No. 393.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Stallo.

No. 81.]

Sir: I transmit for your information a copy of a letter of 31st January last, to Mr. Patrick Dwyer, touching the suggested presentation of a memotial from creditors of Archibishop of purcell to His Holiness the Pope.

I am, etc.,

T. P. Bayard.
[Page 642]
[Inclosure in No. 81.]

Mr. Bayard to Mr. Dwyer.

Sir: I have to acknowledge your letter of the 23d instant, inquiring, by a series of interrogatories (twelve in number), whether it is compatible with his official duty for the United States minister to Italy to present to His Holiness the Pope and Cardinal Simeoni a memorial from the creditors of Archbishop Purcell and transmit the reply thereto, or whether the minister can be instructed by this Department to do so personally or through an agent.

To these questions I reply: This Government, when seeking redress for citizens of the United States from residents in Italy, is limited to diplomatic appeals to the King of Italy, either through its minister at Rome or His Majesty’s minister at Washington. It can not address the Pope personally, and a minister to a foreign country can only communicate officially with persons living under its sovereignty through the channels of customary international intercourse.

It is not consistent with the public service for one of our foreign ministers to press on the tribunals, ecclesiastical or lay, of the Government to which he is accredited, the collection of private debts. The foreign minister, in seeking redress under his Government’s instructions for injuries to his country or its citizens, must alone address the sovereign to whom he is accredited; and what the minister can not be instructed to do officially he can not be authorized to do in his private capacity, either personally or through an agent.

Very respectfully, yours,

T. F. Bayard.