Mr. Tyler to Mr. Hay.
Teheran, May 30, 1904.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I had a long conversation this morning with the minister for foreign affairs concerning the [Page 660]measures taken for the arrest of the accomplices in the murder of the late Mr. Labarre and his servant. I told his excellency that it was some satisfaction to know that Mir Ghaffar, about whose participation in the crime there could be no doubt, had been arrested; but from the information which had been received at the legation and communicated to him, there were still three Kurds, at the least equally culpable with the principal, who must be apprehended.
I also told his excellency that there was a rumor that the Madjd-es-Sultaneh, commander of the troops in Urumia, who was better acquainted with the whole facts of this and other outrages, and was not only capable but anxious to bring these criminals to justice, was about to be superseded. I urged him to use his influence to have this officer kept in his position until the case was settled. He assured me that he would do all he could and would telegraph to the Crown Prince not to remove him; and that no exertions were to be relaxed until the culprits were arrested.
It has on several occasions been reported to this and the English legation that the chief ecclesiastic in Urumia had used his position not only to shelter the criminals, but there were strong suspicions that he had even instigated the crimes. In my conversation I reminded his excellency that it was a most serious responsibility to keep a man in such a position who used his power and opportunities for breaking the law and frustrating the ends of justice, and I considered that if these offenses were proved against him he should not be allowed to escape with impunity. He said he agreed with me and that he would try and find some means of marking the Government’s disapproval of his actions.
In view of this crime, the periodical outrages, murders, robberies, and destructions of property which took place on the Turkish frontier, I told his excellency that the only effectual remedy would be in disarming the Kurds, and I begged him to take this matter into serious consideration. The minister took notes of the various points we had discussed, and desired me to write and assure you that he agreed with me in these matters and that he would do all in his power to remove the evils which were continually festering and disturbing the safety and tranquillity of those regions.
I have, etc.,