Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Wallace.
Washington, January 16, 1883.
Sir: Referring to previous correspondence upon the subject, I now transmit a copy of a letter of the 13th instant, addressed to this Department by Senator J. N. Camden, relative to the exclusive privilege which it is understood has been conferred upon a Turkish subject to receive and store petroleum at Turkish ports, and especially at Smyrna. It is alleged that the charge for this purpose, besides being exorbitant in itself, will operate as a discrimination against the American in favor of [Page 823]the Russian petroleum, which latter is carried thither in small quantities, and is sold from the vessel on board of which it is transported.
As under the treaty of 1862 the import duty on American petroleum is limited to 8 per cent, of its value, the duplication of the charge by the measure proposed naturally excites anxiety and alarm in the exporters of the article from this country. The case seems to be one for which the treaty was intended to provide, for the fifth article stipulates that the rate (8 per cent.) shall be calculated upon the value of the article at the wharf. There is no stipulation, express or implied, that this charge shall be increased, much less doubled, after the landing of the article.
It is hoped that you may succeed in impressing upon the Turkish authorities our views of this question, so that the proposed measure may not be carried into effect. If, however, a contrary course should be persisted in, it may be considered our duty to require adequate reparation therefor.
I am, &c.,