Mr. Gresham to Mr. McDonald.
Washington, March 29, 1894.
Sir: I have received your No. 64 of the 8th ultimo, reporting the denial of the application of the Rev. James Hawkes, a citizen of the United States, for permission to open a school for the education of Jewish and Christian children at Kermanshah.
In his reply to your note submitting Mr. Hawkes’s application, the prime minister states that “it is evident” that the establishment of the proposed school “would result in trouble and disputes;” wherefore the Imperial Persian Government begs to be excused from granting the solicited permission.
The vagueness of the minister’s reply presents a dilemma, either aspect of which is unsatisfactory. If his excellency charges the projectors of this benevolent school with a purpose to raise trouble and disputes, it would be but fair to state the grounds of so Serious an aspersion against men whose humane profession and law-abiding record are well known. If, on the other hand, his excellency apprehends trouble and disputes being raised by Persian subjects against these peaceable doers of good among their fellow-men, his statement amounts to an admission of either inability or unwillingness to enforce in Persia the guarantees of the treaty of 1856, the third article of which stipulates that—
The citizens and subject of the two high contracting parties—travelers, merchants, manufacturers, and others—who may reside in the territory of either country shall be respected and efficiently protected by the authorities of the country and their, agents, and treated in all respects as the subjects and citizens of the most favored nation are treated.
The anticipated violation of Persian law, by persons amenable to that law, is no ground for denying treaty rights of residence and calling to the menaced alien when he himself shall conform to law.
Moreover, the fifth article of our treaty provides for the orderly and legal settlement of all suits and disputes between Persian subjects and citizens of the United States before the competent tribunal. What “trouble and disputes” not comprehensible under this article are intended by his excellency I am unable to conjecture. It is regretted that his excellency did not “bring these objections plainly to the mind of” the diplomatic representative of the United States, as he expressed a wish to do. Under any circumstances, however, it is clear that nothing in the treaty contemplates the avoidance of such disputes by the restriction or prohibition of the residential rights of American citizens.
Dr. Hawkes has given the best proof of his intention to respect the law and peace of Persia by the form and manner of his application.
The result of your intended supplementary appeal to his excellency the prime minister is awaited with interest.
I am, etc.,