Mr. White to Mr. Foster.

No. 882.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instruction, numbered 994, of the 13th instant, and of its inclosure, relative to our relations with the Ottoman Empire, and to acquaint, you that I had an interview yesterday with the Earl of Rosebery on the subject.

I explained briefly to his lordship the origin and character of our rights in Turkey and the tendency on the part of local functionaries rather than of the central Government at Constantinople to infringe upon or to ignore them; and I informed him that, in your opinion, the solidarity existing among Christian foreigners in Turkey, generally classed as Franks, is and should be more complete between citizens of the United States and subjects of Her Britannic Majesty than between those of other nations.

I also mentioned that you had recently had interviews on the subject with Sir Julian Pauncefote, who had taken occasion to convey to you the assurance that his Government is always disposed, if possible, to act in harmony with ours in maintaining the rights and in protecting the persons and property of English and Americans in Turkey, and that you had expressed the same desire on behalf of the United States, but had at the same time informed Sir Julian that while concurrent and harmonious action is eminently desirable whenever occasion should arise, and while the reciprocal good offices of the diplomatic and consular representatives of either nation should be equally extended to the citizens or subjects of both countries, the United States nevertheless reserve to themselves complete liberty and independence of action when it should be found advisable.

I then informed Lord Rosebery that you had instructed me to express to his lordship the cordial disposition of our Government to act concurrently and harmoniously with that of Great Britain in the protection and vindication of the rights of the citizens or subjects of either nation in Turkey, with the reservation, previously mentioned, of entire independence of action on the part of the United States should it be thought preferable.

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Lord Rosebery said in reply that he had not heard from Sir Julian Pauncefote on the subject, but that he had received with much satisfaction the communication which I had made to him, and that it would be the earnest desire of Her Majesty’s Government to act in perfect cordiality with that of the United States in the matter in question.

I have, etc.,

Henry White.