No. 319.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Bassett.

No. 231.]

Sir: I transmit a copy of a note of the 25th ultimo, addressed to this Department by Mr. Preston, the minister of Hayti accredited to this Government. It relates to the asylum which you thought proper to grant to political refugees in that country, and represents that you had not complied with a request which had been made of you by the government to furnish it with a list of them. It also says that some of them were received at your legation with arms and ammunition. As your dispatches have been silent upon these points, an explanation in regard to them will be desirable.

It is presumed that the decisive course which you have thought proper to adopt in regard to the refugees adverted to has been taken in full view of your accountability, not only to your own Government, but to that to which you are accredited. Whatever may be our disposition to receive reasons to palliate or justify your proceedings, it is still in the power of the Haytian government to refuse to be satisfied with them. This is a consideration which should always be borne in mind by a diplomatic agent. While he should not allow it to affect his sense of duty, he should be well aware of the consequence which may attend its conscientious discharge.

I am, &c.,