- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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weeks. On his recovery he decided to lodge a claim for damages
against the proprietor of the omnibus, but being destitute of money
he was unable to find a solicitor willing to represent him at the court
of justice otherwise than on payment of his fees in advance.1 When
this came to the knowledge of the Consul he sent the man in question
to a solicitor known to the Consulate, requesting the latter to give
his opinion as to whether the case was likely to be won. The solicitor’s
reply was in the affirmative, and the Consul entrusted him with the
conduct of the affair, giving his guarantee that the fees would be
paid. At the same time the Consul took care to let the proprietor of
the omnibus know that the claimant had his assistance and strong
support. This had the happy result of bringing the case to a
settlement without a lawsuit, the proprietor of the omnibus consenting to
pay claimant £55 as damages, a sum which constituted a small fortune
to the utterly destitute man. Another case of friendly assistance
occurred at Glasgow, where the Commissioner-General of the Russian
Section of the International Exhibition of 1901 at that town found
himself, while liquidating the affairs of the section, in a very difficult
situation, owing to the legal arrest of the Russian pavilions at the
Exhibition in consequence of a lawsuit brought against him. The
State Consul of the Consular district to which Glasgow belongs came
to his assistance by a declaration to the local authorities to the effect
that the pavilions could not be arrested on a claim brought against
the Commissioner-General, as they were the property of the Russian
Government, by whom they had been erected, and that he, as the
local Representative of the Russian Government, intended to sell
them by public auction. This step was recognised as legal by the
local authorities, and the liquidation of the Russian section could be
proceeded with without further delay. As a third example of
Consular protection afforded to Russian subjects, the case may be quoted
of an unfortunate Russian sailor who murdered his sweetheart at
North Shields on Tyne. The crime was committed in an access of
well-founded jealousy, the man having been deceived in his honest
intention of marrying the girl, and strongly provoked by the theft
of his money, which was to have enabled him to get married. He
was condemned to death ; the jury, under the influence of the strong
speech delivered by the judge, not even recognising any extenuating
circumstances in the case. After the trial the Consul had an interview
with the judge, placed before him the reasons why in his opinion the
condemned man was deserving of mercy, and was so fortunate as to
persuade his lordship to recommend the condemned man to the Home
Secretary for reprieve. In addition to this, on the initiative of the
Consul, a petition for a reprieve was addressed to the Home Secretary,
and signed by thousands of persons, the case of the unfortunate man
having aroused a great feeling of sympathy in the community. The
result of these steps was that the sentence of death was commuted to
one of imprisonment " during His Majesty’s pleasure." After some
years had elapsed the man was pardoned by His Majesty and set free.

The Consul must of course take special care to render assistance

1 The cases of sailors and emigrants returning to Russia are treated separately,
under headings " Sailors " and " Emigrants " respectively.


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