Mr. Storer to Mr. Hay.

No. 128.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt, this morning, of your cable instruction, the true reading of which I take to be as follows:

Your telegram of the 17th instant, concerning delivery Spanish prisoners by Filipinos, had due consideration. Reports from general commanding show that real obstacle to surrender lies in the insistence of Filipinos that Spain recognize the insurgent government as condition for return of prisoners. Surrender to vessel flying Spanish flag is inadmissible, being tacit recognition. Delivery of prisoners to vessel flying Geneva Red Cross flag would be entirely unobjectionable, and [Page 691] General Otis will be instructed to facilitate such delivery by every means in his power. It is, however, apprehended that insurgents will refuse this.

I immediately communicated the substance of this instruction verbally to the minister of state, and received his personal acknowledgments of grateful recognition for this friendly action on the part of the Government of the United States.

I have, etc.,

Bellamy Storer.