No. 306.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen .

No. 62.]

Sir: As pertinent to your dispatch, No. 32, January 7, ultimo, relative to the withdrawal of the protection our citizens have habitually enjoyed from British consuls at places in the Ottoman Empire where we had no representatives, I have the honor to inclose for your consideration a copy of a communication received this morning from Lord Dufferin, in which there will be found, I believe, a happy solution of the trouble which it was your purpose to provide against. Accordingly, until I hear from you further, I shall venture to delay addressing his excellency the minister of foreign affairs upon the subject.

If you will permit the suggestion, I have taken pains to inform myself of the views of leading missionaries resident here, and, without meaning any reflection upon the good-will of the Turkish authorities in whatever part, they are of opinion that British protection would be greatly preferred by their brethren in the interior. They say it has always been generously given; they are used to it, and have found it effective.

Your worthy correspondent, Mr. Clark, is mistaken in his idea that the British circular of withdrawal of protection was moved by the Turks. Besides the explanation of the objects of the circular given in Lord Dufferin’s note as proceeding from Earl Granville, his lordship has assured me verbally that there was no interference in the matter by the imperial authorities. This, in justice to the latter, as well as to show that the right of the English to give protection at their pleasure, is still unquestioned.

The correspondence alluded to by Lord Dufferin in his first paragraph will be found in my dispatch to the Department, No. 45, dated December 20, 1881.

I have the honor, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 62.]

Lord Dufferin to Mr. Wallace .

Sir: In my letter to you of the 19th ultimo I had the honor to inform you that I had submitted to Earl Granville your request that Her Majesty’s consular officers in the [Page 502] Ottoman Empire might continue to afford consular protection to American citizens in places where there are no United States consular representatives.

In reply to my dispatch, Earl Granville has begged me to assure you that Her Majesty’s Government, in issuing the circular respecting the restriction of British consular protection to British subjects alone, did not contemplate the withdrawal from your countrymen of the benefits they might derive from the good offices of Her Majesty’s consuls. Further, in order to remove all misunderstanding on this subject, Earl Granville has requested me to send fresh instructions to Her Majesty’s consuls in the Ottoman Empire, to the effect that although by the circular in question they were desired to discourage as much as possible the granting of British protection to persons who were not British subjects, they may still continue to extend their good offices to foreign missionaries or religious communities in cases of unmerited violence or oppression by the local authorities, provided that no inconvenience has hitherto arisen from such action, and provided that their protection is not carried further than if the case were that of a British subject.

These instructions will accordingly authorize Her Majesty’s consuls to continue to give such friendly assistance and support to American citizens as they have been in the habit of giving in places where no American consular authority resides.

I have the honor, &c.,