De Consul-Generaal READ aan
den Gouverneur-Generaal Loudon.
SINGAPORE, 6 March 1873.
My dear Excellency !
I am much obliged for your kind letter of the 26th , and am
glad to find that, on the information which had up to that time been
placed in your hands, you approved of what I had done.
I telegraphed to you this morning as follows: Colonial secretary states that American Consul indignantly denies treaty; declaring it an invention of ARIFFIN; - merely advised adoption similar measures to develop country; admits receiving joint letter to Consuls from Sultan and frequent visits and conversations; acknowledges writing one letter but not that sent you; asks to confront ARIFFIN, which shall be done. American defense proves Acheenese duplicity. Italians repudiate the scheme".
I was fully prepared for this .... repudiation, but am not prepared to give it that full confidence which the colonial secretary seems to think it deserves. The treaty never was intended to be born in Singapore. The Consul suggested heads, or as he says gave advice on certain points, and these, when put into shape, were to develop themselves into a treaty, to which the Sultan's seal having heen appended, the precious document was to be sent back by special messenger to the Consul, who ..........., was to forward a copy to the admiral, another to Washington and to sit complacently waiting replies.
Of course as Consul he could make no treaties; he might have heen turned out if he had. This is what he pleads in defense; - mais avec le ciel il y a des accommodements, and he thought he had made every thing very safe.
The perusal of the treaty as set forth in the Malay copy is convincing to me. No native would or could from his own ideas have drawn up the various clauses 3, 4, 5, 6 , 8, 10 and 12.
The 9th clause is the most native and even that makes the case against the others stronger.
I have sent for TUNGKO MOHAMAD ARIFFIN and shall place him before the Consul in the colonial seeretary's office, if possible, and I think the little note I sent you will be found useful, as the Consul told Mr. BIRCH that he had only written one letter to the Atcheenese, and that was to excuse himself from returning their call.
I have no wish to make a quarrel about the matter, or to worry the Consul; far from it; his evidence fully substantiates the false dealing and duplicity of the Acheenese and the sooner they are brought to order the better. I hear they have been collecting arms and ammunition for months and are determined to fight, but they may think better of it when they see the force brought against them.
The Government here will do all it can to afford moral support, and will when requested stop the export of arms and ammunition, but they can do nothing but then.
Admiral JENKINS' flagship the Hartford has arrived. He proceeds to China shortly. - I do not think I have anything further to communicate by this opportunity.
The letter for rajah BROOKE shall be forwarded by first opportunity.
Believe me, etc.
(w.g.) W. H. READ.
P.S. The Italians by the advice of captain RACCHIA will have nothing to do with Acheen; so mr. BIRCH tells me.