Mr. Hay to Mr. McCormick.
Washington, April 11, 1904.
Sir: I inclose copy of a note of the 9th instant from the Japanese minister at this capital,a expressing the hope of his Government that this Government will use its good offices with Russia to obtain the release of the Japanese on board the press boat Hanyei Maru, chartered by a correspondent of the Asahi Shinbun.
The men in question are said to have been noncombatants and not engaged in the commission of any act hostile to Russia.
The minister points out that his Government has released all of the passengers on board of the Russian merchant vessels captured, also their officers and crew, except those whose evidence was needed in the admiralty courts.
You will endeavor to carry out the desire of the Japanese Government.
I am, etc.,