Mr. Lee to Mr. Bayard .
Vienna , August 6, 1885. (Received August 18.)
Sir: Refering to Mr. Francis’s dispatch, No. 125, under date of August 3, I have to report that pursuant to the appointment made with Count Kalnoky on Monday, August 3, I called at the foreign office on Tuesday, August 4, to receive from his excellency an answer to the substance of your dispatch to Mr. Francis dated July 1.
Count Kalnoky said that immediately on hearing of the appointment of Mr. Keiley to Austria-Hungary he telegraphed Baron Schaeffer confidentially the wishes of his Government, his intention being that his views should be verbally communicated to Mr. Bayard. He said that the objection to Mr. Keiley did not in any manner involve the question of liberty of conscience, for on that score he thought that the laws of this country were as liberal as those of my own; but that the anti-Semitic [Page 37] social feeling here was a fact; that a person of proximate Semitic descent would be excluded both by the social and diplomatic circles of Vienna, and that fact was beyond the control of his Government; that he would not speak of Mr. Keiley’s views on the differences between Italy and the Pope beyond saying that his form of expression was very objectionable and even insulting to the reigning dynasty of a friendly and neighboring country; that since the question of Mr. Keiley’s reception had become public, there has developed here an almost unanimous public opinion as expressed by the press and through other agencies against the propriety of his recognition by this Government; that he (Count Kalnoky) reluctantly and in a spirit of the kindest friendship towards a Government with which his own had sustained the friend best relations, whose representatives here had all been most highly esteemed in the diplomatic corps, and some of whom (notably Mr. Francis) had also acquired distinguished social position, felt obliged, as he could not secure for Mr. Keiley the position due to a United States minister, to ask me to say to Mr. Bayard that he could not receive Mr. Keiley and would ask him to make another selection.
Count Kalnoky said that he had of course informed the Emperor on the subject; that His Majesty had not expressed any individual opinion concerning it, but had referred the decision to him.
He further said that his reference to the diplomatic practice of obtaining of a foreign Government its agrément to the nomination of a minister, was meant only to indicate how such diplomatic questions as this one, for instance, were frequently avoided by Governments, but not with any intention of criticising the methods in use by the United States in such matters. He also said he was quite ready to admit all of Mr. Keiley’s good qualities, and was extremely sorry for him individually on account of the position he found himself in; but he felt his own action in the premises had been from the first calculated to relieve him from a more disagreeable one.
He thought it undiplomatic to have intimated, without adducing some confirmatory proof, that Italy was influencing the decision of his Government, but would say that he had not been approached on the subject, once even, by the Italian ambassador.
I replied that I very much regretted that his sense of duty obliged him to decide as he had done, and that I should immediately inform Mr. Bayard of the decision.
I thereupon telegraphed you as follows: (Substance of this telegram will be found in Document No. 19.)
I have written to Mr. Keiley at Paris informing him of the decision in his case.
I have, &c.,