to Mr. Fish.
Rome , November 29, 1873. (Received December 23.)
Sir: Your telegram relating to the protection of American citizens at Madrid arrived at Rome late in the night between Sunday and Monday last. It was brought to the office of the legation and to my house, but, through some misapprehension of the porters, was refused at both places, and was not communicated to us until Monday afternoon.
The minister of foreign affairs was then at the chamber of deputies, and the subordinate officers of that ministry did not think themselves authorized to act on our request and as Mr. Visconti Venosta was engaged in attending and replying to an interpellation, it was impossible to see him until the adjournment in the evening. He then expressed himself as favorably disposed to the application, and gratified with the compliment to his government, but said he could not give a decisive answer until after consultation with Mr. Minghetti. His reply in the affirmative was received on Tuesday afternoon, and immediately communicated by telegraph both to the State Department at Washington and to the legation at Madrid.
I have, &c.,