No. 310.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 74.]

Sir: Mr. B. O. Duncan, while visiting the city last week, informed me that the customs officers at Smyrna were continuing to collect a duty upon alcohol in excess of the rate specifically agreed upon under the treaty. Inclosed please find a copy of a note which I will to-day send to the Porte upon the subject.

* * * * * * *

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 74.]

Mr. Wallace to Assim Pasha.

Excellency: In the correspondence relative to certain new regulations touching the importation of alcohols which were the subject of a protest from this legation, dated November 17, 1881, you were pleased in one of your notes to declare the action of the customs officials at Smyrna in that connection a mistake attributable to a wrong construction of Article XIV of the regulations. Accepting the admission as in good faith, and construing it as equivalent to a promise on your excellency’s part that the mistake should be promptly corrected, and the practice of the officials reformed, I permitted the matter to pass out of mind. But now it is with regret that I have to inform you of the receipt of information from Smyrna to the effect that collections upon alcohol from the United States have there gone on under the so-called new regulations without stop or abatement. Upon the presumption that there must be a degree of respect for orders when received by customs officers from the Porte, the inference is scarcely to be avoided that no corrective instructions whatever were in this instance sent to Smyrna; much less were the officials at that place directed to return to collections upon alcohol from the United States within the terms of the treaty, as I had the honor to demand. Should this inference be correct, the failure is certainly liable to be received by my superiors in Washington as an omission hardly distinguishable from an act of unfriendliness which your admission above referred to will tend to make the more pointed.

In confidence that your excellency does not wish such an impression to go abroad, I beg to serve you with an opportunity to demonstrate your good intent, as well as your respect for existing treaties, by renewing the demand made upon you in my note of November 17, above mentioned, that the direction of indirect contributions at Smyrna be required to suspend the further execution of the said article 14 in so far as it has effect upon any article of production or manufacture in the United States of America imported into the empire and possessions of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan; that as respects every article the produce or manufacture of the United States, whether in the hands of a buyer or seller in His Majesty’s Empire, the said article 14 be canceled and revoked; and in particular that the duty upon alcohol from the United States be returned and limited to the rate of 16 paras the oke, as fixed by the agreed tariff under the treaty. And that the customs officers at Smyrna may be left without excuse for further persistence in their unlawful collections, as well as that the American consul at that city may have information needful for the protection of the very important interest in question, your excellency will permit me to further demand a copy of the instructions which you may be pleased to issue to the said officials. I consider it proper to notify you also that in a few days I will present to you a statement showing the total amount of duty paid at Smyrna under the so-called new regulations on imported American alcohol, and demand payment of the charges in excess of the duty agreed upon under the treaty. Your excellency will oblige me by an early reply to this communication.

I avail myself, &c.,