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be concealed from the Shah. Not only Mr. Stevens, but all who approacb His Majesty, and wbo might possibly tell him some truths not found in the Tehran Gazettes, all those are to be kept at a distance as "moofsids!"

There are various expressions in the Royal autograph which set forth that in the Shah's opinion this Mission has shown a desire to infringe the privileges and lower the dignity of His Majesty. I can only imagine that these expressions have fallen from His Majesty inadvertently while his mind has been irritated by the pernicious counsels of those who wish to destroy the friendship which had so long existed between the 2 High Powers. His Majesty knows that Great Britain has always been desirous to maintain his independence and honour, and since my arrival here 1 have been governed in my conduct by the same sentiments; but in respect to the rupture that has lately taken place between the Persian Government and myself, it u my duty to let His Majesty plainly understand that T cannot and will not permit myself to be unjustly calumniated, and the British Government to be affronted, without maintaining my right to a full and satisfactory reparation.


(Inclosttre 6.)—The Persian Minister for Foreign Affairs to

Mr. Murray.

Excellency, (Translation.) November 26,1855.

I Have received your Excellency's letter of the 24th instant. Notwithstanding the reasons which have been repeatedly advanced in the case of Meerza Hashem Khan, and notwithstanding that you had, to the extreme regret of the Persian Ministers, unjustly suspended diplomatic relations, your Excellency has in a separate letter made use of certain expressions which, without any doubt, are detrimental in the highest degree to the dignity of this Government and of its First Minister, the Sadr Azim.

One of the objectionable arguments is that in which you have again had recourse to the btatement that his Highness the Sadr Azim had verbally employed expressions which amounted to the dismissal of Meerza Hashem Khan. His Highness the Sadr Azim has no recollection of such a circumstance, or of his ever having issued orders of this nature. But as you persist in saying this we will suppose that such words were employed. In the first place, he asked for higher pay without his deserving it. "Whilst irritated and annoyed, it is possible that a servant (and even at times one's own children receive rebukes) may be told that his pay would not be increased, and that he might go about his business. Merely for an angry word how can it be admitted as his dismissal? The dismissal of a servant in this country has a regular form, and any person above the rank of a soldier cannot be dismissed by tho Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel. His dismissal must be sealed by his Highness the Sadr Azim, by his Eoyal Highness the Ameer Nizam (infant son of the Shah), by the Commander-in-chief, by the Secretaries at War, and must be confirmed by the Shah's autograph, and the document must be in writing. At this very time in Tehran, and in ill the provinces, the commissions of appointment and the papers of dismissal are to be found issued in this form, and your Excellency can procure many of these and examine them. Therefore, merely for a few angry words, a person cannot consider himself dismissed, and this discussion was terminated with Mr. Thomson, who admitted the point, and dismissed him from the post of Meerza to the Mission in consequence of this just argument, and he therefore appointed Meerza Fezloollah, and announced the nomination to the Persian Ministers. In truth, your Excellency has re-opened a question which was before terminated, and has considered it as unsettled. It would have been well if you had made inquiries on this head from Mr. Thomson, so that it would have become known that he admitted the right of this Government, and that the Meerza was a servant of the Persian Government, and had been dismissed from the Mission. Secondly, supposing that the orders of tho Sadr Azim were such as have been stated, when His Majesty the Shah is pleased to say that Meerza Hashem Khan is considered by him to be one of his servants, and not to have been discharged, what more can you have to say? According to the rules of propriety and politeness, and what is necessary out of respect to the Eoyal dignity, you ought not, after learning the wishes and orders of His Majesty, to have done anything contrary to the Eoyal wishes, but ihonld have, by establishing Meerza Hashem Khan again in the Persian service, maintained order in the internal administration of the country. There is another reason, besides those which have been detailed, and of which you cannot be ignorant, for the Shah desiring to keep Meerza Hashem Khan in bis service. With 'egard to the reports and gossip spread about the town respecting the wife of Meerza Hashem Khan, the Persian Ministers would have said nothing. They maintain silence regarding the truth or falsehood of these rumours, and they have endeavoured, as far as *»s in their power, to veil the matter, as will clearly appear from their letter of the 15th November but of what avail has this been, when the Mission has pushed it with such violence that the Persian Ministers, quite broken-hearted, with great aversion and regret, now perceive that the matter has been already unveiled? Contrary to the principles of Mahonietanism. they are therefore unable to accept the conditions stipulated by the Mission.

• He evidently means the 19th. [1856-57. xxvii.] K

"With regard to Mr. Stevens, the opinion of the Persian Ministers ia exactly what they have already stated. It' the determination of your Excellency remains the same, there is no compulsion on our part, but I distinctly state to you that diplomatic relations between the Persian Ministers and the Mission will not be continued through hhn; it will be just the same as if he were not here, unless one of the members of the Mission should remain. The Persian Ministers will make no objection to him, the same as they approve of the Consul-General in Tabreez and the Resident in Bushire, and no difficulty will be made in treating them in accordance with the rules of friendship.

(Inclosure 7.)—The Persian Minuter for Foreign Affair* to

Mr. Murray.

(Translation.) November 26,1855.

