Minister Gummeré to the Secretary of State.

No. 59.]

Sir: In further confirmation of my No. 51 of October 20, 1905, I beg to inform you that notwithstanding my favorable report therein contained, regarding the condemnation by the Sultan and his grand vizier of the action of the acting minister of foreign affairs in arresting the servant of the American protégé, Thamy Slawee, contrary to treaty rights, and his rudeness to myself and their promise to at once accede to my demands for the release of the prisoner and an apology to myself, it is only at this date that I am able to report the fulfillment of the said promises and the closing of the incident. * * *

The departure of the French, British, and German missions, one after the other, from Fez, the farewell entertainments to them and press of final business incident to their departure; the advent of Ramadan, the great Mohammedan fast were each used in turn as excuses for delay in the matter. My dragoman, Mr. Abrines, who has acted very cleverly in conducting the affair, was met with fair promise and [Page 687] delays without end. Another item of delay was the difficulty of my speedy communication with him, as we have had torrential rains, and the mail couriers now take from seven to eight days for the journey between Tangier and Fez, and as much longer to return. Finally my patience was entirely exhausted, and after having received your approval of my action in demanding the release of the prisoner and an apology I wrote a peremptory letter to the grand vizier, saying that their delays would no longer be tolerated, and that if the Sultan’s promises and orders in the matter were not at once carried out I should recall my dragoman and lay the matter before my government for such action as should be deemed fit; at the same time I directed my dragoman to give notice of his immediate recall by me. Upon the receipt of this letter the Sultan sent for my dragoman, Mr. Abrines, and asked him to inform me that he begged me, as a personal favor to himself, to modify my original demand (which was that the acting foreign minister should bring the imprisoned man himself to me at the legation and then and there apologize to me for his conduct) and to grant that the prisoner be released and sent to the legation, and then the following day the acting foreign minister would call on me and make his apologies. Mr. Abrines at first declared to the Sultan that his orders from me were very explicit as to what I demanded, and that the Sultan himself had some weeks before promised that all I asked should be granted, and that therefore he could not place the Sultan’s request before me. The Sultan, however, persisted in his request, promising that if I would grant it to him as a personal favor everything else I might ask would be immediately granted and that such indemnity as I might exact in the case should be paid at once. Thereupon my dragoman yielded to his majesty’s entreaties and forwarded his request to me.

As I considered that all I had been contending for was really covered by what the Sultan offered, * * * I at once sent him word that I acceded to his request with pleasure and was sure my government would approve my action in so doing. On receipt of my message his majesty expressed the greatest pleasure and gratitude and immediately gave orders that letters should be sent to Tangier ordering that the terms agreed upon be carried out. On the night of the 21st instant I accordingly received, through Mr. Abrines, my dragoman, a Shereefian letter addressed to the acting minister of foreign affairs, which I at once dispatched to him. Within an hour later I was informed that the imprisoned man had been released and sent to the legation, and on the following day I received a request from the acting minister of foreign affairs to receive him this morning at the legation, to which I acceded. This morning, therefore, Hadj Hamed Torres, the acting minister of foreign affairs, came to the legation and apologized for his actions in the matter, and said he had acted under a misapprehension, and promised that nothing of the kind should ever occur again. I accepted his apology and told him that the matter would be forgotten between us, but at the same time I pointed out to him that the consequences of his action might have been very serious, and that in receiving him as I was doing I was acting at the direct personal request of his master, the Sultan, and that the incident is closed. As I have been to considerable expense in supporting the prisoner for over two months (if not fed by their own people they are left to starve), as well as for the expenses of Mr. Abrines at [Page 688] Fez, with one of my soldiers and a servant, as well as in supplying his place temporarily at the legation, for the same period of two months, I have thought it only just to accept the offer to pay an indemnity, or rather to exact a small sum sufficient to pay most of my expenses. I have therefore directed my dragoman to accept the sum of $400 Moorish money, which amounts to about $225 American money. This amount will about pay the expenses incurred and leave a small margin, which I shall pay to the wretched prisoner as a slight compensation. I trust in this, as in my other actions in this matter, I may have your approval.

I have directed my dragoman to return at once from Fez.

I am, etc.,

T. R. Gummeré.