Mr. Gresham to Mr. Terrell.

No. 266.]

Sir: Your dispatch No. 324, of the 16th ultimo, relative to the harsh treatment of Jews temporarily resorting to Jerusalem, has been received.

The restriction of the sojourn of visiting Jews in the ancient capital of their race has been enforced for several years past. Mr. Straus, in his No. 57, of January 28, 1888, touches upon the ostensible reasons for this limitation, which was originally fixed at one month and was about that time prolonged to three months. Extended correspondence in regard to the effect of this measure upon American Jews going to Jerusalem is printed in the second volume of Foreign Relations for 1888.

The arbitrary interferences with this class of voyagers which your dispatch reports, such as the detention of their personal effects at Jaffa in order to make their prolonged sojourn in Judea impossible or difficult, should properly call forth urgent remonstrance in the event of injuring any citizen of the United States; and should your surmise that the intolerant course of the Turkish officials in that quarter is prompted by corrupt motives be verified, those unworthy agents will doubtless be severely rebuked by the high authority of the Porte itself—which can not be supposed to countenance extortion in any form.

As regards the duration of the period during which law-abiding American citizens of the Jewish faith may propose to visit Jerusalem, this Government neither draws nor admits any presumption of intended permanent domicile there from the mere fact of resorting thither. Abandonment of American residence and consequent loss of the right of protection due to bona fide citizens can only be determined by the facts of each case as it may arise. As the records of your legation and of the consulate at Jerusalem will show, this Department has heretofore had occasion to deal with such cases on the facts, and has not hesitated to withdraw protection when permanent domicile in Judea was shown without evident intent to return to this country.

I am, etc.,

W. Q. Gresham.