Page images
PDF
EPUB

United States Government, besides complimenting and rewarding him instead of condemning, as the following telegram sent at the time to the governor from the Palace will indicate:

“Your excellency's fidelity being well established in the eyes of His Most Sacred Majesty the Caliph, you should not allow yourself to be in the least affected by the fact of your dismissal. It is His Majesty's Imperial will that you should return at once to Constantinople in order to be the recipient of the royal favors.”)

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay. No. 641.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, November 15, 1903. Sir: I beg to inclose copy of a note addressed to the Sublime Porte in reference to the Beirut matters.

This note, although dated November 2, was practically only delivered last night, as I had agreed to withdraw it in case all our matters were satisfactorily adjusted and proper apologies made in the Beirut affair, the minister for foreign affairs having begged me to hold off from day to day, hoping to be able to induce the Sultan to issue the necessary imperial irade.

This he has failed to do, and from the best information obtainable is not likely to succeed even if further delay were granted, and consequently I was forced to the conclusion that the time had come for more forcible action.

I have, etc.,

JOHN G. A. LEISHMAN.

[Inclosure.)
Mr. Leishman to the Sublime Porte.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, November 2, 1903. YOUR EXCELLENCY: I can not refrain from expressing my surprise at the continued light and trifling manner in which the murderous attack upon the American viceconsul at Beirut is being treated, as evidenced in a recent communication of the governor at Beirut to the American consul at that point.

I have formally to complain that, although the attempted assassination occurred over two months ago, the would-be murderer or murderers have not yet been arrested, nor are they likely to be, as long as the local authorities continue to pursue the unfounded theories advanced by the former governor, that the shooting was done by a party of wedding guests, who were merely firing their guns in the air in sportive way without any evil intention.

Å similar complaint must also be lodged against the reports that have been so actively circulated by the local officials, denying the fact of the insecurity and misgovernment of the city under the old régime.

The Government of the United States can not afford to allow these statements to go unchallenged, and is quite prepared to defend its claim that the attack upon Mr. Magelssen was clearly a deliberate attempt at murder, and that the condition of the city of Beirut for many months was in a state of insecurity and the local administratration both inefficient and bad, and that, despite the denials, this fact was well known, and that numerous complaints of the bad and insecure condition had been filed by the other consuls and also transmitted to the Sublime Porte through the several embassies.

FR 1903— 50

The mere fact of Rechid Bey having been recalled can not be looked upon for a moment as proper redress, for it can only be considered as nominal in view of the fact that instead of being dismissed he was actually promoted to a larger and more important vilayet, besides being complimented for his previous services.

Such action can only be regarded as discourteous treatment to my Government, and I am satisfied that when the real facts are submitted to His Imperial Majesty the slight will be immediately remedied by the prompt and permanent dismissal of Rechid Bey, whose maladministration of Beirut reduced the city to such a deplorable and insecure condition that the United States Government, in order to secure proper protection for the lives and property of American citizens, was forced to demand the dismissal and punishment of the man who was primarily responsible for such conditions.

I therefore beg your excellency to bring the above facts to the attention of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, in which case I assume confidently that the just demands of the United States Government will be fully satisfied. I take, etc.,

John G. A. LEISHMAN.

Mr. Leishman to Mr. Hay.

No. 612.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, November 28, 1903. Sir: I beg to inclose herewith, for your information, correspondence with the Sublime Porte showing the position wbich the Ottoman Government continues to assume in reference to the Beirut troubles,

I have, etc.,

John G. A. LEISHMAN.

[Inclosure 1.-Translation.]

The Sublime Porte to Mr. Leishman.

SUBLIME PORTE, MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

November 21, 1903. MR. Envoy: I have had the honor of receiving the note which your excellency was good enough to address to me the 2d instant, concerning the assault of which the United States vice-consul at Beirut thinks himself to have been the object.

Permit me, Mr. Envoy, to call your attention once more, being confident in your just and enlightened judgment, that the.vice-consul can only have been under the impression of an illusion.

Indeed, from none of the investigations, carried out at Beirut with the most minute attention, has it appeared that this officer has been the object of the least assault.

Common sense, moreover, refuses to admit of such an assault. All that the imperial authorities have been able to do in this affair is, as you know, to inflict a pun. ishment on those who had given vent to noisy manifestations during a wedding while the vice-consul was passing.

However, if this officer can produce the slightest proof that he was, in point of fact, the victim of an attempted assault, or furnish some clues, the local authorities, your excellency can be absolutely certain, will hasten to strain every effort for the detection and arrest of the single or several guilty, and for their exemplary punishment.

As to the ex-vali of Beirut, Rechid Bey, if the Imperial Government felt it needful to cause his being replaced, owing to circumstances, it.does not follow that his recall implied his being removed from all service.

