Mr. Riddle to Mr. Gresham.

No. 243.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instructions No. 173, of April 17, and No. 174, of April 18.

There seems to exist a misapprehension as to the source of the orders for Mrs. Toprahanian’s expulsion, as the instruction alludes to the “action of the caimacam of Alexandretta, who, in the face of the orders from Constantinople to permit these unfortunate persons to depart, * * * commanded their expulsion within one hour’s time.”

The minister of foreign affairs, however, in the conversation which I have reported in my No. 234 of April 21, did not attempt to shift the responsibility for the harsh action upon distant subordinates, as he freely admitted that the order for expulsion emanated from Constantinople, his only apology being that at that inopportune time the Sultan was so greatly worked up over Armenian outbreaks that it was impossible for the Porte to take the responsibility of ordering gentler measures.

I have, etc.,

J. W. Riddle.