No. 543.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 219.]

Sir: I have the honor to report the receipt yesterday of a communication from his highness the minister of foreign affairs, upon the subject of the tariff, which, following the course heretofore indicated of referring this matter to your primary consideration, I make haste to transmit to you by copy and translation.

One point I anticipate you will wish to be informed of, and I therefore venture to say that, of the commercial treaties existing between Turkey and powers other than our own, that with France continues in force several years; by neglect of the Turks to give due notice of denouncement, that with Italy continues yet another term of seven years; while, as respects Russia, M. Nelidoff, ambassador here, is in exchange of notes with the Sublime Porte, his contention being, as I understand, that under the “favored nation” clause the existing tariff cannot be summarily concluded so as to place like commodities of Russia at a disadvantage. If all the treaties are concluded, and a new tariff of similar general operation is effected with all the powers alike, well enough.

* * * * * * *

I beg to say that I wait your instructions upon this important business with great interest.

Very respectfully, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 219.—Translation.]

Aarifi Pasha to Mr. Wallace.

Mr. Envoy: The tariff of customs concluded between the Sublime Porte and the Government of the United States of America having ceased to have a legal force since the 13th of March last, the imperial Government has decided to collect hereafter the dues of 8 per cent, ad valorem on the goods imported in Turkey until a new arrangement takes place.

As this measure is to be put into execution immediately in all the custom-houses of the Empire, the competent administration has received the necessary orders accordingly.

In bringing this decision to the knowledge of your excellency, I beg you to accept, &c.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 219.]

Mr. Wallace to Aarifi Pasha.

Highness: I beg to acknowledge receipt of your note of the 17th instant, informing me that the customs tariff concluded between the Sublime Porte and the Government of the United States having ceased on the 13th March last, the imperial Government has decided to collect hereafter 8 per cent, dues ad valorem upon the merchandise imported into Turkey until a new arrangement is effected, and that this measure will be put into immediate operation.

[Page 842]

Your highness will pardon me for remarking that in a communication addressed to this legation, dated the 12th of March last, you were pleased to quote from the treaty of commerce between the countries the clause respecting the right of the parties, respectively, to revise or make an end of the treaty, and then formally declare “that the treaty of commerce concluded between the two countries on the 25th of February, 1862, will cease to be in force on the expiration of one year from the date of the present notification.”

Now, the tariff about which you are good enough to write me has its virtue in the first instance in the treaty, coexists with the treaty, and, in my opinion, can only expire with the treaty, unless its earlier expiration is with the assent of both the high parties. For this, and other reasons not necessary to be now given, I am constrained to object to the decision your highness now serves upon me, and to protest against its enforcement here and elsewhere.

The affair has been referred to my superiors in Washington for their instructions.

I avail, &c.,