovas, about 7 miles in the interior, and they were repulsed in that attempt on five occasions?—A. Yes; five times.
Q. When was Mr. Waller last at the capital?—A. He left the capital about the 1st of October, and he remained at Tamatave until the time of his arrest continuously.
Q. How long had he been at the capital before October?—A. He had been up there since January 18. He arrived at the capital on January 18.
Q. Did he go from Tamatave to the capital?—A. Yes.
Q. Was his wife with him?—A. Yes.
Q. She went with him from Tamatave?—A. Yes.
Q. Did he remain then at the capital all the time?—A. He remained there up until the latter part of September, when he reached Tamatave, say about the 1st of October.
Q. How did he go from Tamatave with his wife?—A. By bearers—palanquin carriers; the usual method of travel.
Q. At any time was he at his concession?—A. No; he has never been down there. Of course, about the time we were getting ready to go there the French put so many obstacles in our way to making any progress in our arrangements, and then even when I could have gone, or we could have gone, of course the hostilities broke out before either of us could get down there.
Q. When did you go from Tamatave to the capital?—A. I went in December, 1893.
Q. Before he did?—A. Yes. Let me see, I went in December, 1892, instead of 1893. I was there the year before he was.
Q. You went while he was consul?—A. Yes.
Q. And remained there?—A. Yes.
Q. Until what time?—A. Until his arrival; in fact, up until May, 1894.
Q. Then you came to Tamatave?—A. No; I went to Mauritius, passing through Tamatave.
Q. Mr. Waller stayed how long at the capital?—A. He stayed from the 18th of January until about the 1st of October.
Q. And you went over to Mauritius about the business connected with this concession?—A. Yes.
Q. Did you join Mr. Waller at Tamatave at that time?—A. I joined him there on the 26th of November.
Q. How long after that did the French occupancy take place?—A. The 12th of December.
Q. I will ask you again as to the date of the letter from Mr. Waller to his wife of which the French Government complained?—A. It was dated the 22d or 23d of January, 1895. That was after the French occupation, but the letter left Tamatave, was mailed out at Tamatave, actually on the 21st; but his reason, of course, in dating it was, it seems, that he had written the letter several days ahead of date because the mail was not due until the 25th, and naturally, of course, in writing his letters, if he would write them on the 12th or 15th he simply would date his letters perhaps on the mail day. That is the only way I account for the letter having date two days later than its actual departure.[Page 358]
Q. The mail went earlier than it was expected?—A. Yes.
Q. Do yon think that these extracts you have here contain all that was in those letters of which the authorities complain in his trial?—A. Oh, yes; I am sure of that, because they contain more than was really necessary, and he made the argument that, notwithstanding the fact that he had mentioned that these two men were on their way up there as spies, it must have been personal, and he did not mean that they were to act as spies against the French Government, because in all of his letters he was particular to advise them not to write anything, and to avoid discussing any of these questions. It was to let them know about these two men.
Q. How do you account for his statement that these initials referred to two other men?—A. I do not know how to account for that. As regards Mr. Waller’s statement, I do not know whether he made the statement or not. But he also took the point in his argument of the case that the question of the identity of the men had nothing to do with the charge of the French authorities. That was solely a matter for the men whom Mr. Waller charged with being spies. If he could prove that he meant them, that was for them to resent. It was a personal affair of their own against Mr. Waller.[Page 361]