The Imperial Government could not abandon its faculty of employing this functionary somewhere else; and to wish to alienate this right is to infringe upon a principle that the United States Government is always and everywhere the first to wish to protect. Please accept, etc.,

TEWFIK.

[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Leishman to the Sublime Porte.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Constantinople, November 23, 1903. YOUR EXCELLENCY: I have the hcnor to acknowledge receipt of the note which your excellency addressed to me under date of the 21st instant, relative to the attack made upon the life of the American vice-consul at Beirut.

Your excellency will pardon me for expressing my great surprise at the character and tone of said note, which certainly could not be considered as a proper or satisfactory reply to the note which I had the honor to address to your excellency under date of November 2.

To term the fact of an attempt on the life of our vice-consul as an “illusionary impression” appears, to say the least, discourteous, and certainly nothing short of the most positive and indisputable facts proving the contrary would offer sufficient apology for disputing the truthfulness and correctness of the statements contained in the official reports of the American consul and of the admiral in command of the American squadron at Beirut, both made after a thorough and separate investigation, proving beyond doubt that on the night of the 23d of August, 1903, an attempt was made upon the life of the American vice-consul by an unknown person, while the said vice-consul was driving within a short distance of the consulate, also proving the general state of insecurity resulting from the misgovernment of Beirut under the last régime.

These points form the basis of the legation's complaint in reference to the troubles at Beirut-the question of the promotion of the former governor-general being merely incidental, and arising no doubt from the lack of proper understanding of the facts; and I am satisfied that the whole matter will be promptly corrected when brought to the attention of His Imperial Majesty.

Consequently, while protesting against the insinuations contained in your excellency's note, I must renew the demands contained in my note of November 2, and insist upon the entire matter being at once submitted to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan. I take this occasion, etc.,

John G. A. LEISHMAN.

VENEZUELA.

DIFFICULTY WITH VARIOUS POWERS GROWING OUT OF NONPAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF THEIR NATIONALS 'AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA. a

Mr. Hill to Mr. Bowen.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, November 29, 1902. (Mr. Hill instructs Mr. Bowen, in the event of possible withdrawal of British legation, but not until after being requested by the British minister, to ask the Venezuelan Government to acquiesce in Mr. Bowen's taking temporary charge of British interests and exercising the good offices usual in such cases.)

Mr. Hill to Mr. Bowen.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 1, 1902. (Mr. Hill instructs Mr. Bowen, in case of diplomatic rupture between Germany and Venezuela, to exercise the same good offices for Germany as for Great Britain, with the consent of the Venezuelan Government.)

Mr. Bowen to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.—Paraphrase.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Caracas, December 2, 1902. (Mr. Bowen states that it seems to him the questions at issue can be satisfactorily settled diplomatically by Germany and by arbitration by Great Britain without rupture of relations.

Mr. Bowen requests permission to use his good offices in an endeavor to prevent rupture of relations.)"

a For other correspondence on this subject see under Germany, page 417, Great Britain, page 452, and Italy, page 601.

Mr. Bowen to Mr. Hay.

(Telegram.—Paraphrase.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Caracas, December 8, 1902. (Mr. Bowen reports that the President of Venezuela has published a letter in the newspapers stating that foreign creditors must await the reestablishment of peace, when all promises will be fulfilled; and adding that, in the meanwhile, he will not try to placate with phrases; nor will be accept humiliation.)

Mr. Bowen to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Caracas, December 8, 1902. (Mr. Bowen reports that the British minister has requested him to take charge of British interests, and the German minister has requested bim to take charge of German interests; and that both ministers have just left Caracas.

Mr. Bowen has sent a note to the Venezuelan Government asking for permission to comply with the above requests.)

Mr. Bowen to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.—Paraphrase.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Caraoas, December 9, 1902. (Mr. Bowen reports that he received news at 7 o'clock of the evening of December 9 that all British and Germans in Caracas were being arrested; that he drove at once to the police station, where he found many Germans; that the chief of police, upon being requested to release them, referred Mr. Bowen to the governor, who in turn referred him to President Castro.

Mr. Bowen told President Castro that he must be authorized at once to represent British and German interests or he could not answer for the consequences of a refusal of his demand. The President consented and granted Mr. Bowen's request.

Mr. Bowen then obtained the release, as a personal favor from the President, of two German subjects, and told the President he ought to release all the Germans and British. The President was not willing to comply with the suggestion, and Mr. Bowen told him that he would bring the matter up to-morrow.

Mr. Bowen states that the excitement in the streets of Caracas is very great, and that all British subjects are in hiding.)

manom

« PreviousContinue »