Mr. Straus to Mr. Blaine.
Constantinople , March 15, 1889. (Received March 30.)
Sir: Herewith I have the honor to inclose copy of a memorandum delivered to me on the 12th instant by the Rev. Henry O. Dwight, of the levant agency of the American Bible House, at Constantinople. By this report it appears that the Ottoman authorities in the vilayet of [Page 714] Van, a province in eastern Turkey near the Persian frontier, have closed several schools of the American missionaries in that locality. The number is not stated, but I learn it is four or five. It is stated that the managers of said schools have complied with the regulations requiring the submission by them to the vilayet authorities of a list of the books used in such schools, together with the curriculum of studies, and the certificates of the teachers.
I presented the matter on yesterday to his highness the Grand Vizier, and he promptly telegraphed to the vali, or governor-general of Van, to permit the re-opening of said schools, if they have complied with the provision of the school laws above referred to. There may be some delay in having these orders promptly complied with. I am of opinion that I shall succeed in having them re-opened without unreasonable postponement.
I learn that the original cause for closing these schools was because of their managers neglecting or refusing to submit to the regulations above referred to. I surmise that even now there continues in that respect some evasion. We have long since admitted the propriety and justice of these requirements, yet there is a tendency on the part of certain managers in distant provinces to evade the law.
I have, etc.,