Mr. Taylor to Mr. Gresham.

No 43.]

Sir: Since my No. 40, touching the Caroline incident, I have received from Señor Moret a reply to my note of the 18th of August, a translation of which I inclose herein. Awaiting your commands,

I am, etc.,

Hannis Taylor.
[Inclosure in No. 43.—Translation.]

Señor Moret to Mr. Taylor.

My Dear Sir: I have the honor to answer your courteous note of the 18th of August last, which reached me with some delay, and in which, referring to the settlement of the Caroline Islands affairs, already arranged between the two governments, you requested that of Her Majesty to fix a date for the return of the Methodist missionaries to Ponapé.

Great as may be the wishes of the Government which you so worthily represent for the realization of this event, those of Her Majesty’s Government are not less so, because in that way it would make manifest once more the friendship it feels for the United States.

The Government of Her Majesty does not pretend to delay the return of the missionaries without very powerful reasons; but it would incur great responsibility if, under the present circumstances, when the consequences resulting from the past regrettable events have not as yet disappeared, it were to grant its consent to the proposed return of the missionaries, exposing them, as it appears from the reports of the governor-general of the Philippines, to contingencies never to be sufficiently deplored.

The Government of Her Majesty can not, therefore, by virtue of the law of prudence, guarantee the safety of the persons and property of the Methodist missionaries should they now return to the island. Nor can it do so until the opinion, now rooted in the minds of those inhabitants, that the missionaries will never again establish themselves there, disappears, which opinion is undoubtedly supported by the manner in which the island was abandoned by the said missionaries. In this connection I must also remind you that the missionaries were not driven from the island, as it has been said. On the contrary, indisputable testimony proves that they absented themselves voluntarily in spite of the efforts of the governor to dissuade them from that purpose, promising them full liberty to hold their meetings as soon as the exceptional state of affairs brought about by the past deplorable events should cease.

Another proof of the benevolent sentiments which the Government of Her Majesty entertains toward the missionaries may be found in the fact that other similar Methodist missions continue to he established in other islands of the east group, such as Husai Walan, Truck, Mokil, and the group Moslock, in which, fortunately, the sad causes which to-day determine the danger of their return to Ponapé, are not opposed to the safety of the missionaries there.

The Government of Her Majesty adheres to what it has already promised, and as soon as the reports from the superior authority of Philippines (who has been again consulted) permit it, it will take a special care to announce to the Washington Government the date at which the missionaries may effect their return to Ponapé without risk.

I have only to add that the Government of Her Majesty considers this case as definitely ended, and that not wishing to retain in its hands a sum which already does not belong to it, as is the sum agreed upon as indemnity for those interested in this affair, this Government expects that the legation of the United States will name a person to whom the said sum is to be delivered.

I avail myself, etc.,

S. Moret.