No. 548.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 229.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a note which will be transmitted to-day to the Sublime Porte upon the subject of the proposed revision of the commercial treaty of 1862.

* * * * * * *

It is of the greatest importance to their administration to have a reform of all their commercial treaties. Unfortunately, their advisers have led them into such confusion in the business that it is only by common consent of the powers they can now obtain revision and uniformity with respect to time of operation, and that consent can only be had upon the basis of quid pro quo. Thus both the Italian and German Governments have before them admittedly another term each of their treaties; but, for considerations and upon conditions, they are willing to yield their rights.

The position is a good one, so good that I was anxious our Government should share it with them, and for that purpose nothing could have been better than your instructions.* * * That the tariff coexists with the treaty is a legal proposition of universal acceptance with the diplomatic corps.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 229.]

Mr. Wallace to Aarifi Pasha.

No. 164.]

Highness: Referring to your dispatch dated 12th March, 1883, I have the honor to pray your highnesses pardon for not sooner answering, as the importance of the communication would seem to require, and to inform you that the apparent neglect would not have occurred had it not been necessary to refer the note to my Government for instructions; a reference which, on account of the great distance intervening between Constantinople and Washington, unavoidably consumes several weeks, to which must be added, as your experience will probably suggest, a reasonable period for consideration by the authorities of so grave a matter. The note referred to purports to be a notice that the treaty of commerce concluded between the United States of America and Turkey the 25th February, 1862, will cease to be in force at the expiration of one year from the 12th March, 1883.

Now, the first article of the treaty fixes the time at which a notice for the termination of the treaty can become operative; that is to say, the said first article fixes the time at fourteen or twenty-one years from the date of the exchange of the ratifications, which took place, as appears in the certification of the instrument, on the 5th June, 1862. Consequently, the twenty-one years did not expire until June 5, 1883, and according to its decision, my Government cannot consent to accept a year’s notice from March 12, 1883.

Your highness will please accept the further information that the Department of State of my Government is averse to concluding a treaty which will forthwith put our citizens at a disadvantage compared with those of other countries whose treaties may run longer than our own.

At the same time it is to be remarked the Department is prepared to consider the points presented in your highness’s aforesaid note, and, if satisfied of their justice, it may consent to a revision, to take effect when similar engagements with other powers shall become operative.

In transmitting this note, I pray your highness will have the goodness to accept, &c.,