No. 12.

Mr. Bayard to Mr. Keiley (through United States minister to France).


Mr. McLane is directed to communicate to Mr. Keiley that two days after the latter had sailed for his post the Austrian minister in Washington had asked that the new minister’s departure be delayed until the Austrian Government had announced its acceptance of the appointment. It was stated that Mr. Keiley’s position at Vienna would be difficult, if not impossible, in consequence of the fact that his wife was a Jewess. Mr. Bayard had replied to the minister that Mr. Keiley had already sailed, and that the United States could not constitutionally admit, consider, or discuss any supposed disqualification of its officers based on religion. It was also denied that the consent of a foreign country was a condition precedent to appointment. The Austrian minister communicated Mr. Bayard’s note to his Government, and nothing further had been heard from him. It was not understood that the Austrian Government distinctly refused to receive Mr. Keiley for the reasons stated, but it holds out the threat of social ostracism, which would make the position of the minister painful and perhaps untenable. Full correspondence is forwarded by the mail of this date, and it is preferred that Mr. Keiley should see it before going to Vienna.