Gambar halaman

versities and schools to the Jews, and, said the minister, this is the way they repay its liberality. And so it is almost always when disorders occur. There was every disposition to meet the wishes of the government of the United States, but it should consider the situation of the country, and remember the difficulty Russia finds in abrogating its laws on this question.

I replied that I recognized the difficulty the Russian Government had in treating the subject so long as the laws existed, but would not the abrogation of the laws proscribing the Jews as such be the easiest way of solving the difficulty? By placing them on the same footing as other inhabitants, they would not then be a proscribed race, and they would he punishable as others for bad conduct. Such a course would be highly gratifying to the United States, and I hoped his government would at no distant day see its way clear to take such a step. I was aware of no law of the United States which limited the rights of its inhabitants on account of race or religion. So far as Chinese immigrants were concerned it was true that trouble had arisen in certain localities, but this was not occasioned by any laws curtailing their rights, neither had the government at any time denied or evaded its treaty obligations, but had met the difficulty by direct negotiations with the Chinese Government, and with satisfactory results for both nations.

The minister said he regretted not having sent me the memorandum on the Jewish laws, but it had been found a more serious task than had been anticipated, and that longer time had been asked to complete it, but that he hoped to be able to send it to me very soon.

Such are the results of my efforts to execute your instructions and to secure to American citizens of the Jewish faith the same rights as are accorded to other citizens of the United States. I am sorry not to accompany this dispatch with a full statement of the Russian laws bearing on the question, but as soon as it is received from the foreigu office I will forward it. You will find some reference to these laws in Mr. Hoffman's No. 109, of May 29, 1879, which will be of interest and pertinent to the pending cases. My investigation has shown that the proscriptions of which we complain are based upon laws which were in force at the time of the execution of our treaty of commerce in 1832, and that as a matter of fact no greater privileges are granted to Russian than to American Jews similarly situated. Both are in a great measure under the ban of the laws. To the laws prohibiting Jews from residing in St. Petersburg there are various exceptions, but the government reserves to itself the right of applying or withholding the exceptional privileges as it may think fit.

I have not been able to learn that any greater rigor in this respect has been shown to American Jews than to any other of their co-religionists. As a general rule favorable consideration has been given to the representatives of this legation in their behalf. And while the government declines to change the laws, I have been given to understand, as you will see from the report of my conferences with the ministers of foreign affairs and of the iuterior, that American Jews, in whose behalf I may intervene, will be permitted to visit and remain in St. Petersburg a reasonable time to pursue their business avocations. I have already referred to the fact that under Russian law no foreigner can reside in this country longer than six months upon his national passport, as after that date he must obtain the consent of the Russian Government, which claims and exercises the right of refusing its consent at its will. Under the arrangement proposed as to American Jews, the only distinction in fact between them and other American residents is that a special applica

tion in their case would have to be made through the legation, the object being, I infer, to have its indorsement of the legitimacy of their business as well as of their citizenship-a kind of guarantee of their good conduct, a matter which it might be at times difficult to give.

It will thus be seen that while the Russian Government declines to accept the views set forth by you and denies that the treaty of 1832 concedes to American citizens of the Jewish faith any other or greater privileges than those enjoyed by Russian subjects of the same race, it has manifested a friendly disposition toward American citizens in the application of the laws, and virtually offers to suspend their operation towards all Jewish citizens of the United States who can establish the fact that they come to Russia on legitimate business. I am, &c.,


(Inclosure 1 in No. 73.1

Yr. de Giers to Mr. Foster,


St. Petersburg, December 1 (13), 1880. Sir: The imperial ministry has not failed to take into serious consideration the contents of the note which you addressed to it on the 2 (14th) September on the subject of the expulsion from the Russian territory of Mr. Henry Piakos, a citizen of the United States.

The miuistry hopes that an accord in the appreciation of the affair in question will not fail to be established if the Government of the United States shall be satisfied that all the measures of which Mr. Pinkos complains are in perfect conformity with the Russian laws.

In fact, it is in virtue of the regulations which authorize the residence of foreign Israelites in Russia only upon certain conditions that Mr. Pinkos found himself included in a general measure which was applied to him without the police having to inquire into his conduct.

It is also in virtue of the regulations, of which he has no right to plead ignorance, and the application of which can equally give him no right to indemnity, that Mr. Pinkos, having resided six months in Russia, could not leave Cronstadt without being furnished with a passport from the proper authorities. You will please observe in fact, sir, that the above-named person was not reconducted to the frontier, or embarked with the aid of the imperial authorities-in a word, that he did not undergo the process of expulsion, to which he was liable.

