No. 417.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 322.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward a copy and translation of a communication from the Sublime Porte upon the subject of the attack upon Messrs. Knapp and Reynolds. It would seem to have been prepared before the reception of my note demanding indemnity, although it actually came to hand after that paper had been dispatched to his highness, the minister of foreign affairs.

It is in effect but a repetition of former notes, having no better foundation for its explanations and assurances than the reports of the governor of Bitlis.

His highness, the minister of foreign affairs, has not been to his office for more than two weeks. * * *

The last time I had the honor of an interview with his highness, the the minister of foreign affairs, he told me plainly that it had been resolved in the council of ministers to recall the governor of Bitlis. I pressed him to tell me when the order would be put in execution. He would give me no assurance or promise. From the note forwarded to you, it will be seen that the governor is still in office and that the Sublime Porte continues him in its confidence.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 322.—Translation.]

Aarifi Pasha to Mr. Wallace.

Mr. Envoy: I have received the note which Mr. Heap was good enough to address me the 13th December last, No. 190, relative to the attack of which Messrs. Knapp and Reynolds were the objects, in the vicinity of Ghuvrie.

I have not failed to communicate the matter to the minister of the interior, who has in response transmitted me the explanatory circumstances which the imperial authorities of the province of Bitlis have given him of the subject. As a result of the information which has been given them of the attack, the imperial authorities have shown the greatest zeal in investigating the affair. All the goods and effects stolen were immediately recovered and restored to their owners. At, the same time the suspected persons found in the village where the said property was secreted have been arrested, but when confronted with Mr. Knapp, he having declared that he did not recognize them as his assailants, they were naturally turned loose. Later, upon the representation of the United States legation, Moussa Bey was arrested as the principal culprit; but upon being confronted in turn with Mr. Knapp, the latter declared that he had no grievance against him, and he was not recognizable by his associate, and that he had never made complaints against them. Nevertheless, orders have been sent to the imperial attorney at Van, that he ask of Mr. Reynolds, who is at present in that city, some explanations on the point. But as Moussa Bey could not be equitably eommitted on the deposition of Mr. Knapp, he was also turned loose under bail, conformably to the law.

The local authorities continue to exert all their efforts to accomplish the discovery and punishment of the guilty parties, who are sought for with all possible diligence.

In consequence of the explanations above given, I hope your excellency will be so good as to recognize in justice that the imperial authorities of the vilayet of Bitlis are exerting themselves all they pan to fulfill their duties.

Kindly accept, &c.,