Mr. Griscom to Mr. Hay.

No. 87.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 53 of April 14, 1904, inclosing for my information and for the attention of the Japanese Government a copy of a dispatch from Mr. Lambert, vice-consul, in charge of the American consulate at Tamsui, offering several suggestions to further restrain the inhabitants of the island of Botel Tobago who were implicated in the ill treatment of the survivors of the shipwrecked American vessel the Benjamin Sewall.

I immediately called the attention of the Japanese Government to Mr. Lambert’s three suggestions in a note to the minister for foreign affairs (a copy of which is herewith inclosed) and am now in receipt of his reply (a copy transmitted herewith), in which he says that the purport of my note had at once been communicated to the proper authorities.

I have, etc.,

Lloyd C. Griscom.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Griscom to Baron Komura.

Mr. Minister: With reference to my note which I had the honor to address to your excellency regarding the appreciation felt by my Government for the punitive measures visited by the Imperial Japanese Government upon the inhabitants of Botel Tobago Island for their inhuman behavior toward the survivors of the shipwrecked American vessel Benjamin Sewall, I have the honor to state that I am directed by my Government to convey to you some suggestions, which Mr. Lambert, vice-consul, in charge of the American consulate at Tamsui, has ventured to offer with a view to assisting the Imperial Japanese Government in further restraining the natives from the commission of like crimes.

It appears from information given Mr. Lambert by Doctor Goto, chief of the civil administration bureau, Formosan government, that a difficulty encountered by the Imperial Japanese Government in their earnest endeavors to fix the responsibility for the outrage was that no one, apparently, was able to speak the dialect of the Botel Tobagoans. Therefore the suggestion is made that three or four of the principal chiefs of the villages known to have been implicated in the outrage be held as hostages for the good behavior of their tribesmen for a period of not less than three years, and that the place of their detention be the jail at Taihoku, where an opportunity would present itself for some responsible official to acquaint himself with their dialect. It is also suggested that it might be well to increase the police force on the island of Botel Tobago, especially during the typhoon season when wrecks are more likely to occur, and, furthermore, in the event of the recurrence of such outrages the hostages be promptly made to pay the penalty.

I take, etc.,

Lloyd C. Griscom.
[Inclosure 2.]

Baron Komura to Mr. Griscom.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note of the 25th ultimo regarding the inhuman behavior of the inhabitants [Page 448]of Botel Tobago Island toward the survivors of the shipwrecked American vessel the Benjamin Sewall, and I beg to inform you in reply that the purport of the same has at once been communicated to the proper authorities.

I avail, etc.,

Baron Komura Jutaro.