Minister Gummeré to the Secretary of State.

No. 47.]

Sir: I beg to report the following matter to the Department: Some time ago, as is my custom, I ordered some fowls to be sent to me by Thamy Slawee, of Alcazar Kebir, for many years under American protection, for “signal services.” On the 23d instant the fowls were delivered to me by Allal Ben Kasem, a servant of the said Slawee, who has been in his employ for a long time and has often been employed in the same manner. On the 25th instant I was informed that this said Allal Ben Kasem had been arrested by the basha of Tangier and was held in prison. Thinking some mistake had been made I sent to the basha and requested the man’s release. The basha expressed his regret at not being able to release him, as he had been arrested by the direct order of the acting minister of foreign affairs. On hearing this I sent my interpreter to the acting minister with an explanation of who the man was and that he had been sent to me, and pointed out that I was sure a mistake had been made; * * * that under Article IX of the treaty of Madrid such an arrest was illegal and could not be tolerated, and that in view of such explanation I was sure he would release him. To this he replied that he refused to release him under any circumstances. Thinking that there must be some misunderstanding I thereupon requested an interview with the acting minister, when I again explained all the circumstances and pointed out that as the man was in the employ of Thamy Slawee, who is under my protection, and had been sent to me on my personal business * * * under Article IX of the treaty of Madrid, the man could not be arrested without notification to the American authorities, and that therefore I must request his immediate release. To this request Hadj Hamed Torres, the acting minister of foreign affairs, again replied at once that under no circumstances would he release the man, who had been arrested by the request of his kaid near Alcazar, who charged that some years ago the man had been a tax collector and still owed the government money. I replied that as the man had been for a long time in the employ of Slawee and his kaid had only been in that office for a month the charge was at least vague, but that I would not discuss that matter, which was quite outside the real subject, that being the illegal manner of his arrest. * * * Whereupon the acting [Page 685] minister declined to discuss the matter further and again refused absolutely to release the man. I thereupon informed him that I would at once lay the matter before my own government and that of His Shereefian Majesty, to which he made the reply that that would make no difference to him. I have accordingly written a letter to the grand vizier, Ben Sliman, stating the whole case, as I have reported it, and requesting that the man be released and that the acting minister of foreign affairs be directed to apologize to me for the illegal arrest of the man. * * * This letter I have dispatched to Fez by Mr. Abrines, my interpreter, for personal delivery to the vizier. * * *

I feel sure that my request to the grand vizier will meet with a favorable response, and that the matter will soon be settled.

In submitting this matter I beg to request the approval and support of the Department as to my actions therein.

I am, etc.,

T. R. Gummeré.