Mr. Webb to Mr. Gresham.

No. 172.]

Sir: The Imperial Government has extended the time for the final expulsion of those Jews from St. Petersburg who are here in violation of the laws permitting their race to reside in this province to June, 1895. This is owing to the fact that the sudden withdrawal of so many laborers from the city would injure the interests of the merchant class. The explanation given by a high Government official of the entire movement, so far as it concerns this city, is that the laws permit the following classes of Jews to live here:

  • First. Merchants of the first and second guilds.
  • Second. Soldiers of the Emperor Nicholas who availed themselves of an imperial permission to register themselves as such within a certain period, long since expired, and their descendants.
  • Third. Artisans of a certain grade who have registered.
  • Fourth. Graduates of universities.

That in the past fifteen years the Jewish population has enormously increased by natural means, by the bringing in of aged relatives, marriage, visiting friends, etc., and that now the class is to be weeded out and restricted to its legal limits. While this entails great hardship, the authorities say openly that it can not be helped; that the native Russian population can not compete with the Jew; that his mental equipment, steadfastness of purpose, self-denial, and clannishness make him so superior to the Slav that, for the Slav’s own preservation, he must go. They also cite, as an example of their tolerance and to prove that their action is based on reasons of social economy rather than of religious intolerance, that recently a magnificent Jewish synagogue was consecrated here with great pomp and ceremony.

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I am, etc.,

G. Creighton Webb,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.