Mr. Tyler to Mr. Hay.
Teheran, September 21, 1904.
Sir: I have the honor to report for your information that, in view of the delay, hesitation, and ambiguous statements of the Persian Government with reference to the failure to arrest the murderers of the late Mr. Labaree, I paid a visit yesterday to the minister for foreign affairs at his residence in the country.
In addressing his excellency I remarked that the American Government was still anticipating and expecting the arrest of these men, and was astonished, considering the information that had been received from the legation, their own officials, and other sources, that no serious attempt had been made to arrest and bring these criminals to trial. It might, I added, be possible from local observation and personal acquaintance with the condition of the province, and the [Page 674] absence of any efficient administrative control over frontier tribes to present an explanation that would satisfy His Majesty’s Government, but could, under no circumstances, be considered an excuse sufficient to commend itself either to the American Government or people. Seven months of protesting, urging, insisting, and demanding on one side, or promising, assuring, ordering, and ignoring on the other, had elapsed since this deplorable murder took place, and that so far as I could see we were in the same position, if not worse, than at the beginning. I admonished his excellency against a continuation of these methods, and insisted that these demands would not be relinquished until justice had been fully vindicated.
The minister, with much emphasis, assured me that a telegram had been received only three days before from the governor of Urumia declaring that he was putting measures into execution which would obtain the desired result, and that he had every hope to be able in a short time to report the capture of the culprits. He gave orders in my presence to the chief secretary to prepare a telegram reporting my interview, and urging in the strongest terms the necessity for having this matter settled.
His excellency desired me to telegraph this statement to the Government affirming that the authorities were doing whatever was possible, but that the state of the frontier and the conditions of the tribes were much more difficult to grapple with than was generally supposed.
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I have, etc.,