No. 432.
Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 374.]

Sir: Referring to your dispatch No. 169, touching rights of American practitioners of medicine in Turkey, and the concessions considered desirable in behalf of graduates of the American Medical College at Beirut, I beg to say that I have read your comments upon the subject, and the papers of Consul Robeson and Consul-General Heap, with great interest. It will of course give me pleasure to renew my efforts to obtain one or other of the three points stated as satisfactory to the college authorities.

It would not be just to me to leave you under inference that I have not already tried to do this service for that very creditable institution. I have made the attempt repeatedly, though informally, and always with reference to the correspondence on the subject had between the Porte and my predecessors.

It may be useful also to inform you of the difficulties in the way, a branch of the subject upon which the consular papers are silent.

The Porte holds, in the first place, that the college is not a Turkish institution.

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In the next place, the imperial college is jealous of its rights and reputation. In its department of science, it is of great influence with the authorities at the Porte. It even forms a kind of quasi bureau. Things pertinent to surgery and medicine that come before the Porte are referred to its faculty for opinion and report.

With this in mind, you can readily see that any one of the three points submitted as agreeable to the Beirut administration will have to be carried over the heads of their imperial brethren of Constantinople.

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In the third place, the Porte looks with unfriendly eyes at the proposal to confer special privileges upon the American college, because it has an appearance of interference with the internal affairs of the Empire. In reading your dispatch I was struck with the fact that you seem to regard the Beirut graduates as Americans. They are natives of the country and Ottoman subjects.

The parental regard the Sublime Porte believes it has for its own people is tacitly impeached by requests for favors presented by foreigners on the ground of solicitude for the welfare of those people.

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In the last place, the most insuperable objection lies in the unwillingness of the Porte to do anything to sustain a foreign college of whatever kind in Turkey. Within six weeks past a permit was refused authorizing the founding of a medical college at Beirut under the auspices of the Jesuits, although the application was pressed zealously by the Marquis de Noailles, my colleague of France.

Doubtless you inferred from Consul Robeson’s dispatch that there were other foreign medical colleges in Turkey, and that the Porte was discriminating in their favor. It is but just to say that there are but two medical colleges proper in this country, the Imperial College at Constantinople and the American at Beirut. There may be a medical department in the American college at Harpoot.

So that altogether the prospect of success in the business by direct application to the Porte is not encouraging. Not impossibly I may do better by trying to interest the Sultan in it. I shall watch an opportunity to present it to him.

Very respectfully, &c.,