Mr. Hirsch to Mr. Blaine.

No. 134.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a note of the Sublime Porte in reply to my No. 27 of March 1, 1890, in the matter of the illegal arrest of Moses Angel and Shalom Kanstoroom. It will be seen that the Turkish version of the affair is in direct contradiction of that of Consul Gillman. I have lately had two interviews with His Highness, the Grand Vizier on the subject, but, in view of the wide difference in the two statements, have not been able to arrive at any result.

In order to ascertain, however, if possible, the facts as they transpired, a suggestion for another attempt to arrive at the truth was accepted by both the Grand Vizier and myself, and in harmony with it I have requested Consul-General Sweeney to instruct Consul Gillman to meet the governor of Jerusalem, and the two in an amicable spirit proceed jointly to investigate the case and report the findings, so as to enable the two Governments to settle the matter satisfactory to both. The governor of Jerusalem has received similar instructions from his Government, and I hope that our joint effort to ascertain the real facts may prove successful.

[Page 767]

I inclose a copy of my dispatch to the consul-general and hope that my action will meet with your approval.

I have, etc.,

Solomon Hirsch.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 134.]

Said Pasha to Mr. Hirsch.

Sir: I have had the honor to receive the note Your Excellency kindly addressed to me on the 1st of March last, No. 27, relating to the ill treatment received by Messrs. Moses Angel and Shalom Kanstoroom, American citizens at Jerusalem.

The local authorities, questioned on the subject, declare that the complaints of the above named are totally void of foundation. Here are the facts just as they occurred: Moses Angel was in arrears for the payment of the tax on real estate. In spite of all the steps and summonses, he persisted in refusing, and not being satisfied to answer with abusive language in one of the last attempts of the fiscal agent, he threatened him some time later in the streets with a weapon he was carrying about him. Taken to the siege of authority, out of a conciliatory spirit, he was delivered to his consulate, and it was also out of courtesy only that Rechad Pasha at once advanced the amount of which Moses Angel was the debtor, and which has not yet been paid back.

Shalom Kanstoroom also has not suffered any molestation, and it is evidently in order to escape from the payment of his arrears of tax that he puts forward his claim, but Your Excellency is too just to allow these American citizens to use similar means in order to screen themselves from their obligations. Thus I am persuaded that you will issue orders in consequence to the consulate of the United States at Jerusalem.

Please accept, etc.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 134.]

Mr. Hirsch to Mr. Sweeney.

Sir: In the matter of the illegal arrest of Moses Angel in Jerusalem, it appears that the reports made by Consul Gillman on the one side and the governor of Jerusalem on the other are as wide apart as ever, so far as the same relate to the facts of the case. It would appear from Angel’s affidavit attached to the consul’s report that he at his own house told the Turkish official that “if he would try to break his door down, he would shoot.” No admission is made by him that he actually drew a revolver. On the other hand, the governor reports to the Grand Vizier that Angel drew a revolver on the official in the street near the bazaar without any provocation at the time.

It would seem that one or the other of these two high officials has been misinformed, or it may be that both have been somewhat misled by the respective interested parties.

The United States Government is desirous of ascertaining all the facts before taking any positive steps in the premises, and it seems that it should not be difficult to do so, provided both parties to the controversy are equally desirous of arriving at the truth.

I have therefore deemed it prudent to suggest that Consul Gillman and His Excellency the governor of Jerusalem should come together amicably and together endeavor to ascertain the real facts in this matter.

I have good grounds for believing that the governor will receive a like suggestion from the Central Government here, and it is to be hoped that their combined effort for the ascertainment of the facts will result in a report which will enable the two Governments to arrive at a speedy settlement of this matter, as well as that of the alleged arrest of Shalom Kanstoroom.

You will acquaint Consul Gillman with the contents of this and instruct him to act in accordance with the spirit of the suggestion herein contained.

I have, etc.,

Solomon Hirsch.