No. 14.

Mr. Francis to Mr. Bayard .

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Referring to my letter to you of the date of June 17, I beg leave to submit the following:

Calling at the foreign office yesterday afternoon, mainly with the view of ascertaining whether the Emperor was likely to remain at the capital during the season longer than the present month, my object being to learn the fact with reference to an audience of His Majesty in behalf of my successor and myself at a convenient period, Count Kalnoky, minister of foreign affairs, at once commenced conversation respecting the appointment of Mr. Keiley to represent our Government near this court. He related that a confidential telegram was sent by him to Baron Schaeffer to indicate in a friendly way to you that His Majesty’s Government preferred that some other selection should be made as my successor for this post; that you replied to this intimation by setting forth an argument upon the question, dwelling especially upon the marital relationship of Mr. Keiley, which had been incidentally referred to by him (Count Kalnoky) not as a Government, but as a social element in the case which this Government could not control. He said he had declined to enter into a discussion of the case, because it was deemed sufficient in a diplomatic sense—and was altogether consistent with the most friendly relations—for a Government to intimate its objections to a minister sent to it, or proposed to be sent to it, by another Government; and such objections were usually regarded, and were not made the basis of diplomatic discussion. Italy had just objected to Mr. Keiley, and in consequence he resigned his office as minister to that court. He was, however, immediately appointed to Austria. This Government objected as soon as it heard of his appointment here, but Baron Schaeffer was told it was too late—Mr. Keiley was already on his way to Vienna. It would seem, said Count Kalnoky, that objections in such a case could not properly be overruled because of a hasty departure on the part of the appointed minister. The objections still exist, the same as if he had not left the country before it was possible for us to present them to Mr. Bayard. He said that they were not founded, so far as this Government was concerned, upon the fact that Mrs. Keiley had been a Jewess. That fact, however, with marriage under civil law alone, would inevitably involve social exclusion. But the main reason for objections on the part of this Government is not only the action of Italy in the premises, but the public utterances of Mr. Keiley, which were of a character not agreeable to it. His position here would not be comfortable. We have sustained, he said, most kindly relations with your country. We sincerely wish to maintain those relations. We should not fail to recognize objections by your Government, and give them effect without entering into discussion on the subject before the world, against any minister we might propose to send to the United States. We would say the Government of the United States is a judge of this matter for itself; it is not for us to make up that judgment. And now we only ask in the interest of a common amity that this diplomatic rule shall be extended to us in the case under consideration. We do not want Mr. Keiley, and ought we not to be judges for ourselves? As to our liberality and good feeling towards diplomatic representatives from the United States to this country, you, Mr. [Page 30] Minister, and your predecessors can testify. We are not intolerant; we mean to be just. We have our opinions and objections, and we think that, in a proper way, we may be allowed to give them expression and effect.

I said to Count Kalnoky that while I could not discuss this question with him at all, since it was receiving the personal attention of Mr. Bayard, I must be permitted to express my deep regret that such feeling existed. I was here awaiting the arrival of my successor, and hoped an amicable arrangement of the matter would soon ensue. I inquired as to audience of His Majesty in behalf of my successor and myself after his arrival in Vienna, which might not be much longer delayed. Count Kalnoky replied that the Emperor was to leave for Ischl within a day or two, and would hold no more formal or diplomatic assemblies until September.

This, then, is the situation. I have carefully and accurately reported it. I have only to add that a sense of duty impels me to call your attention again to my confidential communication of the 17th instant, and especially to the three last paragraphs of that letter.

I have, &c.,

JOHN M. FRANCIS.