Tub memorandum which you wrote in answer to the Shah's autograph and sent to me to be presented to His Majesty, was delivered in accordance with your wishes. After perusing it, His Majesty was pleased to address a second autograph to my address, and I beg to forward to you a copy of it in obedience to the Koyal commands. Having been ordered in this autograph to return to you the memorandum, I now inclose it in this note.

(Inclosure 8.)—Autograph Note from the Shah to the Persian Minister for Foreign Affair*. (Translation.)

Minister For Foreign Affairs, November 26, 1855.

We have read Mr. Murray's letters. There are some insulting expressions to our Prime Minister in his letter, which have given us annoyance. Intimate to him distinctly that all that the Sadr Asiiu has written or done has been by our Royal oommands. \Ve do not require any foreigner to give us information regarding the administration of our own country. Several threatening reports have been spread in town by the Mission, which we could not have believed to have emanated in reality from the Mission, but this letter of Mr. Murray supports these reports. He seems to have the intention to create disturbance and embarrassment in this country. If he has suspended diplomatic relations, and official letters have passed, and his Mebraaudar has been furnished at his own demand, then what is the meaning of his renewing the question, and why should he write official letters? If he is deceived, and has anything to say or claims to advance, let him hoist his flag, and after stating his reasons, lot him, if he likes, pull it down again.

He writes that the British Ministers have always been desirous to strengthen the independence of this Government, and that he himself entertained the same sentiments. The British representatives are wonderfully desirous to maintain our independence. They wish to take our power and authority, even over our own particular family, from us. One day they protect and support our uncle, Ferhad Meerza, and estrange him from us, making him disobedient to our commands; and auother day they take away one of our servants openly and against our inclination. To-day they demand forcibly our wife's sister. We can't understand why you have all allowed the arguments of the case to escape you. Mr. Murray's object U this, forcibly to take our wife's sister. Our commands are these, that we will not submit to this indignity, and we will not give her. If his Excellency the Sadr Azim should still continue to show moderation and forbearance to the Mission as formerly, we shall be obliged to do what is necessary for giving the preference to the maintenance of our dignity.

As Mr. Murray has altogether exceeded the limits of courtesy, and has outstepped the privileges of the Mission, and that too when diplomatic relations have ceased, it is quite unsuitable that his letter should be registered. Tou will certainly return it, and not keep it. Tou are not permitted to discuss the matter any further, or to enter into debates either sound in argument or otherwise. Don't enter into one word of discussion. Now that he has suspended relations, and is about to depart, this kind of discussion can have no other result than to give us greater annoyance. It is obvious that friendship and diplomatic relations with England are not dependent upon the presence of Mr. Murray. We will, in the manner we consider expedient, make known our sincere friendship to the British Government, and a full report of the unsuitable proceeding* of Mr. Murray.

(belosure 9.)—Mr. Murray to the Persian Minister far Foreign


November 27, 1855.

1 Hats received your Excellency's despatch, dated 26th November, and the copy of the Boyal destkhet therein contained. It teems that your Excellency has either not read or not understood His Majesty's wishes expressed in that letter, or you would not, in direct opposition thereto, have written me a long despatch reopening all the discussion respecting the case of Meerza Hashem Khan. I shall pay more regard to the wishes of His Majesty, and ehall therefore decline to make any further reply to the contents of your Excellencr's letter.

"With respect to the Eoyal destkhet itself, I have only three observations to make, which I request you to convey to His Majesty the Shah:

1. The Eoyal letter inquires, "why I, after the suspension of diplomatic relations, renew the question under discussion and write official letters r" My reply is very simple; that I did not wish or intend to renew correspondence or to write any official letter, but as His Majesty the Shah began by writing a letter himself, and authorized your Excellency to write another, I thought myself in courtesy bound to reply to both.

2. His Majesty complains that in my reply I had overstepped the privileges of the Mission by making complaints against his Minister; my answer is, that I only followed a course suggested by the Eoyal letter, which contained most improper terms and unproved accusations against the British Consul holding his commission from the Queen of England in this capital. It was in reply to those observations that I was compelled to make comments on the conduct of the Shah's Prime Minister, but as my letter contained nothing disrespectful to His Majesty, I return it to you again, and I will not receive it back unless the Eoyal letter which occasioned it is likewise withdrawn.

3. His Majesty's last Eoyal letter contains the following sentence: —"Mr. Murray's object is this, forcibly to take our wife's sister." As these words show, but too clearly, that the Shah has been misled into putting the Eoyal seal and sanction to the groundless calumnies already propagated on this subject by his Ministers, it is equally clear to me that no good result can arise from the continuation of this correspondence, and I am only doing what I judge best for the dignity of the Shah and the honour of this Mission, when I inform your Excellency that it is not my intention to receive or reply to any further official letters whatsoever connected with this discussion.


No. 57.—Mr. Murray to the Earl of Clarendon.—(Rec. Jan. 22,1856.) My Loed, Tehran, December 1, 1855.

The Persian Government still ostensibly hold out, but in a few days I expect they will concede my demands. I will send a special courier. I have, <fcc.

The Earl of Clarendon. CH. A. MTJEEAY.

No. 58.—Mr. Murray to the Earl of Clarendon.— {Bee. Jan. 22,1856.) (Extract.) Tehran, December 3, 1855.

On reviewing the whole of the discussion with the Persian Government on the case of Meerza Hashem Khan, it has occurred to me that the only point which admits of a shadow of a doubt is,

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