Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Constantinople, February 1 1882. (Received February 21.)
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.,