to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Paris, September 18, 1883. (Received October 2.)
Sir: Your dispatch No. 317, of July 26, 1883, transmitting a letter from Mr. John C. Lowrie, secretary of the board of missions of the Presbyterian Church, in relation to a decree of the French Government enforcing the exclusive use of the French language in the primary schools at Gaboon, instructed Mr. Brulatour to endeavor to obtain a modification of this decree, which could not be strictly enforced without great hardship to the American missionaries in that part of Africa.
With reference to this subject Mr. Brulatour, on August 11, addressed to the minister of foreign affairs the note of which a copy is inclosed herewith, to which Mr. Challemel Lacour has made the answer of which a copy and translation are also inclosed.
Mr. Challemel Lacour states substantially that his colleague, the minister of marine and of the colonies, cannot modify the decree, but that in deference to the desire expressed by the United States Government he will see how far it is possible to tolerate the simultaneous use, with the French language, of local dialects, and that the result of this examination will be made known hereafter.
I have, &c.,