Mr. McDonald to Mr. Gresham.

No. 41.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith for your information a copy and translation of a letter from the prime minister in response to mine of the 5th instant, written under Mr. Adee’s instruction (a copy of which, under cover of No. 36, dated the 9th instant, was sent to the Department), relative to the case of Hajie Seyyah.

[Page 507]

It will be observed that the Persian Government, in defiance of the right or doctrine of expatriation, still maintains that Hajie Seyyah always was and will continue to be a Persian subject, unless, as admitted in the discussion and negotiations with Mr. Sperry, he had secured the permission of his Government to emigrate, which is probably never given, except to persons whose conduct and continued presence are objectionable.

As the Persian Government has evidently made up its mind to adhere to this contention in spite of reason and the common usages of nations, and as any attempt to controvert its position might possibly involve Hajie Seyyah, the person most concerned, in difficulties and loss, I have not thought it advisable, or even necessary, to send a reply. If in its wisdom, however, the Department should decide that the question should be reopened and the discussion continued for the sake of upholding the certificate of naturalization of Hajie Seyyah I await its instructions, although it can scarcely be hoped, I fear, that anything but friction and irritation would result. Persians, like their laws of old, never change.

I have, etc.,

Alex McDonald.
[Inclosure in No. 41.—Translation.]

The prime minister to Mr. McDonald.

Your Excellency: In reply to your letter dated the 27th of Rabbi II, 1311, with reference to the case of Hajie Seyyah, Mahallâti, I beg respectfully to say that Hajie Seyyah, of Mahallât, is a veritable subject of Persia whether he be resident in Persia or he depart for a foreign land. Under no circumstances can there be any change in his nationality, and wherever he may be he will be a citizen of Persia.

I send this reply so that there may be no objections raised in the future.

Accept, etc.,

[Seal of the prime minister.]