to Mr. Wallace.
Washington, September 4, 1882.
Sir: Your dispatch of the 9th of June last, No. 98, in relation to a proposed additional charge of 8 per centum on petroleum, has been received and read with interest.
Your views on the general subject are in entire accord with those of the Department, and your foresight and vigilante in giving the matter prompt attention meet with its unqualified approval.
The subject, so far as it could in its present inchoate condition, has received attentive consideration.
The proposed measure, or scheme, as you not inappropriately denominate it, cannot be viewed otherwise by this government than as an act unfriendly to American commerce, and in contravention alike of the spirit of the treaty of 1862 between the United States and Turkey and of the acknowledged principles of international law and comity.
You will take proper occasion, and in your own way, to make known to the Ottoman Government the disappointment with which this government learns that such a proposition should be held in contemplation for a moment by the Porte, and you will urge upon the minister for foreign relations the impolicy of such a measure at a time when the friendly relations of the two nations rest upon so harmonious a basis. You will also advise the parties who have sought interference to protest against the payment, should the scheme be persisted in. You will also promptly inform the Department of the proceedings in any and every actual case, should any occur, in which the payment may be sought to be enforced. Should the proposed measure not be abandoned, further consideration will be given to the matter, of the results of which you will be promptly advised.
I transmit herewith, as a part of the record in the matter under consideration, copies of two letters addressed to the Department by Messrs. Iasigi & Co. and by Messrs. Laforme & Frothingham, of Boston, complaining of the proposed exaction of the authorities at Smyrna, touching the storage of petroleum, and whose agents in Turkey, as appears from your dispatch, have furnished you with similar information.
I am, &c.,