Mr. Wallace to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Constantinople, February 23, 1885. (Received March 9.)
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy and translation of the reply of the minister of foreign affairs to my request to be informed of the rate of charges imposed by his Government upon goods and products of the United States imported into Turkey.
It will be seen that the rate is thus officially given at 8 per cent, ad valorem. Also, that it is the same as the charge upon the merchandise of all other countries except Austria. The reason of the exception lies in the fact that the Austrian commercial treaty is now the only one with an undisputed future expiration. Finding that in a number of items his people were paying duties in excess of the 8 per cent, the ambassador of that power asked the rate to be applied to them in common. The Sublime Porte declined to accede.[Page 840]
You will observe the solicitude the worthy minister expresses touching the speedy co-operation of our delegate in the work of revision of the tariff and the preparation of a new treaty of commerce.
The matters are respectfully submitted for your consideration and instruction.
The schedules of several of the powers have been completed, notably that of the English, and as it is reasonable to suppose the impositions upon the products of these latter have been carried to the greatest possible point of reduction, the labor of our delegate, should he be put to work, will be greatly simplified by reference to them. If it were not for the contention about the treaty, I should not hesitate to direct the negotiation to be immediately begun. Such a course would be amply covered by instructions heretofore received. As it is, however, I think best to await your further pleasure in the affair. Revision of the tariff would seem to carry with it necessarily a revision of the treaty, in part at least.
Waiting your judgment and direction,
I have, &c.,