The legation of the United States having intervened in his favor by its note of April 8 (20) last, the imperial government hastened to comply with the request made in the said communication, and to ameliorate the condition of Mr. Pinkos in the very manner the legation had indicated. A delay of three months was consequently accorded to Pinkos to liquidate his affairs, and he was permitted at the expiration of this terin to leave Russia on the same conditions as every foreigner who wishes to repass the frontier, nothing dispensing Pinkos from the obligations which the regulations prescribe on these occasions. On the contrary, the peculiar circumstances of his position and the term which had been granted him by special favor to regulate all the conditions of his departure, should have induced him to inform himself of the legal formalities required by the circumstances.

Thus the proceedings which our authorities took towards Mr. Pinkos present themselves both in their principle and their execution, not as exceptional measures, but as the legal conseqnence of general laws, the effects of which the individual above-named has had to undergo.

It is evident, too, as the note of the 2 (14) September acknowledges, that the measures taken on this occasion were not marked by any spirit contrary to the consideration which the imperial government has always professed for the quality of an American citizen.

As regards the exceptional dispositions of which foreign Israelites have been the object in Russia, and which have been provoked by their presumed participation ia rerolutionary proceedings, it is certain that the measures of the administration towards the Israelites in question have never had an exceptional character. If the prescriptions

[ocr errors]

which concern them are rigorously executed, this rigor has nothing special in it, but results simply from the increased vigilance occasioned by present circumstances, which has led the imperial authorities to discover irregularities in the legal position of many foreigners residing in Russia. It became the duty of the imperial administration to see to the strict observance of the existing laws, availing itself for this purpose of the legal means in their hands.

It is in tbis way that Mr. Pinkos has felt the effect of the precautions taken in conseqence of the proceedings of the social revolutionists, although the conduct of this foreigner happily sheltered him from the direct action of the measures, adopted to secure the public order.

The imperial ministry has endeavored to show that Mr. Pinkos has not been the object of any proceeding which goes beyond the regular application of existing laws Convinced that in strict justice no irregularity can be imputed to our authori ties, the ministry wonld consider itself so much the more fortunate if it can succeed in inducing the Government of the United States to share this conviction, inasmuch as the affair in question affects those relations which the imperial government desires to maintain, on all occasions, in their unvarying cordiality. Receive, sir, &c.,


(Inclosure 2 in No. 73.)

Mr. de Giers to Mr. Foster.


St. Petersburg, December 1 (13), 1880. SIR: In a note of October 7 (19), last, you addressed yourself to the imperial minis. try of foreign affairs, with a view to obtain for Mr. Wilczynski, a citizen of the United States of America, permission to return to Russia, where the interests of a commercial enterprise, of which he is agent, called him..

The imperial ministry hastened to communicate to the ministry of the interior the aforementioned request.

A recent communication of the minister of the interior enables me to inform you that, in view of the intervention of the legation of the United States, Mr. Wilczynski is authorized to return to St. Petersburg, and to remain here six months. The competent authorities have been informed of this ministerial decision.

Returning to you herewith the passport of the said Wilczynski, which accompanied the above-mentioned note of the legation of the United States, I profit by this occasion, &c.,


(Inclosure 3 in No. 73. )

Mr. Foster to Mr. de Giers.


St. Petersburg, December 5 (17), 1880. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two notes of the 1 (13) instant, the one relating to the case of Henry Pinkos and the other to that of Marx Wilczynski, both American citizens of the Jewish faith.

In view of the conference which I had with your excellency on those and kindred matters on yesterday, I do not deem it necessary at present to make further reply to said notes than to say that I will forward copies thereof, as well as a report of said conference, to the Secretary of State at Washington, and await his instructions. With the renewed, &c.,

JOHN W. FOSTER. H. Ex. 192 -4

No. 29.

Mr. Foster to Mr. Evarts.

No. 74.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, St. Petersburg, December 31, 1880. (Received January 17, 1881.) SIR: At a late hour on yesterday afternoon I received your cable. gram, dated on the 29th instaut, as follows: Urge treaty obligations, Wilczynski case. Further information awaited.

It will be seen by my dispatch No. 73, of yesterday which was just completed when your cablegram arrived, that I have been giving attention to the case, and have obtained for him permission to return to St. Petersburg, and remain for the limit of time granted to all foreigners upon their national passports, but that the Russian Government declines to modify the existing laws prohibiting foreign Jews to reside in this city.

