Mr. Blaine to Mr. MacNutt .

No. 254.]

Sir: I transmit for your further information a copy of a letter from Mr. Judson Smith, with its inclosed letter from Mr. Henry O. Dwight, of Constantinople, in relation to the continued interference of the authorities of Erzerum with the freedom of Mr. Richardson, an American citizen residing at that place, this being the case reported in your No. 347 of the 26th of last September.

It would seem that the delivery to Mr. Richardson of the travel permit, or teskeré, although repeatedly promised to the legation by the foreign office, has not been effected by the authorities at Erzerum. It is not for a moment supposed that the Government of the Porte can tolerate any such dereliction of duty on the part of the provincial authorities, or fail to rebuke so grave an act, in the face of its positive assurances that the needed teskere would be given.

If when you receive this instruction you find that Mr. Richardson is still denied the permission to travel to which he is clearly entitled, and his right to which has been solemnly admitted by the imperial Government, and if he should still be virtually a prisoner in the province, you will earnestly invite the attention of the minister for foreign affairs to the situation, and will ask that positive and peremptory orders be issued which will admit of no further evasion or delay on the part of the local authorities. Under the circumstances you are justified in asking that the necessity of a provincial teskeré be obviated by the issuance of such a document or its equivalent travel permit by the imperial authorities at the capital, and that the permit be delivered to you, for dispatch to Erzerum by the dragoman of the legation, whom you will send thither [Page 765] for that purpose. Mr. Gargiulo can go by steamer to Trebizonde, from which point you will ask for a suitable guard to accompany him to Erzerum.

Mr. Gargiulo will take advantage of his visit to Erzerum to investigate and report fully touching the situation there as it affects our citizens. A separate account should be rendered covering the actual and necessary expenses of his journey.

Should Mr. Richardson have received his travel permit, it will not be necessary for Mr. Gargiulo to go to Erzerum. In that case after the return of the minister to Constantinople, it is probable that he will be instructed to cause a special investigation to be made on the spot by the secretary of legation.

I am, etc.,

James G. Blaine.