Mr. Loomis to Mr. McCormick.

No. 134.]

Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegram of the 27th instant, relative to the seizure of the Ardova, confirmed separately, I inclose for your information copies of letters from the Acting Secretary of War and Henry W. Peabody & Co.,a relative to the military stores for the Philippine government carried in that vessel.

I have, etc.,

Francis B. Loomis,
Acting Secretary.

Mr. Oliver to Mr. Hay.

Sir: I have the honor to quote the following telegram received to-day:

New York, July 25, 1904.

United States, War Department, Washington D. C.

“Steamship Ardova reported seized. We have on board 3,200 kegs powder, 1,600 cases dynamite, 4 cases detonators, 20 cases fuses marked H. W. P. Co., Manila, shipped in execution order given us by United States Government insular purchasing agent, Manila. Please protect our interests; note shipment is for account United States Government, Manila, making final destination unquestionable.

“12.40 p.m.

Henry W. Peabody & Company.”

There is no documentary evidence on file in this Department that the shipment in question is the property of the government of the Philippine Islands, as set forth in the above telegram. It might well, however, be the property of such government, as it is the practice of the insular purchasing agent to make purchases of supplies and material required for the Philippine government from [Page 734] firms located in Manila, where the same can be done to advantage. Otherwise purchases are made by this Department on behalf of such government. It is known that the firm of Henry W. Peabody & Co. maintain the closest relations with local firms in the Philippines, if, in fact, it does not maintain a branch agency. Furthermore, it is known as a reliable firm, long established, and doing a heavy oriental business.

There is also on board this steamer merchandise of a varied character, purchased by this Department on behalf of the government of the Philippine Islands, on which insurance has been placed to the value of $15,000. The steamship Ardova is of the Barber Line, and it has been held that the provisions of act No. 198, approved April 28, 1904, requiring the employment of vessels of the United States in the transportation by sea of supplies for the use of the Army or the Navy, did not apply to supplies purchased by the government of the Philippine Islands or by the War Department in behalf of such government.

Very respectfully,

Robert Shaw Oliver,
Acting Secretary of War.
  1. Not printed.