Mr. Tower to Mr. Hay.
St. Petersburg, July 27, 1901.
Sir: I have the honor to report to you for your information that Mr. George Kennan, an American citizen, recently visiting St. Petersburg, was directed day before yesterday by the Russian police authorities to quit the Empire. Mr. Kennan arrived here about three weeks ago, by way of Finland, and has since been staying at the Hotel d’Angleterre in this city. His criticisms of the Russian Government in a book which he published some years ago in relation to the penal institutions of Siberia have not been considered either just or fair by the Russians themselves, and his presence here has not been looked upon with favor by the official community of the Empire.
Although Mr. Kennan reported himself to the police authorities of St. Petersburg upon his arrival here, as all travelers are required by law to do, he has not been disturbed until now. He has been treated with entire courtesy and consideration; though, having voluntarily placed himself within the jurisdiction of the Russian law, he has become, as he himself admits, amenable to its provisions and is consequently ordered beyond the frontier.
Mr. Kennan wrote to me last evening as follows:
A very courteous officer from the department of police called at my room this afternoon to inform me that, by direction of the minister of the interior, and in accordance with chapter 313 of Volume II of the laws of the Empire, I, as an “untrustworthy” American citizen am to be sent out of the country by the train leaving here for Germany at 10.30 to-morrow night. Meanwhile I am under close arrest in my room.
Of course they are acting within their right, and I have no complaint whatever to make, nor do I ask any interposition on the part of the embassy.
Mr. Kennan requested that Mr. Morgan, secretary of this embassy, should go to him to assist in having some books packed which he could not carry in his trunk. At my request Mr. Morgan called upon Mr. Kennan yesterday to ask whether he was in need of any assistance. Mr. Kennan replied that he had nothing to ask for, and that he met with politeness from all the officials of the Imperial police. He left St. Petersburg last evening at 10.30 o’clock.
The chapter 313 of Volume II of the Russian law, under which this expulsion has taken place, reads as follows:
Governors of provinces shall have supervision of all residents within their jurisdiction, and also of all foreigners who may be temporarily sojourning therein either for purposes of business or otherwise. They shall secure to such foreigners the benefits to which they may be entitled under the law, and shall protect them in the pursuit of their several occupations.[Page 452]
But they shall require the passports of all foreigners to be in due legal form; and shall also keep a detailed account, to be transmitted by them to the higher police authorities, of the conduct, actions, and mode of life of all such foreigners.
Foreigners who have come into Russia with passports may be expelled from the Empire only upon the decision of a court of law or by order of the higher police authorities.
Those foreigners whose behavior is suspicious and those who are not desirable as residents within the Empire may be expelled by order of the minister of the interior.
I have the honor to inclose to you herewith a copy of Mr. Kennan’s letter to me under date of the 25th of July, 1901.
I have, etc.,