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MURDER OF AGA JAN KHAN."
Mr. McDonald to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Teheran, January 22, 1894. (Received March 5.) SIR: I have the honor to forward, herewith inclosed, a copy of a letter I have received from Dr. J. P. Cochran, of Oroomiah.
It is satisfactory to observe from Dr. Cochran's letter that during the time of great anxiety following the murder of Aga Jan, and on the occasion of the outrage on Mr. St. Pierre, the missionaries have acted with most commendable self-control and circumspection, and in their communications with the Government authorities relative to these crimes they have been very careful and discreet. I also inclose my reply to Dr. Cochran's letter. I lave, etc.,
(Inclosure 1 in No. 62.)
Dr. Cochran to Mr. McDonald.
OROOMIAH, December 29, 1893. DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of Mr. Tyler's letter of December 18.
A few days ago the governor sent asking me if I could help in bringing about a quiet settlement of the Aga Jan murder affair by some means which would heal rather than aggravate the present strained relations of the more fanatical Moslems and the roughs toward the Christians, reporting that strong orders had come from Tabriz for the arrest of three men supposed to be implicated. One is arrested. One has taken refuge in the bouse of the chief, Muztahed, who refuses to give him up, and the other is not to be found. The one at the ecclesiastic's is known positively to have been the man who made the first stab on Aga Jan. The Mullahs, Sayyeds, and roughs are reported to be bound together by an oath to take revenge should anything be done to the leaders of the mob.
After getting the opinion of the Christians as far as I am able in two days—Armenians, old Nestorians, Catholics, and Protestants—I replied that the Christians simply begged for protection. If that would be more secure in the future by having one or two of these men killed, that was what they wished. If, on the other hand, this punishment was going to bring on more hatred and blood, they wished the matter dropped. Mr. Governor, in response, asked that I write to our mis. sionaries in Tabriz asking that they urge Aga Jan's wife to accept such redress as the Government might communicate to her. It is the plan of the governor to give out of his own pocket about 150 tomans to Laya Khanum, and get the Government to give her two sons a pension, if the authorities in Tabriz are willing to settle it in this way. I am writing to Mr. Whipple, on whose premises this Laya Khanum is, telling him of what has been suggested here.
The governor and other Oroomiah Khans insist that it will create a great disturbance should these men be all taken and sent off or pun.
See Foreign Relations, 1893, pp. 502, 504, 505, 507.
ished here; if not a mob, murders in underhand ways would be perpetrated on the Christians. I thought it best to report this to your excellency and to say that for the present, at least, it seems wise to let the Government pursue this course if they choose. Respectfully, yours,
J. P. COCHRAN.
(Inclosure 2 in No. 62.)
Mr. McDonald to Mr. Cochran.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Teheran, January 18, 1894. MY DEAR SIR: I have received your favor of the 29th ultimo. I had previously been informed, through a telegram to the prime minister, of the capture and killing of the four outlaws, two of whom I was left to infer were the ruffians who assaulted Mr. St. Pierre. It is encouraging that the Government has acted so promptly and so thoroughly in this matter, and the effect, it is reasonable to believe, will be salutary on similar characters.
In regard to the Aga Jan case, you are on the ground and can act more intelligently than I can advise. It seems to me, however, that your reply to the governor was discreet. What the Christians want is peace, quiet, and good will, so far as they are attainable. While the criminals ought to be punished, that is a matter between the Persian Government and its guilty subjects. All the parties to the affair were
ersians and not Americans, and I think the authorities should not seek to shove the responsibility of extreme measures on the missionaries, to their detriment no doubt; nor should they allow it. The Government should take care of its own criminals.
