Mr. McDonald to Mr. Gresham.

No. 21.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose for your information a copy and translation of a circular memorandum, received from the Persian foreign minister on the 22d instant.

The practice to which the memorandum refers is of long standing. When a Persian subject fails to recover a claim from a fellow-citizen to which he thinks he has a bona fide right, he very often transfers the [Page 485] documents relating to the claim to the citizen of a foreign state for some valuable consideration or on the pretext that the transferee has some counter claim against him to the full or even a greater amount. The purchaser or transferee then presses the claim through the intermediary of his legation, and, rightly or wrongly, very often succeeds in recovering the whole of the claim.

I have no reason to think that any United States citizen has ever resorted or will ever resort to this practice, either to prevent an injustice or to make profit; yet I have nevertheless sent a copy of the memorandum to each of the missions in Persia, so as to prevent misunderstanding.

I have, etc.,

Alex. McDonald.
[Inclosure in No. 21.—Translation.]

Memorandum from the minister for foreign affairs.

In consequence of certain persons, subjects of Persia, negotiating and transferring some of their old, unjust, and irrecoverable claims to citizens of foreign Governments, causing loss and damage to traders, and producing confusion in the proceedings of the courts of justice and disorganizing trade, besides violating the solemn rights of the Government and otherwise causing annoyance and inconvenience, His Majesty has ordered that these negotiations and transfers are to be considered as groundless and entirely null and void until, according to international engagements, the papers or documents have the indubitable seal of the foreign office, and on the faith of that security the legation legalizes them. It is therefore evident that the honorable legation will give strict injunctions to its subjects that this matter may be unquestionably complied with and by no means allowed to continue, lest the claim (by the foreign citizen) be refused.

It is furthermore hoped that the honorable legation will have this subject in mind and so help to put a stop to the irregularity. We give no further trouble at this time.

Dated 9 Rubi-ul-avval (20th of September), A. H. 1311.

[Seal of the Kavam-ed-Dowlah, minister for foreign affairs.]