391.1163 Lutheran Orient Mission/97: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Iran (Merriam)

13. Your telegrams No. 24 March 24, noon, and No. 25 March 25, 2 p.m. Inadequacy of Department’s information on subject precludes sending of definite instructions at this time as to appropriate action. The following observations are submitted for your guidance.

In the absence of clear evidence that activities of mission personnel violate condition on which permission to carry on their work was assured by the exchange of notes of May 14, 1928, you should firmly urge the withdrawal of order of expulsion and insist on a continued recognition of the right confirmed by that agreement. If you should consider that there is tenable ground for the charges made by the Iranian authorities, you will refrain from any representations regarding expulsion but request informally that reasonable consideration be shown the persons concerned in the execution [Page 387] of the order of expulsion. If it appears likely that expulsion order will be enforced, you should request a written statement by the Iranian authorities of the offenses with which missionaries are charged.

As regards property of the mission your attention is invited to instruction No. 596 of December 1, 1927,25 from which it appears that, at that time, the question of title to the property had not been clarified. If you should now have reasonable evidence of the American ownership of the property you should oppose any precipitate action on the part of the Iranian Government which might prevent the owners from disposing of the property or force them to dispose of it at a substantial sacrifice.

Report more specifically on this subject as soon as information becomes available.

  1. Not printed.