Mr. Straus to Mr. Hay.
Constantinople , February 28, 1899 .
Sir: I let no opportunity pass to press the indemnity negotiations, which have to be carried on with the Palace as distinguished from the Porte.
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In answer to my statement that my Government certainly expects that no unusual delay shall take place in fulfilling the Sultan’s promise to liquidate the indemnity, of which I had advised my Government by telegraph, the Sultan’s secretary stated to our interpreter His Majesty requested him to say he had ordered the liquidation and payment and it would be made.
Yesterday our interpreter, Mr. Gargiulo, went again to the Palace, and the secretary, after consulting the Sultan, stated that it had been fully decided to buy a cruiser in America, and arrangements were being made through bankers in Paris for the installment payments prior to concluding the contracts, and that I would be informed as soon as these arrangements are concluded, which will be in a short time.
The secretary then said he was requested by the Sultan to ask me to telegraph my Government the result of the recent experiments with dynamite guns, with a view if they have proved satisfactory he purposed to arrange for the arming of the cruiser with such guns.
I understand negotiations of a similar kind are in contemplation and in progress with other countries whose governments have preferred indemnity claims. * * *
I have, etc.,