I repeat, therefore, that in my opinion your response to the governor was judicious in that it is in the line of conciliation and better feeling between yourselves and the natives. It is also in accord with the religion which you teach, which is not one of blood. In a contest of violence and hatred you have all to lose. In conciliating the good will and friendship of the people you have all to gain. Without these your work must be futile and fruitless and bring only grief to yourselves. At the same time do not misunderstand me as saying that the wretches who committed the atrocity.should not be punished, but that you should not be led into the attitude of judge and executioner. The good of yourselves and your cause rather than a vengeance that will stir up fanatical strife and conflict is, it seems to me, what you want. I am sorry to say that I still continue quite unwell. Very truly yours,
PERSIAN REPRESENTATION IN THE MIXED TRIBUNALS OF EGYPT.
Mr. Sperry to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Teheran, Persia, July 5, 1893. (Received August 11.) SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a copy and translation of a note which I have just received from the minister for for: eign affairs in regard to the representation of Persia in the “mixed
tribunals" of Egypt. The note fully explains itself. Assuming the facts to be as stated by the Kavam-ed-Dowlah, I beg to add that his note appears to me to be an appropriate and just statement of the matter, while the matter itself is evidently of serious importance to the Persian Government. I am assured that the request for assistance from the Government of the United States is made with confidence, and I sincerely hope that due consideration by the Department of the request will show that the way is clear to render this assistance. I have, etc.,
WATSON R. SPERRY.
(Inclosure 1 in No. 62.- Translation. I
Minister for Foreign Affairs to Mr. Sperry. YOUR EXCELLENCY: It will be in your recollection that the present agreement between the great powers of Europe and the Government of the Khedive of Egypt relating to the judicial business in the mixed tribunals will expire in February next.
In connection with this subject I beg to inform your excellency that the Persian embassy in Constantinople has frequently protested through the Persian diplomatic agent, resident in Egypt, against the refusal of the Government of the Khedive to allow of the appointment of a Persian member to sit in this court. Your excellency is already aware that there is a large colony of Persians in Egypt who, on account of the wide extent of their business and the variety of their occupations, have very important matters requiring consideration.
The Government of the Khedive has adınitted to this tribunal the representatives of countries whose subjects, residing in Egypt, are few in number, and consequently their business is of no serious account.
Up to the present moment the Goverminent of the Khedive has neither given any reason nor produced any convincing arguments in support of its policy and behavior toward Persia regarding this subject.
A formal treaty now subsisting between Persia and Turkey provides for the attendance of a Persian member on all the mixed tribunals throughout Turkey.
It is requested, with the greatest respect, that when the treaty relating to the reappointment of the mixed tribunals shall be under discussion you will endeavor to direct the particular attention of your excellency's Government to the refusal of the Government of the Khedive to recognize the undoubted right of Persia to participate in this arrangement. I feel sure that your excellency's Government will appreciate, with the greatest facility, and also admit, the evident right of Persia in this matter.
I take advantage of this opportunity, etc. Dated the month Zilhejjeh, A. H. 1310. [Seal of the Kavam-ed-Dowlahı.]
Mr. Gresham to Mr. McDonald. No. 13.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 17, 1893. SIR: I have received a dispatch from Mr. Sperry, No. 62, of the 5th ultimo, accompanied by a note in which the Persian Government requests the aid of that of the United States to secure the representation of Persia in the mixed tribunals of Egypt.
While this Government sympathizes with the desire of Persia to see the interests of its numerous subjects in Egypt duly respected, this Government is not so situated with regard to the mixed tribunals as to intervene with a view to securing an enlarged representation of the non-European element in the constitution of the tribunals.
Our representative at Cairo will be advised of the desires of Persia, and instructed to report upon the subject when the question of reorganization comes up. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESIAM.
Mr. McDonald to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Teheran, September 25, 1893. (Received November 3.) SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your No. 13, diplomatic series, replying to Mr. Sperry's No. 62, concerning the desire of the Persian Government to be represented in the mixed tribunals of Egypt and asking the intervention of the U. S. Government to that end.
