No. 317.
Mr. Fish to Aristarchi Bey.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 1st instant, in which, referring to your previous note on the subject, you inform the Department that the Ottoman government has decided to enforce the new measure of raising the duties on imported articles to 20 per cent. “in three months from May 1, 1876, at the latest.”

In reply to your remarks in regard to the financial condition of the Ottoman Empire, and the hope expressed by the Sublime Porte that it may rely upon the kind co-operation of friendly governments in its efforts to improve the finances of the empire, I have to assure you that this Government sympathizes most cordially with the desire of the Porte in this direction, and trusts that its efforts will prove effectual. In saying this, I do not, however, wish to be understood as expressing an opinion in favor of the wisdom or policy of the course which your note informs me it has been decided to adopt. These are questions which must be reserved for consideration and discussion.

In acknowledging the notice which your excellency has given of this intention of the Ottoman government to establish a new rate of import duties, it may not be improper to refer to the treaty of 1830 between the United States and the Sublime Porte, and to give expression to the expectation of the Government of the United States that no higher duties or other imposts shall be required of American merchants or on articles imported from the United States than are required of those of the most favored nation, and that all the privileges and favors allowed to subjects or citizens of any other state shall continue to be extended to American citizens.

Accept, &c.,