The Secretary of State to Minister Pearson.

No. 56.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatches Nos. 113 and 115, of April 20 and 29 last, respectively, transmitting copies of recent correspondence concerning the settlement of the Labaree case, and controverting the contention of the Rev. Dr. Cochran that to hold [Page 732]in custody the Kurds now imprisoned at Teheran increases the danger to the missionaries in Urumia.

If the fact is, as the correspondence seems to show and as the Department understands, that these prisoners were arrested at the request of the missionaries, the Department agrees with your views. The holding of the prisoners would appear to be a guaranty of security rather than a menace to the Christians at Urumia.

Being on the scene and familiar with all the facts, you should be able to continue to handle the case with the firmness and judgment necessary for the best protection of the American missionaries.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.