The reason assigned by the Department for declining at present said intervention will be duly communicated to the Persian Government. I am, etc.,
Mr. McDonald to Mr. Gresham. No. 77.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Teheran, March 26, 1894, (Received May 2.) SIR: My predecessor, Mr. Sperry, on the 5th of July, 1893, transmitted to the Department of State a copy and translation of a letter from the Persian foreign minister, asking for the friendly intervention and cooperation of the Government of the United States with the European governments in securing for Persia a representative to take part in the deliberations of the mixed judicial tribunal in Egypt on the reappointment of that body by the Khedive's Government. I have now the honor to forward for your information a copy and translation of another letter I have just received from the minister for foreign affairs relating to the same subject.
In consequence of the presence of a number of Persian merchants engaged in trade in Egypt, and of a still larger number who every year pass through that country on their pilgrimage to the shrine at Mecca, a member to represent their interests on the tribunal might be of advantage. Any steps taken by the U. S. Government to secure that end would, I am sure, be highly appreciated by the Shah and his minister. I have, etc.,
[Inclosure in No. 77.)
TEHERAN, the 12th of Ramazan (March 20), 1894. YOUR EXCELLENCY: On the 15th of the inonth Zilhejzeh, A. H. 1310, I addressed you on the subject of the necessity for the presence of a representative of Persia on the mixed tribunals of Egypt. The substauce of the response of the Khedive's Government on this subject, made through the Italian consul.general in Egypt, is to the effect that as the citizens of Persia resident in the Ottoman Empire do not, as do the subjects of other countries, participate in the benefits of treaty rights, they can not, therefore, in Egypt, which is one of the provinces of that Government, partake of the same privileges which are accorded to other nations. Perhaps the intention of the Khedive's Government in this reply may be construed to mean that the Persian Government has no “capitulations” with the Turkish Government. If that is so, then its contention and argument are faulty, and contrary to the facts of the case, inasmuch as there are now treaties and conventions between the two governments, the stipulations of which are, throughout the whole of the provinces of the Ottoman Empire, in active operation, and as Egypt forms a part of that state they ought to take effect there. At the present time, in conformity with recent treaty rights, in most of the commercial courts throughout the Turkish Empire, repre. sentatives of Pe in the same manner as those of other favored nations, or two Persian merchants in the capacity of members, sit to adjudicate on mercantile matters.
If the Persian Government had not these treaty privileges, it is mani. fest that the Turkish Government would never have admitted the rep. resentatives of Persia to seats in these tribunals. Leaving these con. siderations out of the question, it is evident from the fourteenth article of the existing treaty, concluded by the Persian embassy of this Government (in Constantinople) and the Ottoman department of foreign affairs, a translation of which into French I send for your excellency's perusal, that whatever rights and privileges are granted to the most favored nations in the Ottoman Empire have in their entirety been secured to the Persian Government, and Persian subjects in all parts of Turkey ought to be partakers of those rights and privileges to their fullest extent. Therefore the reply of the Government of the Khedive of Egypt to the consul-general of Italy is contrary to the stipulations existing between the governments of Persia and Turkey and the clear meaning of the aforesaid treaty.
Furthermore, the Persian Government has more subjects in Egypt than most other countries, and it can not therefore relinquish its clear and undoubted rights in that country.
It is therefore very respectfully urged upon your excellency's attention that on the occasion of the renewal of the convention for the reconstruction of the mixed tribunals of Egypt your Government will take into its serious consideration the injustice of the Khedive's Government in setting aside the coniirmed rights of the Persian state. There is no doubt that your Government, in its enlighted sense of justice and a sincere regard for what is right, will not fail to take such steps as may appear just and necessary.
I have nothing further to trouble you with on this occasion.
(Subinclosure in No. 77.-Translation.) Fourteenth article of Turko-Persian treaty.
Persian subjects in Turkey and Turkish subjects in Persia shall enjoy exactly the same rights as the subjects of the most favored nations in all matters which are not mentioned in the present treaty, and in case the Persian Government shall not fulfill any one of the clauses of this treaty, the Turkish Government will act, on its part, in the same manner.
The 21 Zegadé, 1292, corresponding to A. D. 1875.