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f GENERAL NEWS NOTES OF THE PAY J At New York yesterday the jury in the United Males District C mrt returned a verdict of guilty against i»r_ Karl Bnenz and three other officials of the Hamburg-American line. The four defendants were charged with conspiracy to deceive and de- fraud the United States government by obtaining i clearances f.T relief ships laden with coal and other supplies sailing from American ports for German cruisers in the Atlantic early in the war. The maximum penalty for each indictment is two ea-s imprisonment and 0. »00 tine. Sentences w«rv not ini| osed at once because of the late hour »eii the verdict was reached. Judge Howe defer! si until today a hearing on ex]icetod motions to ►•/aside the verdict and arrest judgment. A date lAjiassing sentence will then be designated. The jiry is reiKirted to have taken only one ballot and mis after several hours of discussion of the evidence. It was given the case at 2:40 occlock in the afternoon. The foreman. George W. Ialmer. announced the verdict at 10:10 at night. An appeal, it seemed certain, will be made to the Federal Court of Appeals and. in case the verdict is upheld, to the Supreme Court of the United States. Meantime the defendants will probably remain al liberty under 5,000 bail each. The four defendants affected by the verdict are: Dr. Karl Buenz. managing director of the Hamburg-American line in New York city, and former German consul general; George Kotter. general superintendent of the line: AdolpU Hactimeister, general purchasing agent; Joseph Poppinghaus. a former officer in the German navy and at present a second officer in the Hamburg-American line. The jury returned a verdict of guilty on each of two indictments. A fifth defendant. Felix Seffner, supercargo on one of the neutral "steamers sent to supply the German fleet, was not brought to trial. He was captured by the British while on his errand of relief and is at present a prisoner in a Canadian detention camp. Vigorous representations will be made to Great Britain bv the United States against the requisitioning of the American steamship Hocking without prize court proceedings. This liecame known today after the receipt of official confirmation from American Consul-General Young at Halifax of rejKirts that the Hocking had been held. The ship has been detained at Halifax since her seizanre by a Briti-h Warship while en route from New York to Norfolk. Ambassador Cage at Ixindon had already been instructed to make vigorous protest if unofficial reports that Great Britain intended to requisition the Hocking were found to lie true. It is supposed that he lias received confirmation in London, although 1:0 word had come from him early yesterday. The action of Great Britain is to l»e vigorously contested as in violation of international law. A demand will lie made, it is understood, that tlse ship lie retained in prize court on the charge that she is partlv German-owned and that the court act prompt ly in" the case. The representations probably will include also the cases of the Genesee and the Kankakee which also are owned by the American Transatlantic company. The state department had lieen notified bv the company that the Genesee at St. Lucia West Indies, had been requisitioned and that the Kankakee, now en route to Iort Stanley, Falkland Islands, would lie requisitioned. The state department announced formally late veslerdav that it had asked for the recall of Capt. Boy-Ed and Capt. von Iapen. naval and military attaches respectively of the German embassy here, because of the •objectionable activities in connection with military and naval matters." Secretary Lansing is understood to have informed Count von Bernstorff. the German ambassador, that Capt. Boy-Ed. naval attach* to the German embassy, had rendered himself persona non grata to the I nited States government as the result of his connection with the conspirators of the Hamburg-American line, who Thursdav were found guilty in New York. The state de[wrtu«ent was lielieved to be of the opinion that as apt. Boy-Ed had admitted his connections with the financing of the operations which the New York jury cave a verdict as being illegal there was nothing else to do but inform the German government of its views. By informing the ambassador that the attache is persona non grata, the United States leaves it with the Oerniaii government as to the manner in which Capt. Itoy-ha shall terminate his connection with the embassy. This is the usual diplomatic procedure in the case of an attache of an embassy or a legation whom the United States finds objectionable. There will be no delay in delivery of steel for battleships Nos. 4.1 and 44. if the government undertakes their construction in navy yards. Bids from eleven steel companies, opened yesterday at the navy department, all offered to begin delivery within six months, and complete it within two years. Mm show an apparent increase of from thirty to forty *r cent over material purchased for the battleship California more than a year ago. The Airnegie Steel Company apparently was the lowest bidder for most of the steel needed, which runs into many millions of pounds. The American Steel Foundries* of Chester. Pa., was low- bidder for steel castings, and the Carbon Steel Company ot Pittsburgh was low for nickel steel plates. From Berlin comes a report saying: An utter defeat of a British force in Mesopotamia, with a loss of r 000 officers and men in a battle that ra"ed from November 23 to November 20. is re- -ounted in a report sent from Turkish headquarters, as "iven out by the Overseas Agency. Turkish i troops on the Irak front are pursuing the British to make their defeat more complete, says the report Hie British were unable to stop their retreat in the fortifieu town of Azizi. which the Turks captured. They therefore tried to halt teu miles southwest of the town, but a sudden Turkish attack the night of Novemlier .50 forced them farther back in the direction of Kut-El-Amara, 103 miles south of Bagdad. A dispatch from Vienna of yesterday says: "Italian assaults on Goriiz are in progress more violently than ever today. The Italians apparently were reorganizing their forces during the lull yesterday and resumed the assault, according to the Austrian war office under cover of a dense fog. With the mist so thick that the opposing troops could see eacn other only at short range, the Austrians are declared to "have beaten back all attacks on the bridgehead Kepulse is reported also of three assaults on the Austrian line in the Oslavia district and of offensives at Tolmino and Marzlivrh." When the Illinois tax commission meets, which probably will be today, the state tax rate for the current year will be given a raise. This was learned yesterday. The new rate promises to be not less than fifty-five cents on the 00 of as-sesed valuation; it may be raised to sixty cents, the preference of State Treasurer Russel. The two democrats on the commission. Governor Dunne and Auditor Bradv, are said to incline toward the fifty-five-cent rate. Last years rate was forty-eight cents. The London Morning Post says it has been informed officiallv that the statement of Kichard G. Wagner. i resident of the American Transatlantic Couiiuiny. that the British government has requisitioned the Hocking. Genesee and Kankakee is untrue. Ambassador Page has received no information in regard to the report received by the American state department that the British government has requisitoned steamships of the American Transatlantic Company. Canadian bankers have agreed to co-operate to extend credits to Great Britain to help pay shell orders placed in Canada. Britain has paid Canada cash for munitions and has loaned the Dominion S150.00o.000 for war operations. Until the end of the war the process will be reversed. It is estimated that bv the end of 1916 Canada will have spent 00,000,000 on war expenses and will have manufactured for Great Britain to the value of 1915.sh00,000,000. Members of the Serbian chamber of deputies and the minister of war have arrived at Saloniki, while the minister of finance is at Fiorina, Greece, fifteen miles southeast of Monastir. Other Serbian governmental offices now at Elbassau aud Koritsa will be removed to Albania. I"remier Asquith yesterday finally disposed of rumors that Lord Kitchener had withdrawn from the cabinet. Answering a query addressed to him in the house of commons, the prime minister stated that Kitchener "has resumed his duties as war minister." The British steamship Langton Hall has been sunk by a submarine in the Mediterranean. Part of her "crew has re m lied land. The Langton Hall was a vessel of 4.4o7 tons, bound from Calcutta to New York. Sergeant Georges Carpentler. champion heavyweight pugilist of Europe, now attached to the French aviation corps, has been decorated with the military cross for brilliant and daring reconnaissances in an aeroplane.