Mr. Foster to Mr. Snowden.
Washington, February 7, 1893.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatches numbered 59 and 63, of January 7 and 14, relative to the case of the American missionaries in the Caroline Islands.
It would seem sufficient to simply call your attention to the note of the Duke of Tetuan to Mr. Grubb, dated January 11, 1892, transmitted to the Department January 16, in which he said:
However, the Government of Her Majesty, aspiring to please that of the United States, lays aside such charges and trusts that the continuance of the American missionaries in the Carolines will not give rise to any difficulties as to progress and peaceful development of that Spanish colony. In this intelligence it will continue dictating further instructions.
With respect to the question of damage to Mr. Doane, the Duke of Tetuan then adds that his Government simply “awaits some evidence which must soon come from the governor general of the Philippines in order to settle the same with all haste possible and in the most just and equitable manner.”[Page 571]
This Government understood from this note that Her Majesty’s Government withdrew any objection which it might have had to the return of the missionaries to Ponapé. If instructions in that sense had been promptly sent to the colonial authorities, as the Duke of Tetuan’s note would seem to have promised, the incident except as regards the question of damage might have been regarded as closed. On the 20th of October, however, this Department was informed that the missionary vessel had called at Ponapé with the missionaries once or twice within the past two years, and that the governor had declared himself unable to welcome the missionaries back until he had authority from Spain.
The frank assurances given by Her Majesty’s Government in 1885, and its specific assurance of January 11, 1892, this Government expects will be faithfully and promptly carried out. It especially expects that there will be no delay in sending the proper instructions to the governor of the East Carolines to permit these missionaries to return to their homes at Ponapé. That having been satisfactorily arranged there remains the question of damages for past injuries, as regards which the instructions already sent you would seem to be sufficiently explicit.
I am, etc.,