Ambassador Reid to the Acting Secretary of State.

No. 21.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of personal letters received by me at my residence on the evening of July 3d from Lord Knollys for His Majesty the King, and from Lord Lansdowne, with reference to the lamentable death of the late Secretary of State. The next morning I returned notes of acknowledgment, and transmitted the substance of the letters to you by cable.

A memorial service for Mr. Hay, to be held in St. Paul’s Cathedral on the day of the funeral, was proposed by the Ven. Dr. Sinclair, Archdeacon of London, with a special collect for the occasion. I gratefully [Page 15] accepted the proposal. Mr. Van Duzer, honorable secretary of the American Society in London, kindly took charge of the general distribution of the 2,500 tickets to applicants, and the embassy made the proper arrangements for officials of the government and others who applied to it.

The King instructed the Earl of Denbigh, lord in waiting, to attend as his personal representative. The prime minister, Mr. Arthur Balfour, caused a letter to be sent, expressing great regret that the hour conflicted with imperative duties for himself and other ministers in the House of Commons, and requesting cards for a representative he wished to send. Lord Lansdowne attended in person, as did a great many others of high distinction in the government.

It may be proper to add that universal regret for the loss of Mr. Hay has been manifested in the public press, that there has been a constant stream of callers at the embassy and at Dorchester House, including English, Americans, and members of the diplomatic corps, to express sympathy, and that letters of regret and sympathy have been received from personages like Lord Rosebery, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, and very many others.

Copies of the replies to the letters from Buckingham Palace and the foreign office are herewith inclosed; also a copy of the letter from the prime minister, and of the order for the service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, with the special collect marked, and also a clipping from to-day’s “Times” giving an account of the memorial service.

I have, etc.,

Whitelaw Reid.
[Inclosure 1.]

Lord Knollys to Ambassador Reid.

Dear Mr. Whitelaw Reid:

The King desires me to say that, although he telegraphed to the President respecting Mr. Hay, he is anxious to express his sincere sympathy with you also, who, he believes, was one of Mr. Hay’s closest friends, both politically and privately, on the irreparable loss which you have suffered by his death.

His Majesty knew him very well when he was ambassador in London, and he has always entertained a high feeling of regard and friendship for him, and he looks upon his disappearance from the political scene not only as a severe national blow to America, but one of almost equal gravity to England.

Believe me, yours truly,

[Inclosure 2.]

The Minister of Foreign Affairs to Ambassador Reid.

My Dear Ambassador: As you are aware, we did not lose a moment in instructing Sir Mortimer Durand to express in the proper quarter the deep sorrow with which His Majesty’s Government had heard of Colonel Hay’s sad death; but I am anxious that you, as one of his greatest friends and the representative of the government of which he was so distinguished a member, should know how sincerely my colleagues and I have felt for your country in this hour of sorrow common to both nations.

Colonel Hay was regarded with universal respect, and with something more than respect, by the British people. He was no stranger to us, but he had endeared himself, not only by his personal qualities, so admirable and so calculated to gain our affection, but because we knew that no public man in America had worked harder or more successfully than he did [Page 16] to keep the two nations together, and we feel that although our relations are happily of a kind which does not depend merely upon personal influences, his death is, for us all, an irreparable calamity.

We offer the respectful expression of our sympathy to the President, who finds himself deprived of a devoted and trusted colleague, and to Colonel Hay’s family in the great misfortune which has overtaken them.

Believe me, etc.,