No. 546.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 225.]

Sir: In my dispatch to the Department No. 220, I reported a conversation with his highness the minister of foreign affairs, in the course of which he informed me that the Sublime Porte, acting upon a decision of the grand council of state, had determined not to accede to the demands of Russia, the United States and Roumania, touching the petroleum concession. To-day I am in receipt of a written communication from the minister to the same effect, and have the honor to inclose a copy and a translation of the document. This action leaves me perfectly free to forward to the palace the paper requested by the Sultan.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 225.—Translation.]

Aarifi Pasha to Mr. Wallace.

Mr. Envoy: I have had the honor to receive the two notes your excellency kindly addressed to me on the 20th of January and the 3d of May last, Nos. 142 and 160, relating to the stores for petroleum built at Tchiboukly by Sami Bey and associates.

The imperial Government regrets not to be able to bring itself to the point of view contained in the aforesaid notes. Really the stores in question have been established according to what is done in other countries, with a view to prevent any danger and with an object of public utility.

This measure should the less provoke any complaints since it is provided in article 12 of the regulations of the harbor of Constantinople, adopted in consequence of an agreement with the representatives of the powers at Constantinople. The terms of that article are too explicit to furnish the conclusion that individuals would be free to build private stores.

Up to that time the petroleum imported into Constantinople was stored in the deposits of the prefecture of the city, which, not being adequate to such service, used to occasion serious inconveniences which provoked continuous complaints from the parties interested in the matter.

It was with a view to stop those complaints and to regulate the storage of petroleum that the Sublime Porte had to grant the concession to a private society offering all the guarantees.

As to the dues collected on that score, there is room to remark that they are not high at all, taking into consideration the multiplied advantages that the merchants derive from the establishment of the new stores, so that in consequence of the guarantees they present, the insurance expenses have decreased from 2½ to 1½ per cent.

Besides, the landing, which formerly was made through lighters with great difficulty and expense, is rendered very easy now that the ships can come alongside the wharf built in front of the stores.

It is to be noted also that a great number of merchants interested in the matter have manifested, with certificates duly signed, their complete satisfaction to the new condition of things. I have no doubt that your excellency will kindly, from equitable sentiments, recognize the justness of the preceding considerations, and give your citizens who are interested such recommendations as will be apt to remove their objections in the matter.

Accept, &c.,