I inclose copies of correspondence had with the legation at Berlin, which contains some additional facts relating to Mr. Wilczynski.

It appeared from the letter of Minister White, of October 15, inclosed with my No. 48 of October 20, that Mr. Wilczynski, when ordered to leave St. Petersburg, made no application to this legation for advice or assistance. He informed Minister White that he had addressed me a letter in regard to his case, but no such letter has been received. He has not again appeared at the legation in Berlin to learn the result of his application for permission to return to St. Petersburg, and Mr. Everett writes that he is probably now in Russia. If so, he has never made his presence known to this legation, and it is to be presumed that he has not been molested. I am, &c.,


(Inclosure 1 in No. 74.]

Mr. Foster to Mr. White.

St. PETERSBURG, December 14, 1880. MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: On the 18th of October last I acknowledged receipt of you letter regarding Mr. Wilczynski's expulsion from St. Petersburg, and wrote you a setond letter on the subject in October.

I now have the answer of the minister of foreign affairs to my application for Mr. Wilczynski's free return to St. Petersburg. He states that Mr. W. will be permitted to return to this city and remain for six months, and that the authorities have been so notified. This is the extreme limit of time allowed by the laws of Russia to all foreigners, without distinction, entering with a passport of their nationality, at the expiration of which time they are required to obtain a Russian passport, or police permission of residence, if they wish to remain. I return the passport which you sent me. Very truly, &c.


(Inclosure 2 in No. 74.] Mr. Everett to Mr. Foster.


Berlin, December 18, 1880. Sır: In Mr. White's absence I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 14th instant, returning Mr. Wilczynski's old passport and stating that he would be

allowed to stay six months if he returned there. At the time his old passport was sent to you Mr. Wilozynski took out a new one, and said that he should not have any difficulty in returning to St. Petersburg, and staying as long as he wished for business purposes, as he was personally known to high officials in some of the departments, with which he had transacted business for some years. But his grievance was that he was expelled, as he understood, for being a Jew, and he wished to ascertain whether tbere was such a law against Jews, and whether the American legation could not protect our citizens against it.

I have been informed by one of the Russian secretaries of legation here that there is no law in St. Petersburg expelling Jews merely because they are Jews; but that probably this gentleman had failed to comply with some regulation in his business transactions, or had perhaps associated with some of the suspected characters in the city, or was one of the Polish refugees, who it appears are an obnoxious class there.

Mr. Wilczynski has not called at this legation again, and it is probable that he is now in Russia, as he expressed his intention of returning there very shortly. With many thanks for the trouble you have taken in the matter, I am, &c.,


No. 30.

Mr. Foster to Mr. Evarts.

No. 75.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, St. Petersburg, December 31, 1880. (Received January 17, 1881.) SIR: In my No. 73 of yesterday I have given the result of my efforts to obtain a modification of the laws of Russia in regard to foreign Jews, so as to exempt American Jews from the prohibition against residence in St. Petersburg and other cities of the Empire. As a supplement to that dispatch, it may be of interest to have some information as to the condition and treatment of the Russian subjects of the Jewish faith.

From early times there have existed laws prohibiting the entrance or residence of Jews in Russia, and while there were occasional exceptions to the laws the prohibition was generally enforced with rigor up to the incorporation of Poland with the Empire. From that date it was sought to confine the Jews to the Polish provinces. But the Jews in these provinces furnished their full contingent, and, it is alleged by them, more than their ratio, to the Russian army; and as it often happened that at the expiration of their term of service they were in distant or different parts of the Empire from their homes, upon their discharge they were permitted to live in the provinces where discharged, because they were old soldiers, and in spite of the laws prohibiting the residence there of Jews. The presence of the greater part of this race in other districts of Russia than Poland is accounted for in this way, they being either discharged soldiers or their children.

But in addition to these a considerable number of Jews are found in the large cities and commercial towns, many of whom are authorized to become permanent residents under exceptions which have been made to the prohibitory laws. For instance, Jews possessing a certain mercantile standing are admitted as members of the first or commercial guild, and, with the authorization of the law, engage in banking and mercantile pursuits. And these members of the guild are permitted to employ a certain number of Jewish clerks, servants, artisans, or other employés. So, also, exceptions are made in favor of members of the learned professions and of graduates of the universities or other educational or scientific institutions. The latitude of construction placed upon these exceptions depends very much upon the will of the local

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »